Baylor vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Picks, Predictions: How 11 Experts Are Betting the Big 12 Championship
Ron Jenkins and Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Trestan Ebner (25) of the Baylor Bears and Jaylen Warren (7) of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
- Conference championship Saturday is here, and it all starts with some Big 12 action.
- Oklahoma State takes on Baylor in the Big 12 title game, with a spot in the College Football Playoff potentially on the line for the Cowboys.
- Check out how our staff is betting the game below.
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Oklahoma State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Big 12 Championship
No. 8 Baylor vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State
In the 2021 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll, Oklahoma State was picked to finish fourth in the league, and Baylor was picked to finish eighth. Fast forward four months later, and the Cowboys and Bears will be meeting in Jerry World to play for a conference championship.
Both teams have had fantastic seasons and have surpassed expectations from even their most devout fans. Not only is a conference championship on the line this week, but there are major CFP implications involved, particularly for Oklahoma State.
If the Cowboys win Saturday, there is a very high chance they will be one of the four teams selected by the Committee to make the playoff.
The only scenario the Pokes could be left out with a win would be Alabama upsetting Georgia, Michigan beating Iowa, Cincinnati beating Houston, and the committee deciding to keep the Bearcats ahead of the Cowboys despite playing a far inferior schedule.
Baylor would need to win and then get a lot more help, but in a season that has been filled with upsets, crazier things have certainly happened.
The Bears have continued to adapt to head coach Dave Aranda’s system, and they are winning in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
When Baylor faced the Cowboys earlier in the year in Stillwater, the Bears really struggled offensively and ended up playing from behind for most of the game. Getting off to a better start will be paramount for Baylor if it wants to win its first-ever Big 12 Championship game.
The Oklahoma State defense continues to be the backbone of this team and the driving force behind the 11 wins. The Cowboys have improved week over week throughout the season, and last week, they faced a lot of adversity in Bedlam and found a way to win the rivalry game.
The Pokes suffocated Baylor’s offense when these two teams met in early October, and you can bet defensive coordinator Jim Knowles will be looking to dial up plenty of pressure once again.
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State Spread
Oklahoma State -5.5
When breaking down this matchup, it’s easy to see that these are two football teams that really know who they are. Neither coaching staff is going to make drastic schematic changes for this game but rather stick to what’s worked and trust that formula.
Both teams have improved significantly since the 24-14 Cowboy win on Oct. 2. I put some stock into that game, but given it has been a couple of months, this isn’t your typical rematch.
When Baylor has the ball, the Cowboys should be able to get after the quarterback, regardless of who that ends up being for the Bears.
There’s hope that Gerry Bohanon could return for this one, but if he cannot go, it will be Blake Shapen once again for Baylor. The redshirt freshman has performed pretty well since being thrust into action, but this Cowboy defense will be far and away the toughest task he has had to deal with.
Knowles’ group simply does not have a weakness. Last week against Oklahoma, the Cowboys defense did not surrender a single point in the second half.
The Pokes got after Caleb Williams, and when the game was on the line, they came through twice on fourth down. This group ranks third nationally against the run and 12th against the pass, and it leads the country in getting off the field on third down.
On the other side of the ball, I think you’re going to see Mike Gundy and Kasey Dunn air it out a little bit more than they have over the course of the year.
Baylor has been pretty stout against the run, coming into this one ranked inside the top-15 in Rush Success. Against the pass, however, the Bears have struggled a bit, particularly in recent weeks. Spencer Sanders now has a healthy and improved WR corps to throw to, and he found some success downfield last week with Tay Martin.
This line opened with OK State as a 5-point favorite and has hovered right around there throughout the week. I’m backing the Cowboys to cover that number and win this game by a touchdown or more.
Both defenses will be able to have success early, but I believe Sanders and the Cowboy offense will strike with a few big plays down the field.
This Cowboy defense has been phenomenal all season, and they know they have one more task at hand to finish the job and win a conference championship. I believe Baylor will really struggle to move the ball just as it did in October, and I think Shapen or Bohanon could turn it over as well.
Give me the Pokes to cover the 5-point spread and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff, keeping our 500-1 futures alive along the way.
Staff Pick: Oklahoma State -5
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State Over/Under
By Doug Ziefel
Points are likely to be at a premium in the Big 12 Championship game, as this matchup pits two of the nation’s best defenses against one another.
The Cowboys defense has been the backbone of their 11-win season. They have allowed only 16.4 points per game, which was good for fourth in the nation.
Though, if you think that’s impressive, the rest of the numbers are even better. The Cowboys are third in yards per game allowed and were the best unit in the country at getting off the field on third down.
But where this defense shined brightest is against the run game. The Cowboys absolutely shut down the run game this year holding their opposition to just 2.8 yards per carry. Facing the Bears, who rush nearly at a 60% rate, slowing down the run is critical to keep them off the board.
On the opposite side of the field, the Baylor defense is not too shabby itself.
The Bears defense held their opposition to just 20.6 points per game. While they are not quite in the range of the Cowboys, this Baylor unit ranks 39th in yards per game allowed and 13th in opponent third-down conversion rate.
As the key for the Oklahoma State defense is to slow the run game Baylor, stopping the run may even be more important for the Bears.
The Cowboys rush at over a 61% rate and really lean on stud running back Jaylen Warren to get the offense in rhythm. Baylor was very solid against the run on the season, holding opponents to 3.7 yards per rush, which ranks 29th amongst FBS defenses.
One thing that is great about the Big 12 is that there are no divisions, which means these two teams have history that is only from October. In that meeting, the Cowboys were victorious by a score of 24-14. Though, they were fortunate that the Bears offense was kept off the field as Abram Smith carried the ball for 9.7 yards per carry.
As for the Baylor defense, it was decently effective at containing Warren on the ground. Now, 125 yards and two scores may not sound good, but it came on 36 attempts. That means the defense really held Warren to just 3.5 yards per carry.
The first meeting saw 38 total points, and now the total for this matchup is set at 46.5. No two games are the same, but there is definite value on the under.