The Big 12 features another intriguing top 25 match up this Saturday evening (7:50pm ET) with the 10th ranked Texas Longhorns (3-0) traveling to T. Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, OK to take on the 22nd ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-1). Texas is 2-1 ATS this season, they did not cover 31 point in their opening 37-17 win over Wyoming, but they covered a 39.5 point line in throttling New Mexico 45-0 in week and covered a 10.5 point line in week 3 in a 66-31 rout at Ole Miss. The Cowboys are 1-1 ATS this season, covering 22.5 points in a 65-24 win over Louisiana Lafayette in week 3 and losing 59-38 outright at Arizona in week 2. Oklahoma State has gotten over the hump against Texas in the last two years, winning each time including a 38-26 win in Austin last season as a 7 point favorite.
The Texas offense has taken a giant leap forward this season after their struggles of a year ago when they could not settle on a permanent starter at quarterback. David Ash (703 yards passing, 7 TD passes and no INTs) has locked down the job and led Texas to 49.3 points per game (7th best among FBS teams) and 514.3 yard per game of total offense (16th best) in the early going this year. The Longhorn defense has allowed 16 PPG (28th best) and 328.3 YPG (38th in the nation).
Oklahoma State features freshman starting quarterback Wes Lunt (588 yards passing, 4 TDs, 3 INTs) stepping in for departed first-round draft pick Brandon Weeden. Lunt has experienced some growing pains as evidenced by the picks, but his 68% completion rate is outstanding, and the Cowboys rank #1 in both scoring offense with 62.3 PPG and total offense with 686.7 YPG. He is questionable this week with a knee injury. The OSU defense ranks 81st in scoring with 27.7 PPG allowed and 43rd in total defense with 338.7 YPG allowed.
Texas vs. Oklahoma State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Texas Longhorns -2.5
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys +2.5
Over 65 (-110)
Under 65 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Texas vs. Oklahoma State Pick:
The trends: Texas has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games coming off of a bye week, but 4-10 ATS in their last 14 Big 12 games. Oklahoma St. is 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall, 11-3 ATS in their last 14 Big 12 games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in Stillwater. The under is 6-2 in the Longhorns’ last 8 games overall and 7-3 in their last 10 September games, but the over is 5-2 in their last 7 road games. The over is 7-1 in OSU’s last 8 games coming off of a bye week and 45-17-1 in their last 63 home games. In head-to-head play, the favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings and the road team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
These two teams have both been prolific throwing the ball so far this season with Ash coming into his own for Texas, and Lunt hitting the ground running as a freshman for OSU. The edge should come down to experience with Ash having the advantage there after taking his lumps last season, including against OSU when he tossed 2 INTs. He has been mistake free this year and ranks 3rd nationally in passing efficiency, while Lunt has shown a propensity to turn the ball over, and if he is unable to play fellow freshman J.W. Walsh (347 yards passing against Louisiana Lafayette) will get the nod. The Longhorns also have the more consistent defense, with OSU having given up 501 yards of total offense and 7.8 yards per pass attempt in their embarrassing loss at Arizona. Take Texas here as the more proven commodity.