Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns Expert Picks with Odds and Predictions
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns, Noon, Saturday Oct. 21
Handicapping college football is all about the week after.
I know that might sound a little Zen. But the fact is that college football players are erratic. And their performance one week has a direct impact on their effort and execution the next week. The only way to successfully handicap a team is to try to predict how they will respond to the success or failure of the previous week, weighted against other motivational and situational factors at play for the upcoming game.
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For example, Oklahoma State is coming off their best offensive effort of the season in a demolition of Baylor last week. Will they keep ascending or are they destined to come back to reality? On the flip side, Texas is coming off an emotionally draining loss against their biggest rival. Will the Longhorns build off their second half surge against Oklahoma, which ultimately came up short, or will they fall flat this week facing another team from the Sooner State?
No. 11 Oklahoma State will take on Texas at noon on Saturday, Oct. 21, in a game with significant Big 12 ramifications. The visiting Cowboys have been posted as seven-point favorites and the total is set at 65.0.
Oklahoma State at Texas Betting Storylines
Heading into the season, Oklahoma was the clear-cut favorite to win the Big 12. However, both Oklahoma State and Texas kept popping up as sleeper teams to potentially dethrone the Sooners. Both the Cowboys (to TCU) and Longhorns (to OU) have suffered early conference losses. So whichever team falls this Saturday will be behind the eight ball in regards to earning one of the top two spots in the league and earning a trip to the Big 12 title game.
Oklahoma State boasts the No. 1 offense in the country and is basically unstoppable. The Cowboys average 617 total yards and an incredible 48.8 points per game. The triumvirate of quarterback Mason Rudolph, receiver James Washington and running back Justice Hill are as good as any group of skill players in the nation. And the scary part is that the Cowboys offense has been getting better; they are coming off a season-high 747 yards and 59 points against Baylor last week.
The Cowboys are going to put plenty of pressure on a Texas defense that is ranked No. 109 in the nation in pass defense. The Longhorns have been solid up front rushing the passer and stopping the run. But they surrendered 29 points to the Sooners last week and 34 to Kansas State before that, and neither of those squads is packing the heat that the Cowboys will bring to the table this week.
Conversely, Texas' improving rushing attack could make some headway against a mediocre Oklahoma State front seven. Texas is averaging 223 rushing yards per game at home while the Cowboys have allowed three opponents to run for over 200 yards this year.
The big question for Texas this week is how will they respond to their disappointing loss in the Red River Rivalry last week. The Longhorns fell behind 20-0 before making a furious comeback, taking a 24-23 lead with eight minutes to play only to allow a game-deciding 59-yard touchdown pass just one minute later.
The natural reaction is to think that Texas would have a letdown after such a draining rivalry game. However, history has proven differently. The Longhorns are an outstanding 18-1 straight up and 14-4 against the spread in the game following the Red River Rivalry.
The Cowboys have had the upper hand in this series, going 4-1 straight up and 5-2 against the spread recently. That includes a 49-31 win in Stillwater last season and a hard-fought 30-27 win in their last trip to Austin, in 2015.
Oklahoma State at Texas Odds and Betting Trends
Oklahoma State opened as a 6.0-point favorite and was immediately bet up to 7.0. The Cowboys have taken two-thirds of the action in this game. The total has actually taken a slight dip in this game, opening at 66.0 and slipping to 64.5.
The Cowboys are a solid 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games and are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. They have been favored in every game this season and are a healthy 4-2 ATS in those contests. The favorite is an overwhelming 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings between these two teams.
The road team has dominated in this series. The visitor has won seven of the last eight meetings and the road team is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Oklahoma State is 5-0 ATS in their last five trips to Austin.
Texas has turned it on after their disappointing opener against Maryland, going 5-0 ATS in their last five games. Four of those covers have come against teams that are above .500. The Longhorns are also 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games.
As for the total, Oklahoma State has been able to beat even their own lofty totals expectations, going 'over' in 13 of 18 Big 12 games. Texas, however, has been a dead red 'under' bet. They have gone just 16-35 in their last 51 games overall and just 17-35 in their last 52 conference games. Texas is 7-22 in their last 29 games against a team with a winning record.
Oklahoma State at Texas Predictions and Picks
Texas deserves to be an underdog in this game. But they certainly won't be scared. Oklahoma State will be the third team the Longhorns have faced this year that has spent time ranked inside the Top 10. Texas lost by just three points in overtime at USC and they fell by just five points to Oklahoma last week. This is the first top-tier opponent that Texas gets to tangle with in Austin.
It is really difficult to bet against Oklahoma State because, frankly, no one can stop the Cowboys offense. The Cowboys' only loss this year came against TCU and was the result of four backbreaking turnovers. But Oklahoma State still scored 31 points in that game and drew to within 37-31 with three minutes to play there.
Tom Herman's teams are a rock solid 8-0 ATS as an underdog in his time at Houston and Texas. But, despite the historical trends, I do have to wonder what Texas has left in the tank after what has been a brutal month (OT vs. USC, OT vs. K-State and Oklahoma). Can they find the juice to get back up for this game? I think they can - for a bit. Texas will hang around in this game, but I have a hard time seeing Oklahoma State leave Austin without a win.
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