The Big 12 regular season comes to a conclusion with the Bedlam Series rivalry game between the no. 7 Oklahoma Sooners and no. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST on Saturday, November 30 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Fans can watch all of the action on Fox.
Current odds have Oklahoma favored by 13 points on the road. There is also an over/under for the game set at 69.5 points. Be sure to check out all of the Week 14 college football betting odds.
The Sooners are clinging to slim hopes of making a return appearance in the College Football Playoff. To make it happen, Oklahoma is going to have to win out and get a lot of outside help. The problem is the Sooners have barely been able to keep themselves in the conversation. Since their upset loss to Kansas State, the Sooners have wins over Iowa State, Baylor, and TCU by a combined eight points. Oklahoma’s string of close calls makes it harder to believe they’ll get much consideration for a top-4 spot. Nevertheless, the Sooners will give themselves a chance if they can win this week and then beat Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.
The Cowboys, likewise, have endured plenty of close calls this season. Oklahoma State is currently riding a four-game winning streak, although three of those four wins have come by just seven points. Losses to the likes of Baylor, Texas, and Texas Tech earlier in the year cost the Cowboys any chance at getting to the Big 12 title game. However, the 8-3 Cowboys have already wrapped up a bowl bid for the 14th consecutive year under Mike Gundy. Oklahoma State also has a chance to win at least 10 games for the seventh time in the last 11 years if they can beat Oklahoma and win their bowl game.
On top of getting the chance to win 10 games, the Cowboys simply want to get a win over their in-state rivals. Oklahoma State has just two wins over the last 16 games in the Bedlam Series. The Sooners have dominated this rivalry for most of the current century, including wins in four consecutive years. Of course, Oklahoma only survived by a single point in last year’s meeting, which should give the Cowboys hope that they can pull off the upset this year at home.
After losing four straight games against the spread, now is the time to jump off the Oklahoma bandwagon. That’s not to say the Sooners are suddenly a bad team. In fact, I fully expect them to win the Big 12 title. But they aren’t dominating teams the way we’re accustomed to seeing and they surely aren’t putting together 60 good minutes on both sides of the ball. That’s enough for me to take a motivated Oklahoma State team to beat the spread and possibly pull off the upset.
The one concern with Oklahoma State is starting quarterback Spencer Sanders being sidelined by a thumb injury. Senior Dru Brown made the surprise start last week against West Virginia. Of course, Brown was the primary starter throughout most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, so he has no shortage of experience under his belt. Plus, he nearly beat out Sanders for the job in training camp. The most pressing difference is that Brown doesn’t have the same abilities as a runner as Sanders, which takes away from an important dimension of the OSU offense. But as a passer, there shouldn’t be much drop-off.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, they have Chuba Hubbard to carry the rushing attack. Despite a modest performance last week against West Virginia, Hubbard has over 1,800 rushing yards this season and has scored 20 touchdowns. To be fair, the Oklahoma front-7 has impressed at times this year and surely has the talent to contain the Oklahoma State running game. But the Sooners have also been hurt on the ground a few times this year. With Hubbard being arguably the best back the Sooners have faced this year, I think the Cowboys will have plenty of success running the ball.
Meanwhile, something seems a little off with the OU offense these days. They continue to run the ball and dominate time of possession, but they’re also going through long stretches without much production. They scored just seven points in the second half last week against TCU and had only 10 at halftime against Baylor. Most importantly, the Sooners have turned it over 10 times in their last four games, which is holding back their offense in a meaningful way.
Of course, I won’t argue that Oklahoma State is anything special defensively. But the Cowboys haven’t been too bad on that side of the ball. They’ve held both Kansas and West Virginia to just 13 points in their last two games. OSU has actually held five of their eight Big 12 opponents to under 30 points, including four in a row. If that trend continues, the Cowboys should have no problem keeping this game within 13 points.
On the off chance the Sooners wake up and put together a complete game, they’re more than capable of covering the spread and winning in lopsided fashion. But it’s hard to trust Oklahoma after the way they’ve played over the past month. The Cowboys are more than good enough to make this a close, competitive game if the Sooners aren’t at their best. That’s enough to make me feel comfortable taking Oklahoma State to beat the 13-point spread.