Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Baylor Bears +5.5 Total: 46.5
The Big 12 Championship game looks kind of odd without Oklahoma participating, nevertheless there will be a team from the state that is looking to find itself in the college football playoff. The Cowboys are one win away from forcing themselves into the conversation, the Baylor Bears will look to be dream killers on Saturday in what is sure to be a hard hitting affair.
This will be the second time these two teams have met, the first was won by Oklahoma State 24-14. The Cowboys were able to overcome three interceptions thrown by QB Spencer Sanders. Oklahoma State dominated on the ground, led by Jaylen Warren’s 125 yards and two touchdowns. Sanders was able to add 76 yards on the ground but this time around he will have to limit the turnovers and utilize their strong run game.
The Baylor Bears will have a similar offensive game plan, they are a run first team that has averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground. In their first meeting the Bears fell behind early 14-0 and were outgained in the first half 240 – 90. The Oklahoma State defense is good all around but they thrive against the run, allowing just 2.8 yard per rush. Baylor will likely be without QB Gerry Bohanon, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, if he does play he will have to graduate from game manager to big play threat to challenge the Cowboy defense. If Bohanon can’t go, the Bears will have to lean on Redshirt Freshman Blake Shapen.
The Big 12 has a rare matchup of defensive minded teams in their championship game. This one will be old school. Both teams will battle in the trenches which will slow the pace down a lot. Oklahoma State has a lot more to play for, if Sanders can avoid the turnovers that have plagued him in big games this season this should be a win and an easy cover. I like the Cowboys to win by a touchdown.
Ok State being the choice to win the game also means I think they will dictate the pace. That means running and controlling the clock. This game will be played on a neutral field at AT&T Stadium. While I am sure based on location the fan bases will be split, I look at this like an away game for both teams. These two are a combined 8-2 to the under on the road and I expect that trend to continue.
Pick: Under 46.5, lean hard OK State -5.5