Western Carolina vs Oklahoma Betting Preview | 2021 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Western Carolina vs Oklahoma Betting Preview | 2021 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Fourth-ranked Oklahoma was nearly upset at home in Week 1 by Tulane, but the Sooners and Heisman QB candidate Spencer Rattler figure to have little trouble this week as massive NCAAF Betting favorites over little Western Carolina.

College Football Odds and Predictions – Western Carolina Catamounts at Oklahoma

How to Bet On Western Carolina vs #4 Oklahoma NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Memorial Stadium
  • TV: Pay-per-view
  • Stream: none
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: TBA

Why Bet on Western Carolina?

Saturday’s game will mark the first between OU and Western Carolina, which is under first-year coach Kerwin Bell. He was a walk-on quarterback at Florida, earning the starting job as a freshman after the starter was injured, and spent four seasons as the Gators’ starter.  He went on to play professionally for 14 seasons, briefly in the NFL and then in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League. Bell won two Division II championships as a coach.

The Catamounts lost their opener 38-21 against Eastern Kentucky. Freshman placekicker Paxton Robertson’s game-tying field goal of a career-long 56 yards was just short. QB Rogan Wells, who played under Bell at Valdosta State, completed 24 of 44 pass attempts for 275 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 67 yards and a score. Raphael Williams led eight WCU receivers with eight catches for a game-high 122 yards. TJ Jones rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown. WCU had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver for the first time since 2018 at Mercer.

It ended a streak of four-straight WCU first-year head coaches winning their debut on the Catamount sidelines dating back to 2002.

Saturday’s matchup at Oklahoma represents a fourth consecutive road game against a nationally-ranked FBS program for the Catamounts dating back to the finale of 2019. WCU fell at fifth-ranked Alabama (Nov. 23, 2019), 66-3, and played two ranked opponents last fall – a 58-14 loss at No. 22 Liberty (Nov. 14, 2020) and a 49-9 defeat in-state at No. 17 North Carolina (Dec. 5, 2020). Since 2006, WCU has played seven previous nationally-ranked FBS opponents

Western Carolina is 0-59 all-time against FBS opponents and 0-1 against Big 12 foes. WCU has scored its team-best 31 points against FBS foes twice in recent years – at USF in 2014 (L, 36-31) and in 2016 at SEC-foe, South Carolina (L, 44-31) in the season finale. WCU also scored 31 points at Florida State back in 1981.

Western Carolina offensive line coach Jon Cooper was a four-year starter along the offensive line at Oklahoma. He earned Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year in his senior season in 2008 while blocking for Heisman Trophy winner. Sam Bradford.

Why Bet on Oklahoma?

The Sooners escaped at home vs. Tulane last week 40-35 – the game was moved to Norman from New Orleans due to Hurricane Ida. Heisman candidate Spencer Rattler completed 30 of 39 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown, and rushed for a one-yard touchdown. It was his seventh career rushing TD. Rattler has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 12 career starts.

Oklahoma led by five in the fourth quarter and Tulane had possession, but quarterback Michael Pratt ran for 12 yards on a fourth-and-13 play. Tulane turned the ball over on downs, and Oklahoma ran out the clock. OU’s Gabe Brkic tied an FBS record with three field goals of 50 or more yards. No Sooner had ever made more than one 50-plus-yard field goal in a game.

Brkic’s eight career field goals of at least 50 yards are twice as many as the Sooners with the next most (Tony DiRienzo and Uwe von Schamann had four each), and his seven such boots since the start of the 2020 season lead the nation. It was his 15th career game with multiple made field goals, and his eighth straight game with at least two made field goals (dating back to the TCU game last year).

Oklahoma registered three fumble recoveries, all in the first half. That’s the same number of recoveries the Sooners had all of last season and one fewer than they had in 2019. OU has scored at least 27 points in a school-record 63 consecutive contests. The next longest streak nationally since at least 1980 is 31 by UCF (2017-19). The next longest active streak is 23 games by Alabama. The win was the Sooners’ ninth straight, good for the second-longest streak in the country.

As for this matchup, the Sooners are 10-3 against programs currently in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), but have played only six such games since the start of the 1952 season. OU is 23-2 (.920) in home games under Lincoln Riley and has outscored opponents by an average of 44.7 points to 27.8.

Expert Prediction

  • Oklahoma 45, Western Carolina 7

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