Oklahoma Football: Projecting a win total for the 2021 season

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Spring Game
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OU may be a double-digit favorite in every game it plays during the regular season.

With preseason practices starting for the Oklahoma Sooners, this seems like as good of a time as to put together a projected win total for the team this year.

I do this exercise every year. As a refresher, here’s how it works:

  • Using my own set of power ratings, I set a point spread for every game on OU’s schedule.
  • Based on the point spreads, I determine the likelihood the Sooners will win each game.
  • I convert that likelihood to a fraction of a win.
  • Lastly, I tally up the fractions of wins to estimate a projected total for the end of the season.

As an example, a three-point favorite in a game historically wins 57% of the time. That translates into 0.57 wins for the purpose of creating a projected total. If the Sooners were favored by three points in each of their 12 games in the regular season, they would have a projected win total of 6.84.

Here’s what I came up with for OU in 2021.


A few notes:

*BetMGM currently has OU sitting at -120 to go over 11 wins and even money for under. A projected total of roughly 11.1 doesn’t make for a compelling bet either way there.

*The Sooners favored by double digits in every game? Yikes. I don’t feel good about that level of optimism.

*Even though OU has won five of its last seven meetings against the Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl, the Red River Shootout hasn’t been decided by more than eight points since 2013. Twelve points may feel high, but this year’s matchup could be the last time for a while that one team has a clear upper hand.

*I may not have set the spread high enough for the Kansas game.

*Would any of these games qualify as a trap spot or danger game? Perhaps TCU, which comes right after the Texas game. Playing the Horned Frogs in Norman calms the nerves, though.

*It may not have the lowest line, but Bedlam sets up as the wildest game of the season. The events of the last month portend a charged atmosphere in Stillwater over Thanksgiving weekend.