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Oklahoma State vs. Missouri Football Pick with Betting Line Analysis

10/22/11

Missouri, 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12 hosts #6 Oklahoma State on Saturday at 12 noon est. Oklahoma State opened as a -6.5 favorite and was quickly bet up to as high as -7.5 in the early betting action on Sunday. The game settled in at -7 with a few 7.5's for a bit before an across the board move Monday brought the line back to -6.5 where it currently sits.

Let's start with the obvious. Oklahoma State has a prolific offense. It's the #2 ranked offense in the land averaging 49 points per game and 551 yards behind 28 year old QB Brandon Weeden, averaging 350 yards per game through the air. The Cowboys have won 9 straight road games dating back to last season which is the 2nd longest streak in the nation.

Missouri comes into this game at 3-3 and off a blowout win over Iowa State last week. Every college football team comes into the season with similar goals. Among those goals are conference championships and making it to the best possible bowl game. At 1-2 in conference play, Missouri has an uphill battle as far as the conference goes but obviously a major bowl game still on the table here. But the Tigers schedule isn't easy the rest of the way. The only win you can pencil in is in their final game of the year against Kansas.

That being said, Missouri may be the best 3-3 team in the country. They are a balanced team, good on both sides of the ball, ranking in the top 30 in total offense and defense, one of only 9 teams to do so and most of the other 8 are college football heavyweights, Alabama, Boise State, Oklahoma, SMU, South Florida, Stanford, West Virginia and Wisconsin. That's significant as they count Oklahoma, Arizona State and Kansas State among their opponents (all losses).

When you look at Oklahoma State, you have to take a step back. Not to diminish what they have done, but if you take away Louisiana Lafayette (61-34), Tulsa (59-33) and Kansas (70-28) you're left with 37-14 over Arizona, 30-29 over Texas AM and 38-26 over Texas in a game where Texas pulled to within 4, 28-24 in the 3rd quarter. The point being, when you get to the "good" teams, the results aren't so prolific. No question Missouri is at least equal in talent to Texas and Texas AM and are without a doubt the most balanced.

We think the door is wide open for Missouri here. Our score prediction model has been at it's best this year when predicting straight up wins by underdogs, which is exactly what it's doing here, predicting a 40-33 Missouri win. One factor the model picks up on is schedule strength difference. Missouri as played the more difficult schedule.

While Oklahoma State has scored 30+ each time out, they have also given up close to that in all but one game. Huge game here for Missouri, playing at home, with a revenge motive and a chance to take out a top 10 opponent. There's a good chance they can win this straight up but you want to take as many points as you can. Currently, there's just one +7 on the board, but this is a game where over 85% of the betting public is backing Oklahoma State, so, always the chance we see more +7's pop up. Watch the board and shop for the best line! We'll put the play out at +6.5. Missouri +6.5

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