Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick
When: Saturday, October 27th, 2018 - 8:00 EST
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
By: Keith Franks, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEX -3 / OKIE STATE +3
Poll Rankings: Texas (7) / Oklahoma State (21)
Takeaways From Week 8
The Longhorns enter off a bye but nonetheless sport a six-game winning streak as they step into Stillwater. Since losing their season opener to Maryland in D.C., Texas has taken the Big 12 by a storm and remains undefeated in conference play to establish themselves as the front runner for the conference title. Texas defeated Baylor 23-17 in Austin in their most recent outing.
Oklahoma State comes in off a two-game skid after they were polished in Manhattan, Kansas last week at the hands of Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats. The loss was classed as yet another let-down for the Pokes as they were favored to win the game by eight points. In the week prior, Iowa State came to Stillwater as a 10-point underdog and handed Oklahoma State a 48-42 loss. However, this will be more likely to be forgiven since Iowa State knocked off undefeated and then No. 6 ranked West Virginia in the week after.
How the Public is Betting the Texas-Oklahoma State Game
At the moment 56% of the public like Texas in this spot. The market opened with the Pokes as a live dog taking back two points, since then the market has moved by just a point to reflect that action on the Longhorns. In this market, Texas looks very easy with such a small number to spot.
Oklahoma State has one calling card in this contest and that is recent dominance against the Burnt Orange. Oklahoma State has won four of the last five meetings between both participants, sporting a three-game winning streak overall against Bevo and company. Last year, overtime was required but the Pokes nevertheless got away from Austin with a 13-10 win.
Texas Quarterback Sam Ehlinger is listed as questionable with a Level 1 Shoulder Sprain. This is mission-critical for Texas as he is the one that drives the Longhorns offense. As a dual threat quarterback, Ehlinger keeps defenses honest with the persistent possibility of a scramble and/or designed option play. Oklahoma State on the other hand has no noteworthy injuries to any key personnel.
When Texas Has the Ball
As mentioned, Sam Ehlinger is the engine of the Texas offense as he has thrown for 1,534 yards whilst also leading the team in touchdowns with six rushing scores. His primary weapons on the outside consist of a mini-Megatron in Colin Johnson and UT’s leading receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey who has 576 reception yards on the year. Against an Oklahoma State defense that ranks 99th nationally with 252.1 passing yards surrendered through the air, a healthy Ehlinger could potentially light the Pokes up.
When Oklahoma State Has the Ball
Make no mistake about it, the Cowboys know how to score. The Oklahoma State offense scores 39.4 points per game (16th nationally) and accumulates a 13th-ranked 493 yards of total offense per game. The Pokes are led by a talent battery comprised of a bull rusher in Justice Hill (684 rushing yards, 7 TD) and quarterback Taylor Cornellius who has already eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in passing. Texas’ defense sits at 80th against the pass (234.4 yards per game) so there is a good chance Cornellius will be dialing up on Saturday.
There are two noteworthy trends that get our attention. First, the Road Team is 9-2 ATS in the past 11 games. Secondly, the favorite is 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. While these trends area not a reflection of the teams taking the field on Saturday they can nonetheless steer plenty of action toward Texas especially with the low-hanging fruit.
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It’s going to be a good day for football in Stillwater with temperatures expected to be in between the mid 50’s and low 60’s with plenty of sun to go around.
Keith Pick to Cover the Spread: Oklahoma State +135
We will go ahead and take the Pokes outright here. Despite the two teams’ performance portfolios being far contrasting, the market was reluctant to give away too many points to the hosts. This resonates with us. However, even if Sam Ehlinger takes the field for Texas how healthy will he be? This is can be a very dubious proposition if this game turns into a shoot-out which it most likely will, given who is on the other side of the field. The more points that are scored in this game, the more that plays into Oklahoma State’s hands. Furthermore, Oklahoma State at one point this season was tapped on the head by many to vie for the Big 12 as they were banging on the door of the top-10 at one point this season after they blew out Boise State here in Stillwater. A win against Texas will validate some of the hype and change the course of Oklahoma State’s season in light of their recent troubles. We have to like their chances given the match-up and the home cooking behind them. After all, Texas dropped an egg on the road when the Terp faithful got in their face and they struggled mightily to get by Kansas State in Manhattan. Against the best team they will face on the road in the most hostile environment they have gone into, it’s easy to fade Texas here.