College Football Picks: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Week 12

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 8:31 PM GMT

One of the bigger games in the Big 12 this week takes place in Austin as #24 Texas hosts #12Oklahoma State. The game will be televised on FOX at 3:30 pm ET on Saturday afternoon.

The Cowboys are currently listed as 3-point road favorites on the betting odds with the total at 63.5 at the majority of sportsbooks.

Oklahoma State comes into this conference showdown at 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS. The Cowboys are in a bad scheduling spot for this game as it will be their final road game of the season with a pair of revenge games at home on deck against Baylor and Oklahoma. This will also be Oklahoma State’s third road game in four weeks while playing the toughest opponent they’ve seen all season.

The Cowboys have been known for their high-scoring offense in recent years under head coach Mike Gundy. But this season has been different. The Cowboys are averaging 40.7 points per game and that looks impressive, but digging a bit deeper, we see a different type of offense. Oklahoma State is throwing for just 6.9 yards per pass attempt which ranks them #79 in the country. They are only converting on 37.3% (#80) of their third down attempts. With poor numbers like that, Oklahoma State’s record and high points per game average is more due in part to the weak opponents they’ve faced.

Oklahoma State’s defense has been solid in allowing just 19.7 points per game. The Cowboys are only giving up 4.7 yards per play and 6.1 yards per pass attempt. But again, those numbers may be more of a result of the weak teams they’ve played. This game in Texas will be Oklahoma State’s biggest challenge to date and the results will show just how good the Cowboys are.

After a 21-point loss at home to Mississippi on September 14th, it was looking as if Texas would struggle to get to a bowl game this season. Fast forward six weeks and the Longhorns are one of the hottest teams in the country. Texas has won 6 straight games, including last week’s 47-40 overtime win at West Virginia. The Longhorns return home to play just their second game in Austin over the last seven weeks so they will be ready to play. 

The Texas offense has been potent as they are averaging 34.4 points per game. They convert on an impressive 44.1% of their third down attempts which is significantly better than Oklahoma State’s number in that category. The Longhorns average 197.3 yards rushing and 248 yards passing per game so they are extremely well-balanced. Texas also throws for an average of 7.2 yards per pass attempt and that will stretch the Oklahoma State defense.

While Texas’ defense doesn’t have the same strong numbers as Oklahoma State, they’ve played a much tougher schedule against teams like BYU, Mississippi, Kansas State, and Oklahoma. Even against those opponents, the Longhorns are allowing a respectable 24.7 points per game. Texas is only giving up 5.1 yards per play (#42 in the country) and 6.7 yards per pass attempt.

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Texas won in Stillwater last season; they beat Oklahoma State 41-36 as 2-point road favorites. The Longhorns are a significantly better team this season yet they are 3-point underdogs at home. Texas did struggle early and their games are still being priced based on those poor results. But they’ve turned the corner and remain an undervalued team. We’ll take the points with Texas for our college football picks, especially since Oklahoma State is in a negative scheduling spot for this game on Saturday afternoon.

Play TEXAS (+).