Oklahoma State vs Arizona State Odds, Picks: Trust Mike Gundy’s Pokes
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State vs Arizona State Odds
Just as is the case with Baylor and Utah, this will be the final meeting between Oklahoma State and Arizona State as nonconference opponents.
Arizona State will be on its way to the Big 12 in 2024. In addition to that offseason news, ASU also generated headlines when it announced a self-imposed bowl ban for this year.
The players certainly weren't thrilled when they were told that news, so it will be interesting to see if first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham can keep his team motivated despite no chance at the postseason.
Meanwhile in Stillwater, it was a busy offseason in the transfer portal — or should I say free agency these days. One of the strengths of Mike Gundy's tenure has been the continuity and player development in the OSU program over the years.
The NIL era is here, however, and several Cowboys like Spencer Sanders, Jabbar Muhammad, John Paul Richardson and others chose to enter the portal and find new homes. Gundy adapted, bringing in a plethora of his own transfers, many of whom will need to make an immediate impact on this year's team.
Both the Sun Devils and the Cowboys secured home victories in their opening games, but neither victory came without some mishaps and rust.
Where does the betting value lie in what should be a fun late-night battle in Tempe? Let's discuss.
Oklahoma State is a team that entered the year as one of the biggest unknowns due to the heavy roster overhaul in the offseason. In addition to new personnel, Mike Gundy also hired a new defensive coordinator in Bryan Nardo from Division II Gannon College.
Gundy wanted to morph into more of a 3-3-5 system and he believed Nardo was the right man for the job. The Poke defense looked pretty solid in Week 1 against Central Arkansas, and Nardo is fortunate to have at least one veteran player returning at each level of his defense.
Korie Black and Kendal Daniels are both experienced guys in the secondary who can cover and come up to make a tackle.
Collin Oliver moves into a new OLB position in Nardo's system, and he should be one of the best players in the conference entering his junior year.
Lastly, Kody Walterscheid and Collin Clay are two veteran bodies up front who should help in stopping the Sun Devil rushing attack.
Offensively, it all starts with the quarterback battle.
Gundy played all three of his quarterbacks last week, including his son, Gunnar. He's made it clear he won't name a full-time starter until Gunnar, Alan Bowman or Garret Rangel prove to him they are the right man for the job.
Ollie Gordon and Elijah Collins are both legit talents in the backfield, and offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn will look to lean on the duo while the quarterback(s) gain comfortability running the offense.
With Notre Dame QB transfer Drew Pyne sidelined by an injury during the summer, freshman Jaden Rashada was named the starting quarterback for the Sun Devils. It now looks like he will keep that title regardless of Pyne's health.
Rashada is very athletic and showed flashes in his first career start, but he definitely had some plays where he showed his youth against Southern Utah. I'd expect Nardo and the Cowboy defense to give him a bunch of different looks and also dial up some pressure to make things difficult on the youngster.
ASU's defense handled Southern Utah for much of the night last Friday, but it's hard to take much from that game due to the opponent. This is still a defense that was one of the worst in the Pac-12 a year ago, and lost some of its most important pieces to graduation and the portal.
Keeping eyes on shifty slot receiver Brennan Presley will be paramount for the Sun Devil defense when OSU does drop back to throw.
Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
Betting Pick & Prediction
Oklahoma State has been a covering machine in nonconference road games in recent memory, and I'll back Gundy and the Cowboys once again in this one.
I don't envision ASU being able to consistently move the ball up and down the field against an improved Cowboy defense, which will put a lot of pressure on a young quarterback.
While some may view Oklahoma State's QB shuffling as a big concern, all three have a pretty good grasp of the offense. I wouldn't be surprised if Gundy starts to ride a hot hand in this one. Additionally, if the Cowboys can have some success rushing the football — which I think is doable against a mediocre ASU front — it will make the job of the signal-callers a lot easier.
The long-term fate of both of these teams is still unknown, but I've got much more faith in the team with the more experienced coach and superior talent on both sides of the ball.