UTEP vs Oklahoma Spread & ATS Pick Week 1Josh Bailey
Mayfield, Oklahoma Sooners Kick Off New Era at Home Against Lowly UTEP
Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners will look to kick off the Lincoln Riley era in style while taking the first step toward what they hope will be a berth in the four-team College Football Playoff when they host the lowly UTEP Miners on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET.
The Sooners and Miners will square off live from Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium with this matchup airing live on FOX. Now, let’s find out what’s going to go down in this regular season opener for both teams.
UTEP Miners vs Oklahoma Sooners Spread & ATS Pick Week 1 College Football
UTEP Miners (0-0) at Oklahoma Sooners (0-0)
When: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET
Where: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Spread: Oklahoma Sooners -42.5
Why Bet the UTEP Miners Odds at +42.5
The best reason to bet on UTEP is that they’re getting an insane six touchdowns as underdogs.
The Miners (4-8 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) finished in last place in the Conference USA West last season while playing poorly on both sides of the ball by averaging a modest 26.3 points per game (82nd) and allowing 34.9 points per contest to rank 105th nationally.
Head coach Sean Kugler has struggled at his alma mater by going 18-31 in four seasons. Now, heading into 2017, the Miners must replace all-time leading running back Aaron Jones, although they are set at quarterback with junior Ryan Metz running the show. UTEP has four offensive linemen with starting experience, including All-American guard Will Hernandez. Defensively, Texas El Paso has question marks on the defensive line and at linebacker, but the secondary returns three starters.
Why Bet the Oklahoma Sooners Spread at -42.5
The best reason to bet on Oklahoma is that they’re light years better than the Miners on both sides of the ball and are playing at home.
The Sooners (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) are looking for nothing short of a playoff berth after going 11-2 last season, but getting left on the outside looking in come postseason time. However, they’ll have to get it done under first-year head coach Lincoln Riley following the surprising retirement of longtime head coach Bob Stoops this offseason.
Led by their legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Sooners put up an impressive 43.9 points per game to rank third nationally in scoring although they allowed a generous 28.8 points per contest to rank 69th in points allowed.
The bad news is that Riley needs to find suitable replacements for departed star running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon as well as No. 1 wide receiver Dede Westbrook. Still, the Sooners return all five starters on the offensive line and have a wealth of talent at the skill positions. The Sooners are expecting big contributions in 2017 out of running backs Abdul Adams and Rodney Anderson and Kentucky transfer wide receiver Jeff Badet. Defensively, the Sooners have an outstanding trio of possible future NFL performers in cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and Jordan Parker and hard-hitting safety Steven Parker.
UTEP vs Oklahoma Week 1 Expert Analysis and ATS Pick
UTEP is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in the month of September and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games against teams from the Big 12, but the Miners are also 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass. Oklahoma may be 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games, but the Sooners are also just 1-5 ATS in their last six non-conference games and 0-4 ATS in their last four games in the month of September.
Approximately 69 percent of public bettors like the Sooners to win and cover the high spread, but I can’t justify betting such a big favorite. UTEP may not be anywhere near the caliber of team that Oklahoma is, but for me, expecting the Sooners to cover the spread as 42.5-point favorites is a bit too much! I like the UTEP Miners to narrowly cover.
ATS Pick: Oklahoma 42 UTEP 14