Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-5 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. No. 6 Baylor Bears (8-1 SU, 6-2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Saturday November 22nd, 2014. 7:30PM EST
Where: McLane Stadium Waco, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU +27/BAY -27
Over/Under Total: TBA
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One of the most intriguing matchups that will take place Saturday night will reside in Waco, Texas when the 6th ranked Baylor Bears host the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Bears had a bye last week after delivering one of their strongest performances of the year two weeks ago with a 48-14 rout over no. 15 Oklahoma in Norman. The convincing victory put Baylor back into the thick of the playoff race with just a few games to play. This week Baylor attempts to keep those hopes and Big 12 Championship hopes alive against the Oklahoma State Cowboys inside McLane Stadium.
Oklahoma State has been nothing short of horrendous in recent weeks especially on the offensive side of the football. The Cowboys jumped out to a 5-1 SU start but have lost 4 straight games which have all come from Big 12 opponents. Mike Gundy has typically produced some of the best offensive teams in the country on a yearly basis. This season things have been anything but impressive on offense as the Cowboys have been held to just 14 points or less in each of their last 4 games. In 3 of those games, Oklahoma State has failed to score more than 10 points and they have been blasted by a minimum of 3 touchdowns in all 4 losses.
This week things are not expected to get any better against Baylors extremely explosive offense. Still, Oklahoma State has to get better offensively if they are going to have a chance in any of their remaining games and earn another victory to get a bowl berth. The Cowboys 69th in passing, 99th in rushing, and 86th in scoring in the major offensive categories. The rushing statistic is definitely down but not near as much as the passing totals. Even after starting quarterback J.W. Walsh went down with a season ending injury, quarterback Daxx Garman was expected to lead the Cowboys offense to the high standards that Gundy has established in Stillwater. However Garman has not lived up to the expectations and has been riddled with turnover issues which has held the offense back.
Garman has hit just 54% of his passes on the season and is supporting a measly 12 touchdown passes compared to 12 interceptions on the season. The lack of efficiency throwing the football, the lack of a solid running game, and turnovers have been the story all year for Oklahoma State. So how can things turn around for Oklahoma State this weekend? I am not saying that it will but the potential is there for some good things to happen. Baylor has not been the greatest team at defending the pass and Oklahoma States offense is designed to move the football through the air. Obviously Garman has to play much better and put together a full 60 minute performance, but that does not appear very plausible based on his play in recent weeks.
One thing that is for certain is that if Oklahoma State fails to move the football, this game will get ugly. Baylors offense is poised with balance from star quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Shock Linwood. Together the team has combined for 585 yards per game on the season which is the best average in all of college football. The Bears receiving core is downright nasty and they are going to put a ton of pressure on Oklahoma States defense each time they get the ball. For Oklahoma State to keep this game within reach, they will have to sustain drives and get touchdowns at the end of those drivers. I just do not see how they are going to do it.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If Baylors recent performances and Oklahoma States lack thereof strong performances recently does not persuade you who to back in this game, take a look at these trends. Baylor is 7-2 ATS on the season and 15-2 ATS in their last 17 games at home. Oklahoma State has failed to cover in 5 straight contests. Take Baylor -27