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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: The service academies typically beat big spreads as underdogs

Also, Kyler Murray is on a torrid pace.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl - San Diego State v Army Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Hello again, my friends!

As of today, the Oklahoma Sooners are 32.5-point favorites over the Army Black Knights. That’s the highest point spread so far this season for Lincoln Riley’s bunch, and in the first three games, Oklahoma has gone 1-2 against the spread. Combine that with how difficult it is for teams to cover large spreads against the service academies, and we could be looking at another closer-than-expected final margin by game’s end on Saturday night.

Since 1995, Army, Navy and Air force have covered the spread roughly 75 of the time when listed as underdogs of more than three touchdowns (21.5 points or more). For perspective, beating the sports book 55 percent of the time would be considered a very high number.

I do believe Oklahoma will win comfortably this weekend, but if the final score shows the margin somewhere in the high teens or low twenties, it won’t necessarily be because the team played poorly. It could simply be because that’s just how a lot of games against Army, Navy and Air Force shake out. Their very style of play incites such results. Just giving you a heads up.

Now let’s dig into these Hot Links! Jeff Monken says Army’s traditional uniform game rivals Oklahoma’s, Kyler Murray has had a very Heisman-like start to the 2018 season, Kevin Durant’s next chapter could be with the LA Rams, and more!

OU Links

  • This is already such a cool week with Army coming to town. You should absolutely check out this thread of Sooners who have served or are currently serving in the military as they represent the Crimson & Cream all over the world.
  • Speaking of Army, Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken was asked about any potential weaknesses his squad could exploit against the Sooners. Monken had high praise for the Sooners, but did playfully point out that his team’s uniforms are some of the best in the nation, along with Oklahoma’s. Fair enough, Coach. I’ll take that as a wash.
  • Oklahoma has only played six combined games against the service academies, so here’s a quick look back at the past matchups.
  • If Oklahoma successfully pulls off some crazy North Texas fake-fair-catch type of stuff on special teams this season, I just might pass out from excitement. Don’t tease me like this, Linc.
  • We’re only three weeks into the 2018 college football season, so there are plenty of big games left on the national docket. As far as the Sooners are concerned, which game remaining on the schedule figures to be the most important game left? Obviously every game is huge if it turns into a loss, but some wins will surely carry more weight than others.
  • The two biggest developing stories surrounding quarterbacks in college football have been about Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. How do the two talented signal callers compare on the field, and what has gone into each of their ascensions?
  • Speaking of comparisons, how does Murray compare to Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winning QBs? In some cases, he’s actually statistically further along than the likes of Jason White, Sam Bradford and Baker Mayfield through their first 94 attempts as Sooners.
  • Oklahoma had five of the best individual offensive performances in the Big 12 in Week 3. According to Pro Football Focus, no other Big 12 school saw more than two.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, Mark Jackson is becoming more comfortable in his role, and in turn is gradually making his presence felt on the field.
  • Parnell motley had an up-and-down day in Ames trying to cover Iowa State’s talented receiving threats. The junior cornerback is familiar with handling this kind of adversity, so he’ll use his past experiences as a blueprint to improve moving forward.
  • If you plan on attending the Army game this Saturday, with your ticket you can check out some Oklahoma baseball action at noon for free. The Sooners will be playing the Arkansas Razorbacks to open the fall exhibition slate.

Around the Sports World

  • Five-star safety Dax Hill, the top-ranked high school football prospect in the state of Oklahoma, has announced his commitment to the Michigan Wolverines. Hill is the younger brother of Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, but him choosing to go out-of-state isn’t a surprise to those who have followed his recruitment closely. I’m confident he’ll represent his home state quite well up in Ann Arbor.
  • A higher-than-average number of college football games have already been outright canceled or postponed this season due to severe weather. While building contingency plans in advance seems to be the best solution in the future, 2019’s schedule is already setting up to be better equipped to handle such circumstances.
  • Former NBA forward Elton Brand retired from the court just a couple years ago, and now he’s the Philadelphia 76ers general manager. There are a few reasons why this hire is both safe and risky.
  • In other NBA-related news, Kevin Durant joked about playing for the Los Angeles Rams. It’s too late to convince people that he truly shakes off the criticism, but nice try.
  • Now this is incredible. I’m honestly more impressed by this out than a sprinting/diving catch in the outfield. Way to go, Steven Matz!

Stick to Sports!

  • It’s been nearly 25 years since the original PlayStation gaming console launched, and now Sony is throwing it back with a modern twist by introducing the PlayStation Classic. This version of the one that started it all is about 45% smaller than the original, and comes with 20 pre-loaded games, including popular titles like ‘Final Fantasy VII’, ‘Tekken 3’ and ‘Ridge Racer Type 4’. This could be the ideal mini-gaming getaway for anyone who wants to take a trip down nostalgia avenue, and for a hundred bucks, it shouldn’t burn a huge hole in your pocket. PlayStation Classic will hit the actual and virtual shelves on December 3rd.

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