Early point spreads for some of college football’s biggest games of 2019 are out, and they indicate the Oklahoma Sooners will be substantial favorites in every game this year.
The release of the Golden Nugget’s lines for what it deems to be the games of the year is an annual holiday for hardcore gamblers. This year’s crop includes more than 100 games, and the Sooners are featured in eight of them.
The Nugget’s linesmakers installed the Sooners as double-digit favorites in seven of the eight games. The lone exception is the the Red River Rivalry, where OU is favored by 6.5 points over the Texas Longhorns. The Horns were getting seven in last season’s upset of OU in the Cotton Bowl.
As for other Big 12 games, the Sooners are giving 10 points in this year’s edition of Bedlam versus the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater to end the regular season. One of the more surprising numbers: The Baylor Bears are getting 13.5 points when OU visits Waco on Nov. 16.
Meanwhile, the oddsmakers have the Sooners as big favorites over West Virginia (-21.5), TCU (-19.5) and Texas Tech (-19), all of which come to Norman this season. The lines would imply the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders are on roughly equal footing in terms of the Nugget’s power rankings, which may surprise some handicappers.
OU is favored by 11 in its Sept. 14 game at UCLA, a sign that Chip Kelly’s Bruins are garnering far more respect in the gambling community this year. The Sooners are laying 27 versus the Houston Cougars in a rare Sunday night tilt to open the season over Labor Day weekend in Norman.
A few other notes:
*It’s worth noting that the limits on these bets are very low and that the lines tend to move fairly quickly. I’d expect OU to be one of the more bet-against teams in these games.
*The Nugget’s point spreads suggest we’re heading for another OU-Texas rematch scenario in the Big 12 title game. The Horns are favored in every Big 12 game save for the Dallas grudge match in October.
On the other hand, UT is giving just 2.5 points in its Nov. 16 game against the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, and the Horns are favored by around a touchdown in road games at TCU (-6) and Baylor (-7).
In other words, the Nugget is suggesting the road could get a little rocky for the Longhorns on the way to the title game.
*A little strange that the only other Iowa St. game offered is its in-state rivalry game versus the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Nugget has that listed at pick ‘em.
You’d think OU-ISU on Nov. 9 would merit an early line, at least.
*It comes as little surprise, but the linesmakers don’t see many hurdles standing in the way of the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. Both are favored in every game.
The Tigers’ tightest line is -17.5 versus Texas A&M. Says a lot about the quality of the ACC at the moment.
The Tide are -13 in the Iron Bowl.
*Other Power Five conference teams favored in every game listed: Georgia and Michigan.