Purdue Boilermakers (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview
Date/Time: Tuesday January 1st, 2013. 12:00PM Eastern
Where: Cotton Bowl Stadium Dallas, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pur +17/OSU -17
Over/Under Total: 70
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Representatives from the Big 12 and Big 10 will meet in Dallas when the Oklahoma State Cowboys battle the Purdue Boilermakers in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 6-6 Boilermakers struggled for the majority of 2012 but rallied to win their final 3 games to earn a bowl bid. Unfortunately history does not favor Purdue or other Big 10 teams as it relates to the Heart of Dallas Bowl’s short history. Not only are Big 10 teams 0-2 but the Boilermakers will be large 17 point underdogs when they meet the Cowboys on New Year’s Day.
Oklahoma State’s 17 point spread is the largest of any other favorite in postseason games this year. The Cowboys will ride into Dallas off a 7-5 season marked by a pair of disappointing close losses in the final two games of the year against Oklahoma and Baylor. However, Oklahoma State houses one of the most potent offenses in the country averaging 548 total yards per game (5th in FBS). The Boilermakers have struggled tremendously on defense this year giving up 407 yards per game. It can be argued that the Big 10 has some rather vanilla offenses and Oklahoma State’s dynamic passing attack can be accredited to the rather large 17 point spread.
In fact more than 70% of the betting public is still favoring the Cowboys to cover that 17 point spread and why not? Despite suffering several injuries at the quarterback position this year, Oklahoma State has still averaged lethal numbers in the air by passing for 333 yards (7th in FBS) per game. Three different quarterbacks have started this season and have combined to throw for 4,001 yards with 26 scores and 16 picks. Junior QB Clint Chelf will get the start against Purdue after receiving the majority of the starts during the latter part of the year. Chelf posted solid numbers in terms of yards during his starts this season with 12 touchdowns in 6 games. However, the junior quarterback has also had a few erratic games that has resulted in a 58 percent completion percentage on the season and 5 picks through 6 starts.
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The Oklahoma State offense spreads the ball around very well and runs an up tempo offense that typically wears out defenses. Running back Joseph Randle is one of the better tailbacks in the entire Big 12 and has rushed for more than 1,300 yards on the ground resulting in 14 touchdowns. Purdue has been awful against the run giving up 180 yards per game so do not been surprised if Randle becomes a big part of the offense when the two teams meet. Of course the passing attack is Oklahoma State’s biggest threat and WR Josh Stewart is the key playmaker to keep your eyes on in the receiving game. Stewart has caught 96 passes (7th in FBS) for 1,154 yards and 7 scores on the season. If you factor in Purdue’s defensive problems this season, there is no reason not to expect Oklahoma State to move the football consistently down the field. Possibly the bigger concerns for the Cowboys could be turnovers which has really cost the team this year.
If Purdue can get an above average performance on defense, they may be able to make this game close especially with the help of a few turnovers. Oklahoma State’s turnover margin has been horrible this season at -.42 per game (85th in FBS). If the Boilermakers can force a few turnovers, it could help compensate for those defensive worries. Offensively, Purdue has been mediocre at best averaging 405 total yards (59th in FBS), 240 passing yards (54th in FBS), and 165 rushing yards (59th in FBS) per game. Still, Purdue is physical along the offensive and should contest the Cowboys defense. QB Robert Marve has posted solid numbers this year after battling back from an ACL injury by hitting 66% passing for 1,522 yards with 13 scores and 3 picks. Marve has the decision making to dissect Oklahoma State’s defense and possibly move the football consistently. However Purdue will need a few more playmakers to step up, possibly running back Akeem Shavers, if they are truly going to contend.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I definitely cannot see Purdue pulling off this upset. The Boilermakers have too many defensive issues not to mention they are in the midst of a coaching change in West Lafayette. However, I do think Purdue’s tempo will slow this game down and keep scoring under the 70 mark. Consider a play on the under 70 total. Good luck.
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