Texas Bowl Pick: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-4 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
When: Friday, December 27th, 2019 - 6:45 PM ET
Where: NRG Stadium – Houston, TX
Point Spread: OKIE STATE +6 / TAMU -6 (BetNow)
Takeaways From Final Week of Regular Season
The Oklahoma State Cowboys come into this contest off a 34-16 loss at home when it hosted the playoff-bound Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners in the annual Bedlam Game. Closing as a 14-point underdog, the Pokes were not far from covering but were nonetheless unable to come in under the number. The loss marked an end of a four-game Okie State win-streak and produced its first loss against the spread in four outings.
The Aggies come into this bowl game on a two-game losing streak attained against two of the best teams in America, the Bulldogs of Georgia and, most recently, the LSU Tigers. Both of the aforementioned teams sit in the top five and played for the SEC Championship. Against LSU, the Aggies closed as a 17.5-point underdog as it headed to Baton Rouge, and the Bayou Bengals would light the Aggies up 50-7 and cover easy. Texas A&M’s five losses this year came against five ranked opponents, three of which presently sit in the top five: LSU, Clemson, and Georgia. The Aggies also own losses to Alabama and Auburn, who both sit in the Top 13.
How the Public is Betting The Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl
Out of the gate, the public as a whole seems to be fond of the underdog in this contest; 75% of the consensus like the Pokes here with the points. Despite the lean, we have yet to see any line movements take shape since the market opened.
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The Aggies and the Cowboys used to meet on an annual basis when Texas A&M was still a member of the Big 12 Championship. However, Okie State and TAMU have not met since 2011 when the Pokes edged the Aggies 30-29 to produce an outright upset as a 4.5-point underdog. The victory also extended Oklahoma State’s win streak over Texas A&M to four games.
The Pokes have been profitable against the Aggies as they have gone 4-0-1 ATS in their last five meetings. For Over/Under players, the Over is 6-2 ATS in the previous eight matches between the Aggies and Cowboys.
The most notable injury affecting either Texas A&M or Oklahoma State as it ventures into the Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl is the status of Cowboys Quarterback Spencer Sanders. The Oklahoma State gunslinger is listed as questionable as he recovers from surgery to his thumb. Sanders has been out since mid-November, and Okie State has gone 1-1 SU in his absence.
Why We Like Texas A&M To Cover
Typifying what we have seen in the past with Oklahoma State, this squad lives and dies by its offense. The problem is the Oklahoma State offense has been sputter-and-stall as they have averaged 18 points per game in their last two outings. Situationally, their offense won’t find any clemency from the Aggies who boast a 37th-ranked defense that gives up just 22.7 points per game. Contrarily, Oklahoma State’s defense gives up 27 points per match (64th in the FBS), which must be classed as a favorable scenario for the Aggies to find opportunities to score. Texas A&M’s offense curates 30 points per game (62nd in America) and also procures a 54th-ranked passing attack that compiles 247.1 yards through the air per game. The Cowboy secondary is one of the worst in defending the pass as they sit 113th in the FBS in that department giving up 267.1 passing yards per game. I expect the Aggies to dissect the Cowboys through the air while Texas A&M’s solid defense will prey upon Oklahoma State’s offense. The resultant will bring forth a situation not only where the Aggies can win by a touchdown and cover while doing so but perhaps maybe procure an outright rout.
Keith Pick to Cover the Spread: Texas A&M -6
Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy characterized Texas A&M as the best 7-5 team in college football history. This may indeed be the case as the Aggies are far better than their record shows, and they will use this venue as the prime stage to showcase their true potency. Overall, the Pokes have been a cash cow over the span of the 2019-20 season, but I expect that to change here. The Aggies will win the Texas Bowl and cover the number easy as the margin of victory will be a double-digit differential at minimum. Swallow the points with confidence.