Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Predictions: How to Bet Bedlam
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Boynton (Oklahoma State)
- The Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys meet for Bedlam on the hardwood Wednesday night.
- The Pokes enter as short favorites, and Shane McNichol likes the value on Oklahoma State's moneyline.
- Check out McNichol's full betting preview for Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State below.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Odds
The Big 12 is hell this season.
Every time a Big 12 team steps on the court, it needs to bring its A-game or expect to lose to a hated conference rival.
That’s true of Wednesday’s game in Stillwater, where a basketball-edition of Bedlam could have monumental long-term stakes.
Conference play is not a zero-sum game. Unless the league cannibalizes itself and leaves everyone hovering around .500, some teams are going to rise to the top and earn their NCAA tournament spots, while others will sink down the standings and the bubble picture.
According to the bracket projections at Bracket Matrix, the Oklahoma Sooners are the last team sitting out of at-large contention right now, with their in-state rival Oklahoma State Cowboys not far behind.
Wednesday night’s game could be critical for either team’s quest to survive Big 12 hell and make it to March.
When Porter Moser left Loyola Chicago for the bright lights of power-conference basketball, there were skeptics who were unsure if his style of coaching would translate against bigger, faster opponents.
The Sooners have been solid under his leadership, though there is no question he has stuck to his philosophies that worked at the lower levels of basketball.
When you look into Oklahoma from an analytical perspective, so much of what it does is driven by Moser and stands out when compared to its peers.
Defensively, Oklahoma does not force turnovers, but focuses on running shooters off the 3-point line, cutting off-ball movement for assisted buckets and cleaning the defensive glass.
Offensively, the Sooners barely hit the glass, choosing instead to allow one of the lowest rates of transition baskets headed the other direction.
Unlike Moser’s previous teams, these Sooners can rely on a real go-to scorer in Grant Sherfield. In just two seasons with the Nevada Wolf Pack, Sherfield totaled over 1,000 points.
He brings a versatility to the Oklahoma offense that allows players like Jalen Hill and the Groves brothers a chance to fit into the appropriate role that can maximize their skills.
Against a brutal schedule, the Sooners have looked like a postseason team. Oklahoma is 6-6 against KenPom top 100 teams. Compare that to Oklahoma State, which is just 2-7 against that level of competition.
Oklahoma State’s season speaks to how difficult the Big 12 will be this season.
On January 3, this team was 9-5 overall, having recently split its first two conference games. The Pokes had a few losses they’d want back (UCF and Southern Illinois), but nothing truly resume-killing.
Since then, the Cowboys dropped three straight and now sit at just 9-8. Every game remaining on Oklahoma State’s schedule — except for a Big 12/SEC Challenge date with Ole Miss — will come against a top 60 team by KenPom.
There’s no breathing room for breaks or mistakes.
Even losing three straight games recently, it’s hard to be bearish on the Pokes. Those games came against top-10 Texas and on the road at Kansas State and Baylor, both top-30 teams.
That’s just life in the Big 12.
Lucky for Mike Boynton and his Cowboys, great defense is one of college basketball’s most reliable qualities. Oklahoma State ranks 10th nationally in defensive efficiency, thanks to a roster full of smart, athletic defenders.
The Pokes are currently blocking more than 16% of their opponents’ field goal attempts this season. That’s third-best in the nation and is a credit not just to one rim protector, but a philosophy of help defense and preventing easy looks.
There are three Cowboys averaging more than 2.0 blocks per 40 minutes of play, topped by Moussa Cisse at 4.3 blocks per 40.
Oklahoma State’s rim protection has forced opponents into just 42.3% shooting inside the arc, seventh-lowest in Division I.
If Oklahoma State wants to forge a path to an at-large bid, it has plenty of chances to earn big wins.
That stingy defense needs to protect the Cowboys in Stillwater and travel to some tough road games, with a little extra offensive pop from Avery Anderson III, currently just 9-of-51 from long range this year.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick
For two teams fighting to stay in the middle of the Big 12 standings, this game could have massive implications.
For Oklahoma, it would be a coup to steal a road win in Stillwater, but for Oklahoma State, this game is approaching must-win status.
The Pokes simply can’t afford to lose home games to the other teams in the back half of the Big 12.
Even if you think Oklahoma is a half-tick better than Oklahoma State (which I do), this is not the spot to back the Sooners.
I’ll trust the Cowboys’ defense in front of a raucous crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena. In the last seven times the Sooners came to town, the Pokes are 5-2 ATS.
I’m not going to mess around with a line that could jump all around, so I’m sticking to the moneyline.
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