College Football Betting Preview: Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Tulsa Golden Hurricane at #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Thursday, August 31, 2017, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: FS1
Boone Pickens Stadium – Stillwater, Oklahoma
Opening Line: Oklahoma State -16 1/2
Current Line: Oklahoma State -18
Opening Total: 71
Current Total: 69
Opening Money Line: Oklahoma State -1150 / Tulsa +733
Current Money Line: Oklahoma State  -1250 / Tulsa +800

Oklahoma State opens the season against in-state rival Tulsa Thursday night in Stillwater.

All three FBS schools in the state of Oklahoma won ten games last year. Two of those schools open the season against each other as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane travel to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys Thursday night.

This is the 72nd meeting between Tulsa and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys lead the series 39-27-5 including 24-6-3 in Stillwater, and won the last meeting 59-33 in Tulsa in 2011. Oklahoma State has won six straight games in the series overall since the last Tulsa win in 1998. OSU has won 35 straight games at home against Tulsa dating back to 1951. The two schools are only around 70 miles apart.

Tulsa is coached by Philip Montgomery. The Golden Hurricane went 10-3 last year and 6-2 in the American Athletic Conference. Tulsa ended the season by crushing Central Michigan 55-10 in the Miami Beach Bowl. Earlier in the season, Central Michigan had upset Oklahoma State on a Hail Mary on the last play of the game. Tulsa was 9-4 ATS last year and the total was 8-5.

Oklahoma State is coached by Mike Gundy. The Cowboys were 10-3 last year and 7-2 in the Big 12. The Cowboys destroyed former conference rival Colorado 38-8 in the Alamo Bowl. OSU enters 2017 as a top ten team and one of the favorites in the Big 12. The Cowboys were 8-5 ATS and the total was 6-7 last year.

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Tulsa outscored teams 42-30 last year.  The Golden Hurricane averaged 527 yards per game on offense including 265 passing and 262 rushing yard. On defense, Tulsa allowed 427 yards per game including 250 passing and 176 rushing yards. The Hurricane were even in turnovers with 21 takeaways. Tulsa averaged 53 penalty yards per game and opponents average 66 per game. The Golden Hurricane were 106/225 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 102/260. Tulsa has forced 32 sacks and allowed 24 this season. The Golden Hurricane were 59-66 scoring in the red zone including 31 touchdowns and opponents were 41/50 with 29 touchdowns.

While quarterback Dane Evans has moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles, Hurricane fans shouldn’t fear. A President and a Skipper are in line to replace him. Sophomore Chad President narrowly beat out redshirt freshman Luke Skipper for the starting job. Evans passed for 3,348 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 touchdowns.

Running back James Flanders had 258 carries for 1,629 yards with 18 touchdowns but has graduated. D’Angelo Brewer had 264 carries for 1,425 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus a receiving touchdown. He is back. Corey Taylor II and Rowdy Simon will get the back-up carries.

Keevan Lucas and Josh Atkinson combined for almost 160 catches, over 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns last year but both are gone. Justin Hobbs is back though after making 50 catches for 685 yards and 4 touchdowns. Keenen Johnson had 30 catches for 305 yards and a touchdown. Brodrick Umblance and Nigel Carter will also start at receiver. Tight end Chris Minter had only six catches but three touchdowns.

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Oklahoma State outscored teams 39-27 last season. The Cowboys averaged 495 yards per game on offense including 324 passing and 171 rushing yards per game. On defense, OSU allowed 446 yards per game including 253 passing yards and 194 rushing yards. The Cowboys were +9 in turnovers with 24 takeaways. Oklahoma State averaged 50 penalty yards per game and opponents averaged 47 per game. The Cowboys converted 82/190 on third and fourth downs and opponents were 87/222. OSU forced 32 sacks and allowed 32 last season. The Cowboys were 61/69 scoring in the red zone with 43 touchdowns, and opponents were 36/48 with 28 touchdowns.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph returns for his senior season, after flirting with leaving early for the NFL. He could be a dark horse Heisman candidate. Rudolph completed 63.4% of his passes for 4,091 yards with 28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and had 6 rushing touchdowns. Junior Taylor Cornelius and redshirt freshman Keondre Wudtree are competing for the back-up spot behind Rudolph.

Running back Justice Hill had a great freshman year last season. He rushed for 1,142 yards with 6 touchdowns on 206 carries. He missed spring practice with a shoulder injury but is expected to be healthy by the time the season starts. Chris Carson is now with the Seattle Seahawks after rushing for 559 yards and 9 touchdowns, and also made 13 catches. Rennie Childs who had 7 rushing touchdowns and Barry Sanders, Jr. are also gone. Look for junior Jeff Carr and freshman Chuba Hubbard to split the back-up carries behind Hill.

Receiver James Washington is also back after making 71 catches for 1,380 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged an incredible 19.4 yards per catch last year and will be in the NFL as well. He is probable with a hernia. Jalen McCleskey is also back after making 73 catches for 812 yards and 7 touchdowns last year. Marcell Ateman missed all of last year with a foot injury. He has been a reliable target in the past. Jhajuan Seales is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after making 37 catches for 615 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tyron Johnson is a former five star recruit and transfer from Florida State who has serious playmaking ability. Chris Lacy had 31 catches for 489 yards and 3 touchdowns last year and is also back.

Tulsa is 7-1 ATS overall, 14-3 in road games, 4-1 on field turf, 6-2-1 in non-conference games, 5-2 in Thursday games, and 7-18-1 against Big 12 teams.

Oklahoma State is 5-2 ATS overall and on field turf. The home team is 6-2 ATS in this series recently.

This should be high scoring game as both defenses struggled last year. Tulsa lost a lot of skill position players and I don’t know if they can keep up with the high powered Cowboys for four quarters. OSU wins and covers late.

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