The "take-out" line from Las Vegas Sports Consultants for Saturday's Oklahoma-Texas game is out, and it's a shocker (at least to me): Texas by 1.5. (Click here for the take-out lines for this week's games.)
Expect the oddsmakers to bump up the opening spread on the game to favor Texas by around three or four points. Still, though, the bookies appear to think the game is a virtual dead heat. Assuming the chances are small that Vegas would botch a marquee game like OU-Texas, it would seem that Sooner fans should take the news as a good sign.
Obviously, the books have been ignoring the loud legions of OU naysayers.
Homerism figured LVSC probably would peg the spread around six or seven points and the books would hang the opening line around nine. I mean, these people do realize that No. 2 Texas is undefeated and highly motivated after last season's BCS fiasco, right? And they've seen the debacle that is the offensive line for the 3-2 Sooners? How about the hands on OU's receivers?
So what are they smoking out in the desert? Maybe they just took a cold-blooded look at the numbers from this season through yesterday's games, which is what I did after I saw the results of LVSC's analysis. Consider how the two teams stack up in terms of yards gained per offensive play (OYPP), yards allowed per defensive play (DYPP) and Jeff Sagarin's strength of schedule ratings (SOS).
(Note: SOS can vary widely depending on the method of calculation. The only other reputable source I could find was CBSSports.com's measure, which ranked OU 10th and Texas 56th.)
Set aside the two teams' records. Based on a quick and dirty analysis of their stats, which one looks like the better team? When you factor in degree of difficulty, OU appears to be every bit Texas' equal.