College Football Pick
We’re only a few weeks into the college football season, but it already looks like the Big 12 will be on the outside looking in for this year’s College Football Playoff. Due to some big losses by its top teams, namely Oklahoma, the conference’s chances are all but gone. Baylor is undefeated, but beating up weaker teams doesn’t do much for anyone, while OK State has a loss to Central Michigan. Whether the result was fair or not, they shouldn’t have been in that position. For this one, the Bears are at home and are a -9.5 point favorite at GTBets Sportsbook.
Baylor is a decent favorite, but are we sure they deserve it? The Bears have failed to cover in their first three Games, winning by large margins, but never doing enough. Of course on the other side, OK State hasn’t been on the road yet and haven’t looked all that great themselves. In addition to that CMU loss, the Cowboys struggled against Pittsburgh. It doesn’t look like their defense is any better than a year ago when they lost 45-35 to Baylor.
In that last matchup, the Bears were already using their third and Fourth-string quarterbacks and they still dropped 45 points. Baylor ran for 304 yards, while also adding 396 through the air. It was an ugly defensive performance for OK State. In addition to that, while Mason Rudolph had success (433 yards, 3 TDs), the Cowboys finished with eight rushing yards. That’s not going to cut it against many teams.
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So what can we expect now? It wouldn’t be surprising if it was a similar result, hence the line being where it’s at. But Baylor’s defense is noticeably a step below last season. They just gave up 234 rushing yards to Rice and 176 the week before that against SMU. Maybe Oklahoma State can’t run the ball, but if the holes are there, they’ll at least have more success than last meeting. That said, the Cowboys are still averaging just 3.1 yards per carry as a team through three Games. But at the least, Rudolph will keep this team afloat in the passing Game, especially with James Washington out wide, who finished with 296 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh.
On the other end, Seth Russell has been a step below from what we saw of him in 2015. For starters, he has 9 TDs to 3 INTs in 105 pass attempts. Last season, in 200 pass attempts, he threw 29 TDs and 6 INTs. Obviously, their running Game has picked up the slack, but they still aren’t scoring as much as they did a year ago. JaMycal Hasty, Terence Williams and Shock Linwood all have 200-plus yards rushing, but the RBs still have six touchdowns total.
It remains to be seen if Oklahoma State is worse than a year ago, but Baylor so far hasn’t looked as good as last season. With that being the case, the Cowboys may be the team to back with this Game expected to be high scoring and close. Oklahoma State +8