Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa Betting Odds & Pick: Back Cowboys to Cover Against Underprepared Golden Hurricane (Saturday, Sept. 19)
David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chuba Hubbard.
- Tulsa and Oklahoma State kick off their respective seasons today at noon ET.
- This in-state historical rivalry was originally postponed from Week 2 due to Tulsa's program disruptions from COVID-19.
- Check out Collin Wilson's full game guide below with odds, analysis and his pick for the game -- including why he's pessimistic about Tulsa's preparedness against Oklahoma State's corral of elite skill position players.
Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa Odds
|Oklahoma State Odds||-23.5 [BET NOW]|
|Tulsa Odds||+23.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||66 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12:00 p.m. ET|
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Coming into 2020, Tulsa was a team that we believed could take the next step in the American Athletic Conference. The Golden Hurricane brings back 88% of its offensive production from 2019, including quarterbacks Zach Smith and Seth Boomer.
The offensive line returns 63 starts, which should help Smith and Boomer operate from a clean pocket. Plus Tulsa’s QB tandem gets back its top-two third-down receiving targets in Josh Johnson and Keylon Stokes. The Golden Hurricane ranked top-30 in success rate last season, which constitutes a massive year-over-year increase under first-year coordinator Joseph Gillespie.
Yet despite the positivity surrounding the Tulsa program, there are also causes for concern in its first game against Oklahoma State. Tulsa has only covered five times in its last 21 games against Big 12 opponents. But more importantly, the team’s lack of offseason practice time may significantly hinder Philip Montgomery’s team. After missing nine practices during the month of August, Tulsa conducted its first padded practice on August 29th. Tulsa continued to have issues with COVID-19 through the beginning of September.
Tulsa AD Derrick Gragg: “The safety and health of our student-athletes is always at the core of all of our discussions and decisions. Without time to properly prepare physically we would be putting our student-athletes at a greater risk of injury. …
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) September 8, 2020
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Head coach Mike Gundy may field one of the best offenses in his career at Stillwater. Heisman Trophy contender Chuba Hubbard returns at running back to serve as the ultimate safety blanket for QB Spencer Sanders. Tylan Wallace returns at wide receiver after fully recovering from a season-ending knee injury in 2019.
The Pokes return even more players on defense. Oklahoma State retained 86% of its defensive production from a group that ranked 72nd in success rate last year. Gundy has made statements that he wants the Tulsa opener to be an “uptempo, physical game” to start the season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
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The Action Network’s Week 3 projections have this game at Oklahoma State -17, but this is the age of COVID-19. Both Eastern Kentucky and Navy dealt with COVID-19 throughout August practices by limiting contact. That lack of physicality was obvious in their first games, as each team was steamrolled by Marshall and BYU, respectively.
Tulsa has had just a handful of padded practices heading into its season-opening road test against Oklahoma State. If history teaches us anything during the pandemic, then the Golden Hurricane may be ill-prepared to tackle some of the best skill position players in the country on Saturday.
The Bet: Oklahoma State -23.5
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