Free College Football Picks: Baylor at Oklahoma State Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 11/21/2013
For the second straight week, Baylor is playing in one of the two games we are previewing. That’s because for the second straight week their game is one of the two biggest being played when they face off at Oklahoma State. This week’s mega-showdown in the Big 12 makes last week’s game against Texas Tech look like an exhibition game.
Neither team can clinch the Big 12 with a win here, but they will be the only team from among the three still in the hunt for the title to control their own destiny with a week remaining. Both teams would win the Big 12 with a win here, and a win in their final games of the season — against TCU and Texas for Baylor, and Oklahoma for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys would be eliminated from contention if they lose. Baylor could still win if they lose here as long as they beat TCU and Texas and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State. Amazingly, given all the drama surrounding the team and their coaching staff, Texas wins the conference if they beat Texas Tech and Baylor and Oklahoma State loses one of their final two.
On paper, it’s hard to find a game that is more intriguing. The Cowboys have symmetry — they have scored the 14th most points per game in the country (40.4) and allowed the 14th fewest (19). Baylor is tops in points scored with 61.2 points per game, but they are also seventh best defensively with just 17.4 points allowed. The offenses would lead you to think that this could be a crazy shootout — last possession wins. Given the strength of both defenses, though, anything can happen. The defenses could disrupt the opposing offenses, but this is the biggest test either unit has faced all year, so until we see what happens all we can do is make an educated guess.
Baylor at Oklahoma State Betting Storylines
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Baylor’s win over Texas Tech — a dominating victory after a slow start — was that they scored 63 points despite playing without their most productive receiver and the top two running backs on their depth chart. That’s a clear sign of just how deep and impressive the offense is and how effective and well-ingrained the system is. They need strong rushing performances in the last three games of the year, but the Bears have a chance to be the first program ever to average more than 300 yards per game rushing and more than 300 through the air in the same season. Just think about that for a second. Amazing.
To win here Baylor needs to overcome one heck of a historical trend. The Bears have not won a game in Stillwater since 1939. Baylor won the meeting last year as four-point home underdogs, but they had lost six in a row up to that point — including a humiliating setback in Robert Griffin III’s Heisman year. This is quite probably the best Baylor team there has ever been, though, so relying too heavily on history here would be a mistake.
While both teams have impressive offenses, there is a bit of a mismatch at quarterback. Oklahoma State has used two players primarily — J.W. Walsh, and more recently Clint Chelf. The numbers for both have been reasonably pedestrian — a combined 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, for example. Chelf is back as the starter right now, but the senior could be described more as a journeyman than a difference-maker. The same can’t be said for Baylor’s Bryce Petty. In just his first year as a starter, Petty has fought his way into the heart of the Heisman race, and barring a major setback he is likely to get himself invited to New York for the ceremony — at the least. He has passed for more than 300 yards and has 24 touchdown passes with just a single interception. He also has 10 more touchdowns on the ground.
Baylor at Oklahoma State Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Baylor favored by 10.5 points on the road, and it has since fallen to the key number of 10 — with 9.5 available in several spots. Action has been slightly tilted towards the Cowboys, so the line movement makes sense. The total sits at 78.
The Bears are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games in November but 0-7 ATS in their last seven trips to Stillwater. The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last five games and 6-0 ATS in their last six in November. The Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with a winning road record.
Free College Football Picks: Baylor at Oklahoma State Predictions
I have respect for the Cowboys and what they have been doing, and their home-field advantage is significant. I just don’t see a way to go against the Bears here, though. They have answered any challenge they have faced this year, and they have done it in style. Their offense is ridiculous, and I don’t have faith that the Cowboys can slow it down nearly enough. I also don’t trust that Oklahoma State will be able to run the ball well enough to do all that they will want to do here. The Bears are the pick, and I would shop hard to find that 9.5 number for extra security.
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