Oklahoma State vs Houston Odds: Cowboys Laying Too Many Points?
Josh Hedges/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston quarterback Donovan Smith.
Oklahoma State vs Houston Odds
Oklahoma State heads south to Houston to take on a Cougars team that must win out to make a bowl game. Meanwhile, for the Cowboys, a trip to the Big 12 Championship game is still firmly in play.
Based on my understanding of the league tiebreakers — and trust me there are a lot of potential scenarios — two wins to end the year and a 7-2 league finish would send OSU to Jerry World.
Thus, there's plenty on the line when these two square off on Saturday afternoon. Dana Holgorsen spent some time on Mike Gundy's staff back in the day, so there's also a good bit of familiarity between the two head coaches.
Where does the betting value lie in this one? Let's dive into the Oklahoma State vs Houston Odds.
It's pretty wild that in Week 12 we're talking about Oklahoma State controlling its destiny to make the Big 12 Championship game given where this team sat after four games.
A blowout loss to South Alabama in which the Pokes looked awful on offense had many believing the 18-year bowl streak was coming to an end.
Mike Gundy made adjustments, however, and the Oklahoma State rushing attack has taken off. That can also be credited to a healther offensive line room and the emergence of star running back Ollie Gordon II.
Gordon has performed so well that his name, deservedly so, started being tossed around in Heisman conversations.
While the turnaround has been impressive, there are still plenty of flaws within this Cowboy team.
The Pokes surrender a ton of big plays defensively, and that was on full display in Orlando last week where UCF dominated OSU from start to finish.
First-year defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo has some holes in his defense, particularly in the secondary. What really benefited the Pokes during its five-game winning streak were the takeaways that Nardo's defense created.
Houston will likely try to replicate the formula Gus Malzahn used last week to try to dial up some home run plays down the field in this one.
The Cowboys defense will need to be more sound and avoid blown coverages if it wants to secure the road victory.
You never really know which Houston team you're going to get under Holgorsen.
The Cougars have looked downright atrocious at certain points this season. Last week was an example of that when they couldn't handle Cincinnati on their home turf.
There's also a nonconference loss to Rice and a 41-0 blowout loss to Kansas State in Manhattan.
Then there are flashes of competency, like when Houston took Texas to the wire and beat West Virginia in a prime-time game.
Texas Tech transfer quarterback Donovan Smith has had a part to play in the inconsistency, as he can run a bit hot and cold. When Smith is using his size and speed to make plays with his legs, he's often at his best.
Defensively, the area to exploit the Cougars is through the air, as the secondary is really poor. Out of 133 FBS teams, UH ranks 114th in Defensive Pass Success.
The good news in this matchup? Oklahoma State leans heavily on its run game, and that's an area where the Cougars have been OK defensively in recent weeks.
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Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Oklahoma State and Houston match up statistically:
Oklahoma State Offense vs. Houston Defense
Houston Offense vs. Oklahoma State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||45||99|
|Seconds per Play||24.8 (27)||25.7 (41)|
|Rush Rate||45.4% (112)||45.7% (121)|
Oklahoma State vs Houston
Betting Pick & Prediction
This is a difficult game to handicap because of the sporadic nature of Houston, and to an extent, Oklahoma State. That said, I believe there's some value on the home team catching a touchdown in a must-win spot.
Aside from a dominant win against Cincinnati, OK State hasn't really blown out anybody all season.
That can be credited to a defense that is bound to have breakdowns at certain points of the game and an offense that's methodical and a little bit conservative.
I expect this game to be a back-and-forth affair that stays competitive from start to finish.
I give Oklahoma State the edge to ultimately secure the victory, but give me the Cougars as a seven-point underdog to cover this number.
Pick: Houston +7
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