Free Expert NCAA Football Picks: Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 11/20/2014
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears, Saturday Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m. ET
Baylor has the top scoring offense in the country, has lost just once, plays in a decent conference, and has a win over the other top team in the Big-12. Despite all of that, though, they don't control their own destiny and will likely only make it into the inaugural four-team playoff if several teams in front of them really falter. It only barely seems fair, but that's what you get for scheduling cupcakes. SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo is just a terrible nonconference schedule - especially for a team that wants to be a legitimate contender.
They currently sit seventh in the playoff rankings. All they can do is win their last three games, and win them impressively, and then hope for the best. It all starts here. Unfortunately, a win against Oklahoma State doesn't look nearly as good now as it seemed like it might earlier in the year. They took Florida State to the limit in their opener, and then won their next five games. Unfortunately, though, as soon as they entered the heart of their schedule they promptly lost to the four best conference opponents they faced, and each loss was convincing. Now, with just Baylor and Oklahoma remaining on the schedule, bowl eligibility seems unlikely. This is just likely another win that will reinforce the arguments of those that believe that Baylor hasn't done enough to prove themselves playoff-worthy.
At some point you have to wonder if the frustration of the helplessness of their situation will lead them to play below their potential. Their bad loss at West Virginia shows that they aren't always the most focused of teams.
Oklahoma State at Baylor Betting Storylines
You don't have to work very hard to find a storyline that is a major reason for concern for the Cowboys in this one. Baylor is tops in the country in both scoring and total yards and third in passing yards with 354.2 per game. Oklahoma State basically doesn't play defense. They rank 91st in points allowed and a horrific 119th in passing yards allowed. They have a defense that Baylor will be able to exploit basically at will. That means a whole lot of points will be scored. The only way to beat a team that scores a whole lot of points is, obviously, to score more. The Cowboys have averaged just 10 points per game over the last four games. It just doesn't look very good for the Cowboys, does it?
As if that wasn't bad enough, the Cowboys could be without their top QB - such as it is - for this game. QB Daxx Garman, in his first year of starting, was sacked by Texas seven times last week and is now dealing with a concussion. He hasn't practiced all week and is questionable to start against the Bears. If he can't play then the next in line is likely Mason Rudolph, a freshman who would have to burn his redshirt to play. That's hardly inspiring. The Bears average more than 50 points per game. The Cowboys have not scored that many points once, and given their struggles lately offensively, if the team was at all optimistic about Rudolph in the short term he would have played by now.
Oklahoma State at Baylor Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Baylor favored by 24 points, but that quickly adjusted to 26.5 points and has since climbed through the key number 28 to 28.5. Nearly 80 percent of bets have been placed on the Bears, so the movement makes sense. The total opened at 69 and has since fallen to 67.5 - likely in reflection of Garman's status.
The Cowboys are o-4 ATS in their last four road games and 0-7 ATS in their last seven against teams with winning records. They are, however, 7-1 ATS in their last eight against the Bears. The Bears are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games coming off a bye week.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears Expert NCAA Football Predictions and Picks
This many points is a whole lot to give up, but you really don't have a choice here. Taking the Cowboys means trusting them to be able to keep it close. Their defense is porous, they are playing lousy lately against good competition, and their offense is already bad and could reasonably be even worse. Five of their eight wins have been by more than 28.5 points, and there is no real reason to think that this one couldn't be. The Bears are the pick.
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