Free College Football Pick for Thursday: Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
by CarbonSports - 9/22/2014
Week 5 of the college football season kicks off with a great double header of action on Thursday night with the Big 12 and Pac-12 taking center stage. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State get things going with the Cowboys two-TD home favorites, while two ranked Pac-12 rivals (UCLA and Arizona State) are the night cap with one of those teams leaving the field with their first loss of the season.
With UCLA QB Brett Hundley's status still up in the air this week, its the Big 12 game that's grabbed my attention, so let's get right to the preview.
CarbonSports.ag Betting Line: Texas Tech (+14.5) vs. Oklahoma State (-14.5)
It's not a huge surprise that OK State enters this game has a heavy favorite given the fact that they've owned this rivalry the last five years. Oklahoma State is 5-0 SU and ATS against the Red Raiders since 2009 and the games haven't been close. In their last four wins the Cowboys have won by 18, 38, 60, and 17 points with Texas Tech struggling to get a defensive stop. The Cowboys have another great offensive attack this year with 31, 40 and 43 points scored in their three games this year, so it's not like the Red Raiders will completely shut them down. The bigger question here is whether or not Texas Tech's offense can keep up with all those points to keep this game close, otherwise it will look a lot like those past losses awfully quick.
Both teams had a bye during Week 4 to prepare for this Thursday night tilt and that likely helps Texas Tech out a bit more. The Red Raiders were beat up to the tune of a 49-28 score at home vs. Arkansas last time out as their sieve-like defense made an unwanted appearance. However, the silver lining with a loss like that is the fact that Texas Tech is 10-4-1 ATS after a double-digit home loss and the extra week of prep should have them looking sharp here. Kliff Kingsbury's bunch knows that they won't keep be able to shut down the Cowboys attack, they merely have to slow it down and keep that offense on the sidelines for as long as possible. The Red Raiders have yet to cover a spread this season which is why I predict many bettors will have no problem laying the points here with Oklahoma State, but I will not be one of them.
I say that because when you've got an old fashioned shootout between two teams that love to throw the ball deep and light up the scoreboard, a lot of the time the game is determined by who wins the turnover battle and/or who's got the ball last. More than two TD's is a lot to lay for a young team (8 of 22 returning starters from last year are back) who's been sitting back and listening to how great they've been to start the season. Oklahoma State is 2-1 SU, but that one loss (37-31) came to the defending national champions from Florida State in Week 1 as the Cowboys gave the Seminoles all they could handle and more. Since then it's been two cupcakes and a bye week for Oklahoma State and that soft stretch really softens the mental edge of a team. Add in the fact that they've been beating up on the Red Raiders for five straight seasons and this game will end up closer than a lot of people think.
Take Texas Tech +14.5
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