Best ATS bets for Week 7

Oklahoma over Texas ranks among week's top 10 value picks

Updated: October 11, 2013, 1:41 PM ET
By Will Harris | ESPN Insider

Blake BellKevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsLook for QB Blake Bell and Oklahoma to earn a big win over Texas on Saturday.

Through six weeks, Baylor, UCLA and Houston are the only teams clearly unbeaten versus the spread, though Missouri, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin could also qualify, depending upon which numbers are used in the reckoning.

Missouri, Baylor and UCLA are all teams whose stock with us has risen since the preseason, though only Baylor is more than a dark-horse threat to win a conference championship.

Houston is the impostor in the group; the Cougars' success is largely a product of a super-soft schedule that will probably yield a postseason berth, but this is not a top-50 squad.

A 3-7 mark in Week 6 dropped us to 29-31, below .500 for the first time this year. This week, we endorse a pair of interim coaches, remind readers that Florida is not a top team and explain why everybody likes Oklahoma going into Saturday's game versus Texas.


Oklahoma Sooners (-13.5) versus Texas Longhorns (Dallas)

ATS pick: Oklahoma

Sharps and squares alike will be sending it in on the Sooners this week, as it's evident that the porous Texas defense has few answers for a diverse Oklahoma rushing attack, especially with the linebacking corps in chaos following Jordan Hicks' absence. The Texas offense is likewise in trouble, unable to push the ball downfield effectively without quarterback David Ash.

The case for the Longhorns is mainly that a besieged team in a "make-a-stand" moment is getting two touchdowns. Those are indeed often the best spots, but don't invest in intangible advantages when the team in question has repeatedly demonstrated lousy intangibles.

And a "make-or-break" game is only really that if the verdict hasn't already been issued. No matter what happens in Dallas on Saturday, Longhorns fans, players and administrators alike already realize that this Texas team simply isn't good enough to turn in an acceptable season. It's hard to get behind even a last-ditch effort when there's nothing left to save. We expect Texas to hang in for a while, and for Oklahoma -- like most of Texas' recent opponents -- to dominate the second half.

Score: Oklahoma 45, Texas 21