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Texas vs. Oklahoma: Where’s the Smart Money Going in the Red River Showdown?

This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research

It’s going down at the Cotton Bowl! Lock in for college football Week 6 with a big Oklahoma vs. Texas prediction, plus the latest odds and insights from FanDuel.

As Kip proclaimed about his blossoming romantic relationship in Napoleon Dynamite, college football is at the point in the year where “I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.”

Notably, Week 6 in college football features the annual Red River Rivalry between the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 3 Texas Longhorns. As is tradition, Dallas’ Cotton Bowl will serve as host for the two hated sides; something tells me this year’s rendition will deliver in a major way.

In the 3 p.m. eastern spot, I’m thrilled for a Pac-12 matchup between the No. 13 Washington State Cougars and UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Wazzu has not defeated UCLA in Pasadena since 2015, but perhaps that changes this weekend.

From there, a heavyweight SEC clash between the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats and defending national champion No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs awaits in the early evening window. At about the same time, the No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will visit the No. 25 Louisville Cardinals.

Let’s dive into Saturday’s slate with a big Colorado vs. Oregon prediction and scope out the most valuable college football picks on the traditional betting markets.

Texas vs. Oklahoma Prediction & Odds: College Football Week 6

All college football odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.

  • Neutral location: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
  • Time: 12 p.m. EST
  • TV: ABC
  • Spread: TEX -5.5
  • Moneyline: OU +176/TEX -215
  • Total: 60.5

Transparently, even folks who don’t follow sports know that OU and UT brew a fierce resentment for one another. On the gridiron, the Longhorns lead the all-time series against Oklahoma 63-50-5 dating back to 1900; that’s nearly 125 years of direct history.

As has been the case every year since 1929 (with exception of the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium), the head-to-head meeting will be held at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, which results in an approximate 200-mile trip from opposite directions for these programs. In 2022, Texas blanked the Sooners 49-0 — the Longhorns’ first shutout in the series since 1965.

Oklahoma and UT both enter the upcoming game at 5-0. The Sooners are also 5-0 against the spread (ATS) while the ‘Horns have covered thrice. OU is fresh off dismantling the Iowa State Cyclones, 50-20, while Texas bullied the Kansas Jayhawks last week, 40-14.

Naturally, this could be the ‘Horns and Sooners final meetings as members of the Big 12 and not the SEC, which is sort of crazy to think about.

Texas vs. Oklahoma prediction based on numberFire projection model. A spread of 5.5 points and a total of 60.5 implies a final score of approximately 33-27.5 in favor of Texas.

OU vs. Texas Best Bet: Oklahoma +5.5 (-105)

Head coach Brent Venables seems to have re-bolstered Oklahoma’s football program following Lincoln Riley’s Hollywood departure. Even with all the hype around Texas this season, the Sooners actually chime in higher on ESPN’s 2023 college football power index; OU is second in the entire nation (25.8 FPI) with the Longhorns close behind at fourth (24.2).

Showing skills in many different offensive schemes, Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (89.4 QBR) has been electric this year. As a unit, Oklahoma is averaging 47.4 points per game in the current campaign, which is the fourth-best scoring clip in FBS right now. He has an elite receiving corps in Andrew AnthonyJalil FarooqNic Anderson, and Drake Stoops, the son of legendary OU coach Bob Stoops.

I can absolutely respect what the Longhorns have built over the past two seasons. Starting signal-caller Quinn Ewers has a great throwing arm while tailback Jonathon Brooks is filling Bijan Robinson’s void quite nicely behind 6.94 yards per carry. Simply, I think this Saturday’s game in Dallas will be a nail biter. Counting on this one being decided by less than a touchdown, I like OU getting five points with a hook.

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Washington State vs. UCLA Odds & Best Bet

  • Time: 3 p.m. EST
  • TV: Pac-12 Network
  • Spread: UCLA -3.5 (-104)
  • Moneyline: WSU +136/UCLA -164
  • Total: 60.5

Quietly, this contest could wind up being the best game of the week. Out at Pasadena’s historic Rose Bowl, Washington State should feel just a little disrespected. They come into this conference matchup at 4-0 straight up (SU). Still, all shops across America have the Bruins as home favorites despite recent speedbumps in UCLA’s offense.

Head coach Jake Dickert is in his second full season leading the pack in Pullman. Of course, he took over for Nick Rolovich — who is attempting to sue Wazzu after his firing — midway through the 2021 campaign. In the current year, Dickert has meshed brilliantly with star quarterback Cameron Ward.

In four contests, Ward is averaging 347.25 passing yards per game on 9.9 yards per attempt. He has also scored thrice with his legs in 2023. It all equates to Ward holding the eighth-best QBR (86.5) in the country right now. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Ward is tied for the seventh-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy.

The Bruins had been building under head coach Chip Kelly and current NFL backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. With DTR gone, this is Kelly’s first season in Westwood without him. That gives the keys to the car to freshman signal-caller Dante Moore. Still, the young quarterback had a harsh introduction to Pac-12 play, completing only 42.9% of his passes in a 14-7 loss at the No. 18 Utah Utes.

UCLA vs. WSU Best Bet: Washington State +3.5 (-118)

After starting conference action on September 23rd, both of these programs were without games last weekend. Wazzu is riding the momentum of defeating the No. 15 Oregon State Beavers in their most recent outing while, as mentioned, UCLA is attempting to get their offense moving after a dismal showing in Salt Lake City. Despite everyone favoring the Bruins this weekend, I have been significantly more impressed by Washington State.

The Cougars (3-1 against the spread) have twice been priced as underdogs this season, winning both contests outright. After seeing their explosive upset performance versus a stout Oregon State team, wherein Wazzu produced 38 points behind 528 total yards of offense, I am high on the Cougs. Still undefeated SU, I will lay +3.5 with WSU at the Rose Bowl — a venue that typically does not draw a huge student section for UCLA.

Notre Dame vs. Louisville Odds & Best Bet: Odds: College Football Week 6

  • Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • TV: ABC
  • Spread: ND -6.5
  • Moneyline: ND -245/LOU +198
  • Total: 53.5

The No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are running the gamut right now, having just split games with two very good teams in the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 19 Duke Blue Devils. This week, the Irish will travel to the No. 25 Louisville Cardinals before hosting the rival No. 9 USC Trojans on Oct. 14th. I think this is what they call “crunch time.”

On the Ohio-Kentucky border, Louisville is no slouch. They are currently an undefeated 5-0 in 2023, yet, three of their four victories against FBS opponents have been by a single score. They are led by native son and head coach Jeff Brohm, who is in his first season at the helm for his alma mater. As such, the Cardinals are off to their best start in the past 10 years.

Notre Dame and Louisville have not shared the football field together since 2020. On that night, the Cards almost upset a then No. 4 Irish side, but Notre Dame held on for a 12-7 win. However, both programs are in drastically different places since then.

Notre Dame vs. Louisville Best Bet: ND -6.5 (-110)

I absolutely respect what Brohm has done with his Cardinals, but head coach Marcus Freeman has Notre Dame as a national contender in just his second season. At FanDuel Sportsbook, the Irish have +750 odds (12th-best) to qualify for the upcoming College Football Playoff.

The Domers have shown on more than one occasion in 2023 that they can go toe-to-toe with premiere programs while Louisville’s toughest test this year came against the unranked North Carolina State Wolfpack (2.2 FPI; 52nd in FBS).

According to the college football game projections on numberFire, Notre Dame is estimated to defeat the Cardinals on Saturday by a score of 29.55-21.05. Confidently, that leaves a margin of 8.5 points, which would obviously work favorably for Irish -6.5 supporters. In Bourbon Country, I think N.D. wins one for the Gipper.

— Gabriel Santiago

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Boardroom Staff