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Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma this week in a game with quite a bit on the line. The Big 12 Title is at stake, an automatic BCS bowl birth is at stake, as well as the potential that with a win, Oklahoma State would still have a chance to play for a National Title. Oklahoma State opened as a -3 point home favorite at the two sportsbooks that post the first lines each week, Betonline and 5 Dimes, and has since been bet up to -3.5 across the board despite fairly balanced action which simply tells us that the larger bets taken thus far have been on Oklahoma State.
It's extremely difficult to go through an entire football season, be it college or pro, undefeated. As we have seen this year, many teams make it most of the way before falling flat at some point late in the season. Along the way, staying undefeated requires a lot of skill, along with some luck. In some cases, a lot of luck, like last year's Auburn team. It's very hard to maintain the same intensity level week after week, game after game without a flat spot.
Oklahoma State's flat spot was their last game, November 19th, a loss to, of all teams, Iowa State. I watched Iowa State play in person earlier in the year at UCONN. They really aren't very good. If Oklahoma State were to play them again the scoreboard might not be able to go high enough. On the morning of that Friday night game, Oklahoma State players were given the news about the plane crash that took the lives of women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna. The Iowa State game already had the potential to be a flat spot for the Cowboys. The crash likely only magnified that spot.
The Sooners had their flat spots as well. Two losses, one to Texas Tech and the other to Baylor killed their chances of any potential National Title hopes. But the Big 12 title is an early season goal and the automatic BCS bowl birth that goes along with it should have both of these teams ready to play and give 100%.
Yards per point numbers here tell us what we'd expect. They have the teams dead even, with Oklahoma being slightly better defensively and Oklahoma State slightly better offensively.
If we run season to date stats through our model, we come up with a predicted final of 43-39 Oklahoma for an upset win. However, this time of year, it's always interesting to take a look at common opponents as we have so many in a game like this. In this case, 8 common opponents. The teams are remarkably close against common opponents when you look at points scored and allowed. The Sooners outscored those opponents 42.6-24.5 while Oklahoma State outscored them 48.8-27.3. Once again, the Sooners a little better defensively and the Cowboys a little better offensively.
When running stats through our model for common opponents only, we come up with a predicted final of 46-41 in favor of Oklahoma State. Coincidentally, that's 1 point shy of last year's final between these two, a 47-41 Sooners win.
We think Oklahoma State is the right side here. Revenge multiplied by 8, and then some, comes into play as well. Oklahoma State has lost 8 straight in this series and have been absolutely dominated by the Sooners in this series. The Sooners record in this series is 81-17-7. You have to take advantage of opportunities like this when they come along. This is the most talented Oklahoma State team in years and their best chance at getting over the hump here and beating the Sooners. Their loss to Iowa State should serve as a springboard here and should have them more focused than they have been all year.
We're not willing to lay more than -3. So watch the board and monitor the lines. Either wait until the number comes back to -3, or buy the half point if need be, but make sure you get -3 or better. Oklahoma State -3 or better
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