In the biggest game of the season in the Big 12 with the Conference Title at stake, the No. 4 Baylor Bears (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) visit the No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) on Saturday, November 23. The Cowboys had won six straight in this series before falling to the Bears on the road by a final of 34-41 in 2012.
Kickoff at Boone Pickens Stadium is scheduled for 8:00 EST Saturday night with ABC providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, then you will be working with a line of Baylor -10 over Oklahoma State and a total set of 78 points.
Why Baylor Covers
The Bears have simply been rolling over the competition all season long en route to a perfect 9-0 record. They have won all nine games by double-digits, including eight by 29 points or more. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 43.8 points per game on the season and have proven that they are not afraid to run up the scoreboard. They play at a fast pace for four quarters, and Art Briles is not going to change that strategy, especially with the possibility of playing in the BCS Championship depending on it.
Baylor is scoring 61.2 points per game while averaging 684.4 yards per game to rank 1st in the country in total offense. It has been nearly as impressive on the other side of the ball, allowing 17.4 points and 322.6 yards per game to rank 10th in the country in total defense. Bryce Petty deserves Heisman Trophy consideration, completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 3,002 yards with 24 touchdowns against one interception. He has also rushed for 10 scores this year. Antwan Goodley has 49 receptions for 1,085 yards and 11 touchdowns, and his speed makes him a match-up nightmare.
The Bears were hitting on all cylinders offensively last year when they racked up 615 total yards in a 41-34 home win over Oklahoma State. That Baylor team was OK, but this is the best Baylor team the program has ever seen. Briles has built a monster down in Waco, and it will be unleashed against the Cowboys this weekend. Given the circumstances and the need for a blowout road win against a Top 10 team, don’t be surprised at all to see Briles make sure the offense is running at the fastest tempo possible.
Baylor is 8-0 against the spread versus good offensive teams that score 34 or more points per game over the last two seasons. The Bears are 21-5 against the number in their last 26 games overall. Baylor is 14-3 against the spread in its last 17 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Bears are 11-1 against the number in their last 12 games following an ATS win. Baylor is 8-0 against the spread after gaining 450 or more total yards in five consecutive games over the past five seasons.
The Bears are 21-5 against the number in their last 26 games overall.
Why Oklahoma State Covers
Baylor has played a very soft schedule to this point. This will be by far its toughest test of the season against an Oklahoma State team that is fully capable of winning the Big 12. The Bears have only had to play two true road games this year, and they weren’t impressive on one of them. They only beat Kansas State by a final of 35-25 as a 17-point favorite. There’s no question that the Cowboys are better than K-State, having already beaten the Wildcats earlier this season.
Oklahoma State comes in playing its best football of the season. It has gone 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in its last six games overall. It just went into Texas and came away with a 38-13 victory last weekend behind a dominant effort defensively. The Cowboys have been tremendous on that side of the football all year, giving up just 19.0 points and 373.1 yards per game to rank 39th in the country in total defense. They have forced an average of 2.6 turnovers per game as well with a ball-hawking secondary.
Offensively, the Cowboys are putting up 40.4 points per game this season to continue their success on this side of the ball in the Mike Gundy era. Clint Chelf has really picked up his play of late at the quarterback position. He has thrown 11 touchdowns passes while also rushing for 325 yards and five scores on the season despite splitting time earlier in the year with J.W. Walsh. Baylor has some injury concerns offensively. It is without second-leading receiver Tevin Reese for the remainder of the season. Also, leading rusher Lache Seastrunk is questionable to play Saturday due to a groin injury.
Plays on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (OKLAHOMA ST) – with an opportunistic defense – forcing 2.5 or more turnovers/game, after two consecutive game where they committed one or less turnovers are 44-17 (72.1%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Cowboys are 9-1 against the spread in thier last 10 home games. Oklahoma State is 25-10 against the spread in its last 35 games following a S.U. win. The Cowboys are 5-0 against the number in their last five conference games. Baylor is 0-7 against the spread in its last seven meetings at Oklahoma State.
My Early Lean: Baylor -10