Arizona State vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Picks: Spencer Sanders to Guide Cowboys to Cover
Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephon Johnson Jr. (Oklahoma State)
- Oklahoma State and Arizona State are coming off of tune-ups to face off in a Week 2 college football duel.
- The Cowboys gave up 44 points to Central Michigan in Week 1 and allowed a backdoor cover.
- Thomas Schlarp breaks down the betting angle for this showdown.
Arizona State vs. Oklahoma State Odds
|Arizona State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Oklahoma State Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Cowboys allowed a backdoor cover for the ages in their Week 1 win over Central Michigan, while the Sun Devils coasted to a blowout win over an FCS team in their season debut.
Oklahoma State demonstrated that it has an offense capable of winning the Big 12, but its defense — which allowed 29 second-half points to a MAC opponent — was worrisome.
Will the Cowboys put together a full four quarters in Week 2, or does Herm Edwards truly have a team that can turn the Arizona State program around?
For a team that had as much offseason drama that Arizona State had, the season could not have gotten off to a much better start than it did in Week 1.
The Sun Devils easily dispatched Northern Arizona 40-3, holding the Lumberjacks to just 120 yards of total offense.
Florida transfer quarterback Emory Jones won't win any awards for his performance, but he avoided any mistakes while flashing his dual-threat capabilities. He had 152 yards through the air on 13-of-18 passing, as well as an additional 48 yards and two scores on the ground.
As expected, with new offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas, the Sun Devils turned to the run more often, carrying the ball 49 times.
Wyoming transfer Xazavian Valladay will be the main workhorse for the team, as was the case in Week 1 with his 116 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Sun Devils also already have injury concerns on their offensive line. Right tackle Des Holmes is questionable after missing Week 1, and his replacement Joey Ramos is out for the season with a high ankle sprain sustained against the Lumberjacks.
That's not what you want against a Cowboys defense that had 13 tackles for loss and two sacks in a Week 1 win over Central Michigan.
Leading into the season, bigger question marks surrounded the defensive side of the ball, with six of the top eight tacklers from 2021 leaving the program, including four starters in the secondary.
Obviously the defense impressed in the box score against the Lumberjacks, but Arizona State ranks only 54th in Defensive Havoc among FBS teams and 38th in Defensive Success Rate.
Spencer Sanders and the Cowboys' offense is a completely different animal than Northern Arizona.
The Sun Devils have a strong front seven, but the secondary will be stretched thin by Sanders if they fail to generate much pressure.
It was a rather unfortunate day for Oklahoma State-backers in Week 1. The 20.5-point favorites stormed out to a 36-point second-half lead, only to have Central Michigan score a final touchdown with just over three minutes remaining to cut the Cowboys' lead to 14.
Despite the backdoor cover by the Chippewas, Sanders had a career day, throwing for 406 yards and four touchdowns, as well as adding 57 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground.
That's right, the fourth-year quarterback accounted for six touchdowns.
Mike Gundy's warp-speed offense returned four of its top-five pass catchers from 2021, which Sanders took full advantage of in Week 1. 11 Cowboys players recorded a catch, including three having over 70 yards receiving.
But while the offense had no problem scoring 58 points (51 in the first three quarters), the usual strength of this team — its defense — struggled following the departures of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and several starting linebackers and corners.
The departures were apparent, as Central Michigan's Daniel Richardson passed for a career-high 424 yards and four touchdowns. The Chippewas recorded 24 plays of at least 10 yards in length, tied for the third-most among teams with one game played.
The front seven, which led the FBS in sacks and tackles for loss per game last season, remained strong, generating the second-most Havoc in Week 1 and holding 2021 MAC-leading rusher Lew Nichols III to just 72 yards on 26 carries.
Arizona State vs. Oklahoma State Betting Pick
Even with a week of tape, there's still a lot to question about both teams.
There's not much to glean from Arizona State's whooping of an FCS team. The defense did what it was supposed to, but although the offense put up 40 points, it took three drives to score its first touchdown, and Jones failed to score through the air. Not to mention the Sun Devils settled for four field goals.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, was headed to a five-score blowout until a disastrous fourth quarter saw Central Michigan score 22 points in nine minutes.
Was it as simple as the Cowboys easing off the gas, or is there a real pause for concern?
I choose to believe it's more the former than the latter.
Oklahoma State's defensive line still looked pretty dominant, and that will be key against the Sun Devils.
Arizona State's main plan of attack is running the ball. No matter how susceptible the Cowboys may be to the pass, the Sun Devils don't have a proven receiver, and Jones has never passed for more than 273 yards against an FBS opponent.
The secondary of Arizona State is going to be a liability this season. Sanders' career has been a roller coaster, but he has thrown for 777 yards and eight touchdowns in his last two games (Notre Dame and Central Michigan).
He should have another impressive day through the air, and he could very well be this year's Kenny Pickett.
Eat the points and take the Cowboys at nothing worse than -11.