In their second huge match-up in the last two weeks, the #22 Texas Longhorns (4-1) will seek to save some face against undefeated #6 Oklahoma State (5-0) this afternoon, in a critical Big 12 battle that should make for one of the best options for online sportsbook betting on Saturday. After getting completely blown out last week by #3 Oklahoma in 55-17 rout that saw the Sooners never look back after the first quarter, Texas has some serious questions to answer today as they face another one of the nation’s top offenses in Oklahoma State, which is certain to be looking forward to putting up similar numbers as did their in-state counterparts. It all starts at quarterback for the Longhorns, where relying on the young talent of David Ash and Case McCoy proved to be the undoing for Texas last week, as the two combined for 4 turnovers and a lot of uncertainty when matched up against a Top-ranked defense. This week the Texas tandem will have to prepare for a battle against the experience QB Brandon Weeden for OSU, who at 28 years of age has almost ten years more playing time than either McCoy or Ash does. Add in the fact that Weeden controls the #2 offense in the country in passing and total yards, and OSU is first in scoring, and the prospects for the Cowboys remaining undefeated while grabbing their first consecutive defeats of Texas in history start to look pretty good.
It’s hard to find where these two teams match-up well together, as #6 Oklahoma State has so far been so much more dominant over opponents this season in both the running and passing games, and simply seems to outmatch Texas in every category. In the running game, OSU is led by Joseph Randle, who is averaging 5.4 yards/carry with 8 TDs and 484 yards on the season. Randle is running at almost a yard/carry better than Malcolm Brown of Texas, who as the main source of offense last week was stuffed by the Sooner D to the tune of 3.2 yards/carry and just 54 yards in total. Randle comes into this match-up hardly used after a 70-28 romp over Kansas last week, but expect him to have north of 20 carries today as OSU plays the possession game to keep Texas’ offense off the field. Turning to the passing game, there really is no question that OSU has the better all-around package, and with experienced players like Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper out on the wings getting balls from Brandon Weeden, it could be a long day for the Texas secondary. With almost twice the catches as Texas’ Jaxon Shipley (46 to 25), Blackmon could be in for a big day today in the early going as OSU looks to cash in early and often to put the game away before it really gets started.
Betting Lines for Texas vs. Oklahoma State
TopBet.com Sportsbook is our featured online sports betting destination for the day, and as such we pull the betting lines in from this top sportsbook, where the visiting Oklahoma State Cowboys come in as 7.5 point favorites on the spread at -120 odds. This is one of the most surprising lines of the day, considering that OSU averages 20 points per game more than Texas does this year, and the two appear to be moving in completely different directions on the season. That appears more reflected in the money line, where OSU is -300 to win while Texas remains a +250 underdog, but in a game where the Cowboys are looking primed to punish the team that has handed them 22 defeats in the last 25 meetings, if Oklahoma is going to win this match-up, they are going to win big. At least the over/under on today’s showdown reflects the offensive firepower of OSU, with 64.5 points the mark set at TopBet.com. Expecting Texas to keep better control of the ball this week and play better on defense, the under wager (-110 odds) could be the way to go, but with a Brandon Weeden-led offense packed with weapons on the field, that total points line could get busted in a matter of quarters as was evident last week (Weeden came out before the second half after throwing 5 TDs in 2 quarters of play against Kansas).
Our Pick to Win:
Sorry Texas fans, this one isn’t for you. I’m still trying to figure out a reason why Texas was even given a ranking as high as #11 in this year’s crop of top teams, especially considering the conundrum they face at quarterback, which makes or breaks games in College Football these days. Oklahoma State matches up better on offense, defense (perhaps Texas has the edge in special teams), but with the firepower that’s likely to be on display for OSU this afternoon, I just can’t wrap my head around a way that the Longhorns can keep pace. Though OSU struggled on the road against Texas A&M two weeks back, they’ll be more geared up for this Texas challenge, and will prevail in this game 42-24 today.