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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: Texas vs. Oklahoma State (10/22/2022)

By Ace Margolis
October 21, 2022
Photo by: Scott Wachter - USA TODAY Sports

Texas vs Oklahoma St. (10/22/22 3:30 pm EDT)

Line: Texas -6.5
O/U: 61

Texas vs Oklahoma St. Overview

One of the most anticipated games on this Saturday’s college football schedule features the Big 12 Conference’s 20th-ranked Texas Longhorns on the road against the 11th-ranked Oklahoma St. Cowboys in Stillwater, OK. The Longhorns are coming off a 24-21 victory over Iowa St. at home while the Cowboys lost 43-40 to TCU in double-overtime, ending their undefeated season.

Texas Analysis

Texas comes into this contest on a three-game winning streak after beating West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Iowa St. in that order. In last week’s victory over the Cyclones, the Longhorns showed that even when their offense isn’t working very well they can still win the ball game. They are 5-2 overall on the season and 3-1 in the Big 12, putting them alone in second place behind TCU and Kansas State. Against the spread, Texas has done well going 5-2 but hasn’t had nearly as much success against the over/under as they’ve only gone 2-5 versus totals.

Although they have two losses, the Longhorns get a lot of credit for keeping their losses as close as possible, losing both games by a combined four points. One of those losses was a heartbreaking 20-19 back-and-forth battle against Alabama (ranked #1 at the time), a game in which the Longhorns were without starting quarterback Quinn Ewers. Texas has only played two games away from home, going 1-1 with an overtime loss to Texas Tech on September 24th, however, they came away with a huge victory against Oklahoma two weeks ago, beating them 49-0 in the Red River Shootout.

The Longhorns’ offensive success can be attributed to star running back Bijan Johnson who is eighth in the nation with 780 yards rushing through seven games. Johnson’s ten rushing TDs are tied for fourth in the country while his 111.4 yards per game is good for 11th overall. Under center is Ewers, who missed about a month of football but has returned in fine form, tossing seven touchdowns against one interception in the last two games. As a team, Texas’ offense manages the game extremely well without making very many mistakes as they’ve only committed four turnovers all season, fourth-best in the country.

Oklahoma St. Analysis

With the Cowboys having their undefeated season ruined last Saturday, they still find themselves 5-1 coming into this game, including 2-1 in the Big 12 where they’re in fourth place. They have beaten only one ranked opponent up until now, however, taking out 16th-ranked Baylor on the road 36-25. Oklahoma St. remains unbeaten in Stillwater where they’ve gone 4-0 including wins over Power 5 teams such as Arizona St. and Texas Tech. The Cowboys have been solid ATS this season with a 4-2 record and have done even better against the total, going 5-1.

Unable to pull out the victory last Saturday against TCU, Oklahoma St. has to treat this like a must-win game if they’re going to have a shot at the Big 12 title. With three teams above them in the conference, every win from here on out will be crucial, especially this game and next week’s contest against 17th-ranked Kansas St. One issue the Cowboys are facing is the health of their starting quarterback Spencer Sanders whose status appears to have already been taken into account with Oklahoma St. getting six and a half points. If Sanders can’t go, backup QB Gunnar Gundy will have to take over the offense.

For the Cowboys, the offense starts and ends with the aforementioned Sanders so not having him this Saturday would be a big blow. On the season, Sanders has thrown for 1,639 yards including 13 TD passes and only three INTs. If Gunnar has to take over this Saturday, he only has only gone 12-20 with 128 yards passing along with two TDs and a pick. Oklahoma St. ranks 75th overall in points allowed, however, they’re fifth in the nation in 3rd down conversion defense, allowing a mere 26.9% of third downs to be converted.

Free Pick – Oklahoma St. +6

The Cowboys are coming off a tough loss where they surrendered a 14-point lead to lose in double overtime. Sure, it’s a heartbreaker but it was on the road against a ranked opponent and they only lost by three points. This game is at home and the uncertainty of Sanders is the big culprit of the point spread favoring Texas. On that note, Oklahoma St. is still a damn good football team and isn’t going to roll over for a big conference rival like Texas no matter who’s running the offense. The Cowboys are also 5-2 straight up against the Longhorns over their last seven meetings including 5-2 ATS. It’s tempting to lean toward Texas here without Sanders with no official word yet on him, Oklahoma St. has had enough recent success against Texas to keep this game closer than six points. We like Oklahoma St. +6.0.

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