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Big 12 Showdown: Oklahoma Sooners at West Virginia Mountaineers

One team will reach the Big 12 Championship Game and one team will be left out Friday night when the no. 6 Oklahoma Sooners travel to play the no. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia opened the week as a slight favorite, but that line has been slipped with the Sooners now favored by 3.5 points on the road.

Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, they were knocked out of the College Football Playoff conversation last week after losing to Oklahoma State. However, they still have a chance to win the Big 12 championship for the first time since joining the conference. With a win over Oklahoma, the Mountaineers will clinch a spot against Texas in the Big 12 title game.

Of course, the same is true for Oklahoma. With a win on Friday, the Sooners will get a chance to get revenge on Texas for their only loss this season in the Big 12 Championship Game. A win would also keep Oklahoma alive for a spot in the CFP. If the Sooners can earn wins over West Virginia and Texas to close out their season and get a little help, they could sneak into the top-4 for the second straight year.

Defense Optional

It’s kind of amazing how Oklahoma has made it this far with just one loss because the Sooners play so little defense. Perhaps they’re trying to play defense, but it doesn’t seem to show. In their eight conference games, Oklahoma is giving up over 35 points per game, which is not something that’s often seen from teams with CFP aspirations. Even lowly Kansas managed to score 40 points against the Sooners last week.

Those kinds of defensive stats don’t necessarily bode well for Oklahoma against the Mountaineers. West Virginia is averaging over 40 points per game on the season, and that’s with a few games sprinkled in against quality defensive teams. Quarterback Will Grier has NFL talent and three quality receivers around him. The Mountaineers also have an underrated rushing attack, giving them perhaps the best offense Oklahoma has faced all season.

Home Sweet Home

On the other side of the coin, Oklahoma probably has the best offense that West Virginia has played. Quarterback Kyler Murray is perhaps more dangerous than his Heisman-winning predecessor, Baker Mayfield. Murray can run the ball as well as he can throw it, and he’s also done an impressive job of limiting his turnovers this season, which is why the Sooners have found ways to win shootouts.

However, the West Virginia defense is a little underrated. In past years, the Mountaineers struggled on that side of the ball, but they’ve had some good performances this year, especially at home. In their Big 12 games at home, they are giving up just an average of 13 points. They won’t hold the Sooners to that low a number, but it does give themselves a chance to get a few stops and get a win.

Flip the Coin

This game is virtually a coin flip, so it’s been surprising to see the line grow so drastically in Oklahoma’s favor. With the Mountaineers getting over a field goal at home, bet on West Virginia +3.5 to at least beat the spread and maybe pull off the win.

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