There’s still some hope for Oklahoma State to reach the playoff and the Big 12 title Game at a minimum, but its upcoming Schedule won’t be easy. Starting with a trip to Texas, the Cowboys have a run of difficult Games culminating in a showdown against Oklahoma. The Longhorns have looked much better in recent Games, yet the Pokes still opened as large -7.5 point road favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This spread is surprising for a number of reasons. First, the Texas defense is much improved from its opener when it allowed 51 points to Maryland. since, the Longhorns have kept the offenses of USC and Oklahoma mostly in check. As for the Pokes, outside of the easy win against Baylor last week, they haven’t exactly been the easiest team to trust, from getting handled by TCU to beating Texas Tech by seven points two weeks ago.
The big thing in this matchup is that freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger finally won over his coaches and should be the hands-down starter going forward. He’s the reason the Longhorns have actually been able to move the ball offensively with the help of his 227 rushing yards the last two Games. He’s why Texas almost had a chance to upset Oklahoma last week. While Texas has gotten little from its running backs, Ehlinger has shown enough for his team to keep up on the scoreboard.
The Pokes don’t have terrible defensive numbers, but that’s mostly due to a weak non-Conference slate and a Game against Baylor. They couldn’t stop TCU and also let the Red Raiders offense move consistently against them.
But the other side of the ball is why anyone will bet on Oklahoma State this season. Mason Rudolph threw for a ridiculous 459 yards last week on just 19 completions. His 11.6 yards per attempt remains one of the best in the nation. If Rudolph and top receiver James Washington (882 yards) get a couple long touchdowns, that could easily lead to a couple quick scores and enough for OK State to win by double-digits. Justice Hill has also been serviceable in the running Game, going for at least 100 yards in each of the last three Games, while averaging 6.0 yards per carry on the season.
But again, the Texas defense can’t be overlooked. Oklahoma moved the ball well last week, yet still only scored nine points in the second half and that’s a main reason Texas covered. Playing at home, that’s another reason the Longhorns should be considered and if their defense can get a couple early stops, that may be enough to get the cover. Ehlinger should move the ball fine and Scoreclose to 30 points with this result maybe not far off from the OK State and Texas Tech matchup a couple weeks ago. The Pokes scored 37 points in the first half of last year’s meeting and that’s a main thing Texas can’t let happen again if it wants to win or cover.
The Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road Games, while the Longhorns are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five Games overall and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 home Games.
Our Pick – Texas +7