Thursday Double Play of Picks: Power 5 vs. Group of 5

tulsa football

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 1:27 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 1:27 PM GMT

Points, points and more points are in the forecast when Oklahoma State and Tulsa clash in the Bank of Oklahoma Turnpike Classic on Thursday night. The Minnesota Golden Gophers, meanwhile, look to score an easy win for new coach P.J. Fleck over Buffalo. Picks of the day and previews here.

Tulsa at No. 10 Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State enters 2017 ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP Poll, the eighth time since 2007 cracking the Top 10. Arguably, the best QB-RB-WR trio in the nation leads the team with Heisman contender Mason Rudolph, Justice Hill and James Washington supplying the scoring. Washington, in fact, leads all Power 5 receivers with 19.2 career yards per catch and 26 touchdowns. Odds are the Cowboys will score in bunches Thursday. Under head coach Mike Gundy, the team averages 49.1 points per game at Boone Pickens Stadium vs. non-Power 5 opponents.

Tulsa runs an up-tempo offense under head coach Philip Montgomery, becoming the first team in FBS history last season to field two 1,000-yard rushers, two 1,000-yard passers and a 3,000-yard passer. Although missing several key playmakers, including now NFL QB Dane Evans, the offense returns seven starters, including a veteran O-line and running back corps. The unit, which put up 42.5 points per game in 2016, may not be as efficient this year but a significant drop-off is unlikely.

Two potent offenses and questionable Ds offer up a play on the ‘over.’ The Cowboys return just five defensive starters with an inexperienced front. The Golden Hurricanes, meanwhile, offer little stopping the pass; they ranked 92nd in the nation in 2016, allowing 250.2 yards per game through the air. The total, which opened at 72 points nine days ago, moved to 74 and then 69 before settling at 70 on Wednesday morning. It would not shock to see 80-plus between these two run-and-gun offenses.  The ‘over’ is 20-3 all-time when Gundy’s Cowboys kick off with a 67 total or higher in Stillwater. We’re banking it hits again.

Free NCAAF Pick: 'Over' 69.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3187658, "sportsbooksIds":[19,169,1275,180,1439], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]

Buffalo at Minnesota

There will be growing pains this season for the Minnesota Golden Gophers as P.J. Fleck takes over as head coach. Despite inheriting a 9-win team, the O-line is below average, the secondary paper thin and the offense will operate under a two-quarterback system between Demry Croft and Conor Rhoda -- at least early on. The duo has a combined eight appearances and one start under their belts, making the Gophers the least experienced under center in all the Power 5.

Despite the Gophers’ issues, look for them to cover the spread vs. Buffalo. The Bulls are 3-9 SU and 3-8-1 ATS on the road since joining the FBS in 2015. It is a program Fleck is familiar with, too, his former Western Michigan Broncos topping Buffalo 38-0 on the road last season.

Overall, the Bulls have not done so well against winning teams. Versus those carrying a positive scoring differential from the previous season, they are 2-5 ATS, losing by 27 points per game (+19 avg. line). The average score is 36.6-9.6, with Buffalo scoring more than two touchdowns only once. The Gophers will likely field some bench players in the second half as the game gets out of hand, but the talent gap is too deep in this one. Pick the Gophers -24 at a key number, down from a -28 opener.

Free NCAAF Pick: Minnesota -24Best Line Offered: BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3187355, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,180,169,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]

comment here