College Football Cactus Bowl Betting Preview: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Washington Huskies

2015 TicketCity Cactus Bowl
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Washington Huskies

Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Arizona
Friday, January 2, 2015, 10:15 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Washington -5
Current Line: Washington -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 56
Current Total: 57
Opening Money Line: Washington -245 / Oklahoma State +205
Current Money Line: Washington -260 / Oklahoma State +220

Washington is a touchdown favorite against Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl Friday.
Washington is a touchdown favorite against Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl Friday.

The 8-5 Washington Huskies and 6-6 Oklahoma State Cowboys meet for only the third time ever in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl Friday in Tempe, Arizona. The two teams played a home and home in 1980 and 1985, with each winning on the road. The Cowboys won the last meeting 31-17 in Seattle.

Oklahoma State was 4-5 in the Big 12 and finished in seventh place. After a 5-1 start, a 5 game losing streak all by 21 points or more put bowl eligibility in doubt. The Cowboys upset bedlam rival Oklahoma in the last game of the season to become bowl eligible for the ninth straight season. Washington was 4-5 in the Pac 12 North and finished third behind Oregon and Stanford.

OSU is 15-8 all-time in bowl games. The Cowboys lost to Missouri 41-31 in the Cotton Bowl last season to snap a 3 game bowl winning streak for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys played in this bowl once before beating Indiana 49-33 in the 2007 game.

Washington is 17-16-1 ATS all time in bowl games. The Huskies are playing in a bowl for the fifth straight season. Washington beat BYU 31-16 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl last season. The Huskies have never played in this bowl before.

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Oklahoma State is coached by Mike Gundy. The Cowboys have home wins over Missouri State 40-23, UTSA 43-13, Texas Tech 45-35, and Iowa State 37-20, plus road wins at Kansas 27-20 and Oklahoma 38-35 in overtime. The Cowboys have a loss to Florida State 37-31 in Arlington, Texas, road losses to TCU 42-9, Kansas State 48-14, and  Baylor 49-28, plus home losses to West Virginia 34-10 and Texas 28-7. OSU is 5-7 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. The Cowboys were 21 point underdogs at Oklahoma and the total was 58.5.

Washington is coached by Chris Petersen. The Huskies have road wins at Hawaii 17-16, Cal  31-7, Colorado 38-23 and Washington State 31-13 in their last game, along with home wins over Eastern Michigan 59-52, Illinois 44-19, Georgia State 45-14 and Oregon State 37-13. The Huskies have won 2 straight games. Washington has home losses to Stanford 20-13, Arizona State 24-10 and UCLA 44-30, plus road losses at Oregon 45-20 and Arizona 27-26. Washington is 7-6 ATS and the total is 4-9 this season. The Huskies were 4 point favorites against Washington State  and the total was 62.5.

Oklahoma State is being outscored 32-27 this season. OSU is #77 in scoring and #100 in points allowed out of 128 FBS teams. The Cowboys are averaging 371 total yards per game on offense, including 236 passing yards and 135 rushing yards. OSU is #92 in total offense and #103 in rushing nationally. On defense, the Cowboys are allowing 437 total yards per game on defense, including 168 rushing yards and 269 passing yards. OSU is #97 in total defense and #113 in pass defense. Oklahoma St is -8 in turnovers with 12 takeaways. The Cowboys are averaging 54 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 62. The Cowboys are 66/193 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 85/208. OSU has forced 31 sacks and allowed 37. The Pokes are 35/38 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns, and their opponents are 40/47 with 27 touchdowns. The Cowboys have 2 pick sixes, 2 kick returns for touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown, and have allowed 2 defensive and special teams touchdowns.

OSU has used three quarterbacks this season. J.W.  Walsh started the season but was injured in the second game and hasn’t played since. Daxx Garman took over as the starter until he missed the Baylor game with a concussion. The Cowboys removed the redshirt from freshman Mason Rudolph and he was impressive in a loss to Baylor and the upset over Oklahoma. Garman is probable but Rudolph is expected to start the bowl game. Garman could see action as well. Garman has thrown for 2,041 yards with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Rudolph has thrown for 554 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Running back Desmond Roland has 171 carries for 647 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rennie Childs has 69 carries for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver David Glidden has 40 catches for 568 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Sheperd has 34 catches for 639 yards and 4 touchdowns. James Washington has 26 catches for 423 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tyreek Hill has world class speed. He has 31 catches for 281 yards and a touchdown, along with 102 carries for  534 yards and a touchdown. Hill also has 2 kick returns for touchdowns and a game tying punt return for a touchdown in the last minute of regulation against Oklahoma. He was dismissed from the team after being arrested for domestic violence a couple of days after the Oklahoma game. Jhajuan Seales has 17 catches and 3 touchdowns.

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Washington is outscoring teams 31-24 this season. Washington is #40 in points allowed nationally The Huskies are averaging 390 yards per game including 195 passing and 195 rushing yards. Washington is #76 in total offense and #97 in passing out of 128 FBS teams. On defense, the Huskies are allowing 406 yards per game including 284 passing and 122 rushing yards. Washington is #20 in rush defense but #124 in pass defense. The Huskies are +12 in turnovers with 27 takeaways. Washington is averaging 61 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 53. The Huskies are 95/221 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 96/235. Washington has forced 49 sacks and allowed 26. The Huskies are 39/44 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns, and opponents are 40/54 with 25 touchdowns. Washington has 7 defensive and 3 special teams touchdowns this season.

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles was suspended for the opener at Hawaii and replaced by Jeff Lindquist. Miles returned against Eastern Washington, and has started every game except one. Miles missed the game against Arizona State with an ankle injury and was replaced by Troy Williams. Williams has passed Lindquist as the back-up. Miles has completed 66.7% of his passes for 2,129 yards with 16 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 109 carries for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns. Lindquist threw for 162 yards and a touchdown against Hawaii. He also has 2 rushing touchdowns. Williams has thrown for 176 yards and 2 interceptions, and also has a rushing touchdown.

Running back Dwayne Washington has 119 carries for 655 yards and 9 touchdowns. Lavon Coleman has 138 carries for 561 yards and a touchdown, plus 9 catches. Shaq Thompson has 61 carries for 456 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Jaydon Mickens has 53 catches for 535 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Ross has 17 catches for 371 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ross also has a kick off return for a touchdown.  DiAndre Campbell and Deontae Cooper will also get some catches.

Oklahoma State is 11-2 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 8-3 after a straight up win, 5-2 on grass, 2-5 overall, 1-3-1 in Friday games, and in January, 2-7 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.

Washington is 4-1 ATS overall, 6-2 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and 1-3-1 against Big 12 teams.

Neither of these teams are great on offense, and both struggle to stop the pass. If not for the upset over Oklahoma the Cowboys wouldn’t even be here. Washington is a better team and should win this game handily.

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