Big 12 College Football Picks: #24 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns

#24 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Oklahoma State -3
Current Line: Oklahoma State -3 (-115)
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 58 1/2
Opening Money Line: OSU -155 / Texas +135
Current Money Line: OSU -160 / Texas +140

Oklahoma State is a 3 point road favorite at Texas in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Oklahoma State is a 3 point road favorite at Texas in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

The 1-2 Texas Longhorns and 3-0 Oklahoma State Cowboys open Big 12 conference play Saturday in Austin. Texas leads the series 24-5, including 14-4 in Austin. The Longhorns won last year’s meeting 28-7 in Stillwater. Three of Oklahoma State’s five wins in the series have come in the last six years.

Oklahoma State is coached by Mike Gundy. The Cowboys opened the season with lackluster wins at Central Michigan 24-13 and at home against Central Arkansas 32-8. Last week, OSU beat Texas San Antonio 69-14 in Stillwater. The Cowboys forced 7 turnovers including two defensive touchdowns. Oklahoma State easily covered the 25.5 point spread against UTSA and went over the 56.5 point total by themselves. The Cowboys are 1-2 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

Texas is coached by Charlie Strong. While Oklahoma State didn’t look impressive in their first two games, Texas would love to have those kind of problems. The Longhorns were crushed at Notre Dame 38-3 to open the season before beating Rice 42-28 in Austin. Last week, Texas hosted California. The Golden Bears took a 45-24 lead into the fourth quarter. Texas would rally with 3 fourth quarter touchdowns. However, the Longhorns missed the extra point on the potential game tying touchdown with just over a minute left. Cal recovered the onside kick and held on for the 45-44 win. The Golden Bears were 5 point favorites on the road and the total was 58. Texas is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season.

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Oklahoma State is outscoring teams 42-12 this season. The Cowboys are #21 or better in both categories nationally. OSU averages 509 yards per game including 331 passing and 178 rushing yards. The Cowboys are in the top 25 nationally in passing and total offense. On defense, Oklahoma State is allowing 303 total yards per game, including 188 passing and 115 rushing yards. The Cowboys are in the top 50 nationally in all three categories. OSU is +6 in turnovers with 8 takeaways. Oklahoma State averages 48 penalty yards per game and opponents average 53. The Cowboys are 18/42 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 19/53. OSU has forced 9 sacks and allowed 6 this season. The Cowboys are 12/13 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns. Opponents are 5/7 with 3 touchdowns. The Cowboys have two defensive touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph has completed 68.9% of his passes for 947 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception, and has a rushing touchdown. J.W. Walsh has come in a few times in red zone and short yardage situations. He has two touchdown passes, and has 10 carries for 47 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Running back Chris Carson has 53 carries for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 4 catches. Rennie Childs has 21 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown, plus 2 catches. Raymond Taylor has 3 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver David Glidden has 12 catches for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns. Marcell Ateman has 9 catches for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. James Washington has 8 catches for 113 yards. Jalen McCleskey has 5 catches for 113 yards. Brandon Sheperd, Jeremy Seaton Jhajuan Seales, and Austin Hayes will also get some catches.

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Texas is being outscored 37-30 this season. The Longhorns average 363 yards per game on offense including 198 passing and 165 rushing yards. Texas is #86 or worse in all three categories nationally. On defense, Texas is allowing 512 yards per game including 272 passing and 241 rushing yards. The Longhorns are #104 or worse in all defensive categories including points allowed out of 128 FBS teams.  Texas has forced seven turnovers and has three of their own. The Longhorns average 62 penalty yards per game and opponents average 48. Texas is 12/37 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 30/51. The Longhorns have forced 4 sacks and allowed 7. Texas is 7/7 scoring in the red zone with 6 touchdowns. Opponents are 14/16 with 11 touchdowns. Texas has a punt return for a touchdown plus a defensive touchdown.

Quarterback Jerrod Heard has thrown for 494 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, and rushed for 247 yards on 36 carries and 3 touchdowns. Tyrone Swoopes has thrown for 105 yards and rushed for 25 yards on 11 carries.

Running back Johnathan Gray has 27 carries for 94 yards with 3 touchdowns, plus 5 catches for 79 yards. D’onta Foreman has 19 carries for 84 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Daje Johnson has 11 catches for 190 yards. John Burt has 6 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown.  Armanti Foreman has 6 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS after rushing for 200 yards or more, 8-3 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 20-9 against teams with losing records, 38-18 after passing for more than 280 yards, 2-5 in conference games, in September and in road games, 3-8 after gaining more than 450 total yards and 1-6 on fieldturf. The road team is 8-0 ATS in this series recently. The favorite 13-3 ATS in the last 16 games between the teams. The Cowboys have covered their last four trips to Austin.

Texas is 5-1 ATS after rushing for 200 yards or more, 4-1 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 6-14 against teams with winning road records, 2-5 at home, 4-10 after a cover, 7-19 after passing for more than 280 yards, 1-4 after gaining 450 total yards or more, and overall, and 1-7 after scoring 40 points or more. The under is 3-1-1 in this series overall and the last four games in Austin have gone under the total.

Both teams struggled on offense in their first two games, especially Texas. They both discovered their offense last week though. Texas has been terrible on defense so far this season and OSU should be able to exploit that glaring weakness. Last week, Texas was as much as a touchdown underdog against Cal. I think the Cowboys at -3 is a bargain in what should be a high scoring game.

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