Prediction and Pick for Nebraska vs. Oklahoma – College Football – Saturday, September 18, 2021

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| September 17, 2021 3:30 am PDT

College football is often at its best when the premier programs are at their best. While some former elite programs like Tennessee and Florida State are struggling, Nebraska isn’t too far behind.

Many believe Nebraska has been a travesty since Bo Pelini left when they were a Top 25 contender. Nowadays, they are hopeful of returning to the production Mike Riley gave them.

Nebraska has had four straight losing seasons, and many of them have been miserable. The Huskers need to get off the mat and at least reach a bowl game this season to stop the bleeding.

Oklahoma has been close to getting to the top of the college football landscape but has fallen short in the College Football Playoff. Entering the eighth season of the CFP, the Sooners are 0-4 with an 18-point margin of defeat. Those numbers are staggering, and they need to change for Oklahoma to become a perennial title contender.

The old memories and the fun banter over the weekend will be a classic. This rivalry will be the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Game of the Century, in which Nebraska knocked off Oklahoma en route to winning the national title.

Here are the latest odds between two of the historically better programs in college football history.

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma Odds

Nebraska (+22)-105
Oklahoma (-22)-115
Over 61.5-110
Under 61.5-110

The odds here are one of the more intriguing lines of the entire season. There isn’t a moneyline out at the top NCAA football betting sites, but you can still bet on the spread and total.

Nebraska is a three-touchdown underdog on the road, and this game could get ugly. The Huskers have been heavy underdogs before. In their past five games at 21-plus point underdogs, Nebraska has gone 3-2 against the spread.

Nebraska has lost all five of those games straight up, but they were competitive in two of them. Lincoln Riley has already been a home favorite of three touchdowns or more 20 times. That is remarkable.

Oklahoma has gone 11-9 against the spread in those games but is 18-2 straight up. When the line has been between 21-24 points, the Sooners have failed to cover in their last three home games.

Before kickoff arrives, here are your keys to victory for this old Big 12 rivalry between Oklahoma and Nebraska in Norman.

Why Nebraska Wins

It will be a challenge to walk into Norman and keep this game competitive. Nebraska will need to win the turnover battle and force Spencer Rattler into a few ill-advised throws.

Adrian Martinez at quarterback will be running for his life, and his legs could give them a shot at staying within shouting distance. This college football season has started similar to 2007, where upsets were happening on a weekly occurrence.

Everything that was supposed to happen fell apart. The Sooners have lost games in which they were favored by 27 and 31 points respectively against Kansas State and Iowa State over the years. The Sooners somehow lost both of those games, and Nebraska is favored to lose by fewer points.

Being able to run the ball and move the chains to keep the Nebraska defense fresh and healthy will be vital.

If the upset has a chance of happening, they will need to hang in there at the line of scrimmage.

Martinez will need to make OU defenders miss in open space and connect on a few deep shots down the field. If everything goes the way of Nebraska and they force a few turnovers on top of it, an upset may not be out of the question.

Why Oklahoma Wins

The offense of Oklahoma should give them a chance to win every game during the regular season and beyond. Rattler is one of the Heisman frontrunners due to the weapons he has.

Marvin Mims is one of the better wideouts in the country. This passing attack Oklahoma has should expose Nebraska. We saw Illinois put together a few passing plays that put the Huskers in quicksand.

Oklahoma is much more explosive and will have a few drives they can score on four or five plays. Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray are two of the better backfield tandems in America. They will move the chains, and Nebraska will be searching for answers by the end of the first half.

Throw in the much-improved defense Oklahoma has had since the end of last season, and this is a game that could get ugly.

There’s a reason why the Sooners enter the weekend with the third best CFP odds, after all.

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Nebraska vs. Oklahoma Prediction

The best chance for Nebraska to pull this miracle off is to have Rattler play even worse than he did against Tulane.

The defense was a letdown against the Green Wave, plus the offense did everything it could to keep it close.

Nebraska has their work cut out for them, and the OU offense is too explosive.

They will have several scoring drives. The Huskers will struggle to get much going to be able to keep up.

Barring a tremendous defensive effort, it might take 40-plus points to pull this upset off. Good luck, Nebraska.

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma Pick

Oklahoma will be laying the points to everybody they line up to this regular season. The spread should balloon even further in some Big 12 matchups.

Oklahoma wants to be the best team in the country, and they will be comparing themselves to Alabama and Georgia all season. So, I wouldn’t expect them to lay down.

OU will be out for blood and will try to hang a 50-burger on most teams they face. This matchup will be one of those scenarios, so take the Sooners with the points in Norman.

Pick
  • Oklahoma (-22)
    -110

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