Baylor at Oklahoma State Odds, Picks and Predictions: Can the Pokes Hand the Bears Their First Loss?
Ray Carlin, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Charlie Brewer
- The undefeated Baylor Bears (6-0) will face the Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road as 4-point underdogs Saturday.
- Stuckey breaks down who has the betting value in this Big 12 matchup.
Baylor at Oklahoma State Odds
- Spread: Oklahoma State -4
- Over/Under: 68.5
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX
Odds as of Friday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Baylor at Oklahoma State Line Movement
On the surface you’d assume that bettors would back undefeated Baylor as underdogs in Stillwater. Well, we all know what happens when you assume.
As of Friday afternoon this is the most-bet game on Saturday’s slate and it is also one of the most lopsided handles. At the time of writing, more than 80% of the tickets are on the Pokes, but the line has been hanging between Oklahoma State -3 and -4 all week.
The total, which opened at 63.5, has jumped as much as five points at some sportsbooks behind 67% of the tickets and 87% of the money.
Stuckey: Oklahoma State Has Value
I think this is the perfect buy low/sell high spot in regards to selling an undefeated Baylor squad and buying the Pokes low after an outright loss at Texas Tech two weeks ago.
Head coach Mike Gundy’s squad will also benefit from a bye last week. While Oklahoma State was resting and prepping for this game, Baylor narrowly pulled out a win (in controversial fashion) in overtime against that same Texas Tech team.
I think we’re getting value because of the results of each team against Texas Tech the past two weeks. But if you look closer, Oklahoma State was about a 10-point favorite in Lubbock while Baylor was right around that number at home against the Red Raiders.
Now, in Stillwater, this line implies that these two teams are essentially even. I don’t think enough has happened in the past two weeks to warrant that type of adjustment.
The main difference between these two teams has been turnovers. Oklahoma State has been killed by them while Baylor has benefited all year against a fairly weak schedule. Baylor ranks top 20 in the country in turnover margin (+4) while Oklahoma State sits in the bottom 10 nationally at -7.
There’s always some randomness in turnovers, so you can expect some regression in that department. However, part of that discrepancy certainly can be attributed to the difference in experience between the two quarterbacks.
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer is in his third year while Spencer Sanders is a freshman in his first year as a starter. The bye week should serve him well, as Gundy and that staff clean up some things.
Speaking of Gundy, his teams tend to have one stinker every year against an inferior team (see: Texas Tech game), but his teams usually bounce back after a loss very well. And overall, Gundy has been rock solid in his coaching career as a favorite.
He owns a gaudy 69-45-0 career record against the spread as a favorite, making Gundy the most-profitable active coach as a favorite since 2005. And Mike Gundy as a home favorite? 42-25-0 for a 22.4% ROI — best among all 361 current and former coaches since 2005.
*profit based off a $100 wager on each game
(How about Jim Tressel by the way?!?!)
A few other factors to consider:
- Don’t sleep on the impact of Baylor’s stout front seven losing linebacker Clay Johnston — the Bears’ leading tackler by a wide margin and heart-and-leader of the defense. His absence will hurt against this new look run-heavy Oklahoma State explosive rush offense, led by the nation’s leading rusher, Chuba Hubbard and the legs of Sanders.
- Oklahoma State should also have a significant advantage in the special teams department. Per S&P+, the Cowboys only grade out at about neutral overall in the third phase of the game. Baylor, however, has been putrid, ranking in the bottom 20 nationally. The starkest advantage for the Pokes is at kicker as senior Matt Ammendola (10-10 this year) is a much more reliable field goal kicker than Baylor’s freshman kicker John Mayers (4-6). Baylor also ranks outside the top 100 in average net punting yards.
- If you know me, you know I can’t do an article without mentioning the trenches and Oklahoma State boasts a far superior offensive line.
- I also can’t talk about Oklahoma State football and fail to mention star wide receiver Tylan Wallace. The speedster is capable of scoring on a deep ball at any time from anywhere on the field. He already has a 90-yard touchdown to his name this year.
— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 10, 2018
Baylor is a solid squad worthy of its current top 25 ranking but I still rate Oklahoma State higher, so I jumped at the chance at backing the Pokes at home on a cheap buy at -3. That said, I wouldn’t lay anything more than -4 and even that number is a bit dicey.
Pick: Oklahoma State -4