Oklahoma State -14 vs. Texas Tech for Thursday's NCAAF Picks

Jeff Grant

Monday, September 22, 2014 2:49 PM GMT

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have had their way with the Texas Tech Red Raiders in recent years, which makes them worthy double-digit favorites at all top online sportsbooks.

Stopping the Run
Texas Tech was pushed around in a 49-28 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks as a pick ‘em on Sept. 13, as it allowed a season-high 438 rushing yards, which has been a major weakness for the stop unit dating back to last year.

Since the program’s first loss under second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Oct. 26 of last season, the Red Raiders have the second-worst run defense in the FBS—something to consider when looking over the college football odds page.

It’s important to point out that the stop unit will have a new coordinator for this affair, with Mike Smith taking over for Matt Wallerstedt, who resigned due to off-field issues last week.

 

Thursday Night Football
Both of these teams are coming off their first open date of the 2014 campaign, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 5 college football picks, with Oklahoma State looking to improve to 5-1 when playing on Thursday night.

The Cowboys have won their last 24 home games versus unranked competition, while they’ve gone 5-0 SUATS in their last five meetings in this series, including a 52-34 victory as two-point road favorites last year.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS after a bye week, with the OVER going 4-3 in that situation.

 

Playing in Stillwater
The Red Raiders haven’t picked up a road victory over the Cowboys since 2001, as they prepare to take on a foe that has compiled a 21-3 SU record in its last 24 games versus teams from the Lone Star State.

College football handicappers will likely be drawn to the OVER when looking at the betting total, considering five of the last seven meetings have had at least 72 combined points on the scoreboard.

 

Third Down Defense
Through three games of the 2014 campaign, Oklahoma State’s youthful defense has demonstrated the ability to get off the field, as it ranks sixth nationally in limiting opposing offenses to a 24.4 percent conversion rate on third down.

Of the 45 third-down plays that the Cowboys have defended, 26 were third-and-long situations of seven yards or more.

The Cowboys’ opening day depth chart included 32 freshmen and sophomores overall, which was made possible due to returning just 54.3 percent of its letterwinners—lowest percentage in the country.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers keep a close eye on any line movement before locking in their college football picks, as I’ve established the Cowboys as 14-point home favorites, which offers no value at this time.

Oklahoma State will send out Daxx Garman under center for his second career start, but he’s been around the program since 2009.  He has thrown 56 passes with no interceptions, while averaging 9.98 yards per pass attempt.

Handicapper Line:  Oklahoma State Cowboys -14