The rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State’s sports programs is one of the oldest in the country, beginning in 1900. The rivalry between the interstate public schools got its name the “Bedlam Series” from when the two famed wrestling programs used to meet.
Saturday’s biggest college game is the No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys versus their inter-state rivals No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners. Follow along all season long with all the NCAA football betting news on our Locker Room page. You can trust BetUS with all your online sports betting.
Time, Place and Broadcast
No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1 overall; 4-1 Big 12) travels to Norman to face No. 18 Oklahoma (5-2 overall; 4-2 Big 12) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. OU is letting 25% of the stadium’s 73,013 capacity attend the game.
The game will be televised on ABC and called by Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Row. College GameDay will be hosted in Norman this week marking the first time since 2012 that the show has aired there.
UP NEXT: BEDLAM ‼️ @OU_Football 🆚 @CowboyFB pic.twitter.com/wHyaTtLCPC
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 15, 2020
The 2020 season marks the 111th consecutive time that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have met in the Bedlam Series. The Oklahoma Sooners have been dominating the football side of the series with a lead of 89-18-7. The Sooners have dominated of late, winning 15 out of 17 of the last matchups with the Cowboys. OU has a 42-10-2 advantage in games played in Norman. OSU Coach Mike Gundy is 2-13 in his career against Oklahoma, while OU coach Lincoln Riley is 3-0 against the Cowboys.
Saturday’s football game is part of the all-sports Phillips 66 Bedlam Series between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Bedlam Series winner is calculated each year by straight wins and losses in head-to-head competitions. In sports where head-to-head competition does not take place, the Big 12 final standings are used.
Although Oklahoma State has been dominant in the football side of the series, OSU has won the overall Phillips 66 Bedlam Series six of the past seven years. The Cowboys hold a 3-0 edge over the Sooners in this seasons’ series.
Big 12 Title on the Line
Even if the coaches and players try to lead you to believe it, Bedlam is not just another game on the schedule for either of these Oklahoma schools. The game is a must-win interstate conference rivalry game with over 100 years of history attached.
With their sights on the Big 12 Championship, the 2020 Bedlam game is as important as ever because the winner will have a much higher probability to win the conference. The (5-1) Cowboys are looking to win their only their second conference title, but know they need to defeat the (5-2) Sooners to do so (as they did in 2011 when they won their first Big 12 Championship).
The Sooners are in a must-win situation as they cannot afford to lose their third conference game and fall two games back with only three games remaining. Oklahoma is in pursuit of their sixth straight Big 12 Championship and 14th overall (since 1996 when the Big 12 was formed).
Keys to the Game
As we have come to expect from the Oklahoma Sooners, they are led by a high-scoring offense (No. 5 in scoring offense in FBS) which has put up 62 points twice this year. The Oklahoma State Cowboys are winning on the defensive side of the ball, allowing their first six opponents to score an average of 17.8 points (15th in scoring defense in FBS).
The two teams from Oklahoma have played four of the same opponents already this year. They both went into overtime with Big 12 rival Texas. Two weeks ago the Longhorns defeated the Cowboys 41-34 in OT in Texas. Two weeks before that, in the Sooners fourth game of the season, they beat the Longhorns in Texas 53-45 in a game that went to 4OTs.
The Sooners really needed the Texas win as they were on a two-game losing streak after losing to Kansas State and Iowa State in back-to-back weeks by one score each. Since the loss to the Cyclones, the Sooners have won four straight.
OSU’s biggest win of the year came against the No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones three weeks ago. Now the Cowboys and the Cyclones are the only two teams in the Big 12 with one loss in the conference. The Cowboys won 24-20 on the road behind RB Chuba Hubbard 139 rushing yards and 1 TD.
Last week the Cowboys beat another opponent that beat the Sooners earlier in the year, by taking down the Kansas State Wildcats 20-18. This time RB L.D. Brown led the Cowboys rushing attack, running for 115 yards on 15 carries. The Wildcats’ QB Skyler Thompson was a big part of the victory over the Sooners, but he sustained a season-ending injury the next week against Texas Tech which made him not available to play against the Cowboys.
No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys Keys to Victory
Creatively winning the line-of-scrimmage with play calling.
The (5-1) Cowboys are down three starting offensive linemen coming into their Bedlam matchup with the Sooners. With both of their guards manned by freshmen, the Cowboys know they are weak upfront. Coach Mike Gundy said this week, “And so when you’re playing freshman guards you have two things that are going on, it’s no secret they’re not as strong as they need to be to play at this level, and they’re not as experienced.”
The Cowboys will need to do a good job keeping in front of the chains with creative play calls on first and second down because they are not going to be able to consistently win at the point of attack against Oklahoma’s front seven. Gundy respects the front seven of the Sooners and is quoted saying, “We have to be patient in the way that we want to attack and reduce turnovers and play as consistent as possible up front with our blocking schemes.”
Contain and force QB Spencer Rattler to make turnovers.
QB Spencer Rattler is the key to the Sooners offensive attack. He is the most athletic QB that the Cowboys have faced, which is on the minds of OSU’s defense. Gundy said of Rattler, “Obviously he has got a strong arm and he’s got some savvy, can move around and make some plays with his legs.” Rattler has thrown for over 2000 yards and 18 TDs to just six INTs this season. The Cowboys need to find ways to put pressure on him to either sack him or force him to make mistakes. Rattler has been sacked 12 times this season on over 200 dropbacks.
No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners’ Keys to Victory
Establishing the run.
In Oklahoma’s two losses this season they have failed to get much going on the ground, with their leading rusher held to under 75 yards. The Sooners offense is at its best when they get their talented running backs going which opens up passing lanes for Rattler. The Sooners have three talented running backs with their most talented, Rhamondre Stevenson, currently third on the team in rushing yards. But he has led the team the last two weeks. If the Sooners can get the run game going, then they should be able to keep the Cowboys’ defense on their heels.
Top 2020 CFB Team Offense (Min 3 G)
1⃣ Alabama 47.2 PPG (6 G)
2⃣ Ohio State 46.3 PPG (3 G)
3⃣ Oklahoma 46.1 PPG (7 G)
4⃣ Clemson 45.4 PPG (8 G)
5⃣ BYU 45.3 PPG (8 G)
6⃣ UCF 45.0 PPG (6 G)
7⃣ UF 42.4 PPG (5 G)
8⃣ UNC 40.9 PPG (7 G)
9⃣ SMU 40.5 PPG (8 G)
🔟Texas 40.4 PPG (7 G) pic.twitter.com/1rka9kwIXF
— Fifth Quarter Stats (@FQStats) November 9, 2020
Oklahoma has squandered a fourth-quarter lead in both of their losses this season. Oklahoma gave up 14-unanswered fourth-quarter points against Iowa State in a 37-30 loss. And the week before, the Sooners watched as a 35-14 third-quarter lead was erased by Kansas State’s 24 unanswered points, giving the Wildcats a 38-35 victory. The Sooners need to focus on playing all four quarters and finishing strong against the Cowboys.
Oklahoma Sooners vs Oklahoma State Cowboys – Betting Preview
|Sooners||-7 -105||-240||59½ -110o||33|
|Cowboys||+7 -115||+200||59½ -110u||27|
The Sooners opened up as -9½ point favorites when this game hit the sportsbooks. The line quickly moved all the way down to 5½ as money must have come in on the Cowboys to keep it close. Now the line is at -7 in the Sooners favorites as the host the Cowboys on Saturday night.
#18 Oklahoma Sooners vs #14 Oklahoma State Cowboys – Moneyline
It seems the sportsbooks think the Sooners are the better team at home as the game opened with the Sooners as -9½ point favorites. I think this will be a close game that anyone could win but I do think the Sooners are a more talented team. Their No. 3-ranked scoring offense is going to be too much for the Cowboys defensively.
My pick: Sooners win
#18 Oklahoma Sooners vs #14 Oklahoma State Cowboys – Spread
I expect a close game and when that is the case I like to take the points. The Cowboys are 5-0 in their last five games against the spread as road underdogs. The Cowboys defense and special teams are good enough to keep them in the Bedlam rivalry.
My pick: Cowboys +7
#18 Oklahoma Sooners vs #14 Oklahoma State Cowboys – Over/Under
The under is 7-1 in the Cowboys last eight games as underdogs of 3½-10 points. Over is 5-1 in the Sooners last six games. This is a tough call. I think the Cowboys offense may struggle for a lot of the game but they should be able to slow down the Sooners enough to make a run at them late.
My pick: Under 59½
Sooners vs Cowboys Props Betting
As I mentioned earlier Oklahoma has the capacity to jump out to early leads on teams and have shown signs of sizzling out late. As a result of that my favorite prop is:
Double Result: Oklahoma/Oklahoma St. +850
Sooners vs Cowboys – Final Score
I do not think the Cowboys offensive line can control the line of scrimmage enough to win this game. I do not think OSU will be able to get a yard when they need it or will be able to protect their QB on third and longs. The Sooners keep on dominating the Bedlam Series on the GridIron come Saturday night.