Oklahoma had a rare down season in 2023, but it will look to bounce back in the second year of Brent Venbales tenure in Norman with returning quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
The Sooners start its season at home against Arkansas State as a massive favorite. OU has a noted talent advantage in this one, can it set the tone for a bounce back campaign against a lowly opponent?
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Arkansas State vs. Oklahoma Odds, Spread and Total
Oklahoma vs. Arkansas State Betting Trends
- Oklahoma went 4-8 against the spread (ATS) last season
- Arkansas State went 3-9 straight up (SU), but 7-5 ATS
- Arkansas State went 5-4 ATS as an underdog
Arkansas State vs. Oklahoma How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 2
- Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
- Venue: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Arkansas State Record: 0-0
- Oklahoma Record:
Arkansas State vs. Oklahoma Key Players to Watch
J.T. Shrout: The Colorado transfer struggled with the Buffaloes, but will hope the change of scenery down a level to the Group of Five ranks reignites his career. He's now on his third school after originally going to Tennessee, and had a 7-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season for a floundering Colorado offense. He'll play behind an offensive line that is leaning on transfers that will hope to keep him upright. The Red Wolves were bottom 10 nationally in tackles for loss allowed.
Dillon Gabriel: Gabriel was a highly touted quarterback after transferring to UCF, rejoining with his former offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, but due to injuries last season and a team that couldn't string together wins, the shine has wore off of him. However, there's no denying that on the field this OU offense was nearly elite with the QB on the field. He completed nearly 63% of his passes for 3,168 yards with a 25-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Arkansas State vs. Oklahoma Prediction and Pick
Oklahoma may have struggled last season, but this is still a team built to dominate lesser competition. While we only have a one year sample of Venables as a head coach, the team decimated its G5 non conference opponents, including a 45-13 win at home against UTEP and Kent State 33-3.
Venables is a defensive-minded head coach and while the team struggled down-to-down, grading out 82nd in success rate, and particularly struggled at slowing teams down in the red zone --111th in red zone touchdown percentage allowed -- this team won't run into issues against a porous Red Wolves offense.
OU was fifth in the country in tackles for loss and incredibly havoc-minded, ranking 31st in the nation with 20 turnovers. Arkansas State has four transfer offensive linemen and a transfer quarterback under center, this isn't a G5 offense that is primed to give OU trouble this season.
Meanwhile, Arkansas State's defense returns far more pieces, right around the national average, per ESPN.com. While the defense was poor, the team showcased a decent run defense -- 63rd in yards per carry allowed and 56th in limiting explosive runs -- while checking in 74th in defensive success rate.
While Oklahoma should do damage in this one and win big, I prefer the under in this matchup. This is a high total for a matchup that is going to feature one-way traffic. All I need is a stop or two from the Red Wolves to stay under this total, considering this offense will likely struggle to find the end zone.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!