Besides USC and LSU, no one was more fixed in college football news cycles this offseason than Oklahoma. Granted, most of their headlines revolved around now-ex coach Lincoln Riley making the most surprising coaching move of all time and bolting for USC. Riley became the first Oklahoma coach to leave for another job since 1973. But that’s in the past and the Sooners are under the direction of former DC Brent Venables.
This page will serve as a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Oklahoma Sooners for the 2022 season. How did their splash additions (and subtractions) affect their college football odds this coming year?
Week 1 Odds: Oklahoma (0-0) Vs. UTEP (0-1)
While UTEP was far from a pushover team last year, this game serves as a nice first look at UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel and the Venables Sooners. Oklahoma is a huge point favorite in this one, nearly un-actionable for the average college football bettor.
Oklahoma odds, 2022 team preview
Comparisons to past Oklahoma teams are inevitable this coming season. After all, Riley turned out two Heisman winners and first overall picks plus another Heisman finalist in his last four seasons. The contrast of Venables’ defensive focus is stark to Riley’s offense. OK– that’s out of the way.
Gabriel was a massive land in the transfer portal, but perhaps as important for the Sooners was hiring Ole Miss OC Jeff Lebby as their own OC. Lebby helped turn Matt Corral into a Heisman contender for much of last year and Ole Miss into one of the most potent offenses despite playing in the SEC West. Now he reunites with Gabriel (who he coached at UCF) and faces an easier crop of defenses in the Big 12.
Leading the receiving corps is Marvin Mims– a deep threat who recorded 22 yards per reception in 2021. There’s a ton of vacated targets left by transfer departures Mario Williams (USC) and Jaden Haselwood (Arkansas) that should go Mims’ way. Should his target share increase enough while his usage remains consistent, Mims could be leading the nation in receiving yards by year’s end.
Two offensive linemen return from last year, but that group was one of the worst for Oklahoma, allowing 33 sacks. Those sacks turned into turnovers and likely aided the benching of Spencer Rattler.
Defensively, Oklahoma should be improved despite returning just two starters: LB DaShaun White and DB D.J. Graham. Even outside of Venables’ scheme, the Sooners have a stout defensive line that will likely cause opposing OLs serious issues.
OU handles Baylor and Oklahoma State at home this season. Their out-of-conference schedule features home stints with UTEP and Kent State and a blockbuster showdown at Nebraska. FPI ranks Oklahoma’s strength of schedule 41st nationally, but the third-easiest in the Big 12. They are also projected to be favored in every regular season game this year.
One thing to watch for
While Gabriel is immensely talented, he’s had multiple injury concerns over the course of his time at UCF. He’s not the biggest or strongest QB and Oklahoma’s offensive line was abysmal last season. Three starters from that OL depart and that leaves the door open for doubt this season.
Furthermore, Oklahoma’s run game fixes to be fairly un-intimidating with the departure of Kennedy Brooks. If the Sooners’ OL can hold up and keep Gabriel upright and healthy, OU is going to be a real problem in the Big 12. Lebby’s aggressiveness matches well with Gabriel’s confidence and high-flying ability against stiff competition.
Players to watch
- QB Dillon Gabriel: His transfer to Oklahoma was vastly overshadowed by his predecessor’s departure, but landing Gabriel in the portal is nothing to overlook. At UCF, he threw for over 8,000 yards and 70 touchdowns in two seasons and some change. Gabriel’s most productive season came in tandem with Lebby, who was in Orlando at the time (2019). Expect Gabriel to be nearly as productive as the recent string of stars in Norman.
- WR Marvin Mims: Mims has always been a low-volume, high-efficiency target. Last season, he averaged a staggering 22 yards per reception, but it was on just 32 catches and included five TDs, both down from his freshman season. Despite a moderately underwhelming year (not really to his own fault), Mims is a strong candidate for an All-Big 12 finish by year’s end and is a big winner with all of the vacated targets this offseason.
- LB DaShaun White: White’s one of just two starters returning to Oklahoma on defense this year. He finished third on the team in tackles last season (66) and fixes to be the centerpiece of Venables’ defense this year. White benefits from another strong DL unit ahead of him, which should open up alleys and tee him up for a very productive 2022.
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Oklahoma schedule and betting odds
|9/3/22||vs. UTEP||3:30 p.m.||-33|
|9/10/22||vs. Kent State||7:00 p.m.||OTB|
|9/17/22||at Nebraska||12:00 p.m.||-5|
|9/24/22||vs. Kansas State||TBA||OTB|
|10/29/22||at Iowa State||TBA||-4|
|11/12/22||at West Virginia||TBA||OTB|
|11/19/22||vs. Oklahoma State||TBA||-7|
|11/26/22||at Texas Tech||TBA||OTB|
|12/3/22||Big 12 Championship||TBA|
Oklahoma Sooners futures odds
College football futures odds will continue to shift as the season progresses. Because of the length of college football schedules, futures odds may shift dramatically week-to-week.
Oklahoma win total
Oddsmakers don’t foresee a major regression for Oklahoma’s wins this season, lining them for over wins. Their favorable schedule will almost certainly help them challenge that number.
Odds to win 2023 National Championship
Should the Sooners string together an 11- or 12-win regular season and win the Big 12, they’ll almost be assured a spot in the College Football Playoff. Because of that, Oklahoma is never far off the top of annual National Championship odds. This year, they’re priced at – below the top tier but firmly in the mix.
Odds to win Big 12 Championship
Almost an annual favorite at this point, Oklahoma finds themselves back atop Big 12 odds boards at . However, Texas doesn’t lurk far behind.
Bet on the Oklahoma Sooners
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