Oklahoma State Betting Odds Preview
Last year the Cowboys came within a game of a second Big 12 championship in three seasons, but lost that game to rival Oklahoma. Oklahoma State has hit double-digits in victories three of the last four seasons, and should be regarded as one of the best programs in a pretty good conference.
But every program must go through an occasional rebuilding season, and for OSU 2014 could be one of those seasons, after the loss of 14 starters from last year. And the schedule is tough, with road games at several of the expected contenders in the Big 12. Reaching 10 wins this season might be a tough task for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State breezed to a 3-0 start last year, but then got upset at West Virginia as a 19-point favorite. The Cowboys then won seven in a row, with wins over Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech and Texas, and a 49-17 romp over previously unbeaten Baylor as an eight-point home dog, which set up a chance to win the Big 12 with a Bedlam victory at home against the Sooners. But OSU got upset as 10-point chalk, then lost to former conference rival Missouri in the Cotton Bowl to finish 10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS.
Despite losing their last two games last year the Cowboys still posted their fourth straight winning ATS season; they're 34-17 ATS over that span.
This year Oklahoma State returns just eight starters, second-fewest in all of FBS. Just four starters are back on offense, just two along the offensive line, and four starters return on defense, just two of the back seven.
On top off all those vacancies to be filled, Oklahoma State will play what Phil Steele ranks as the 13th-toughest schedule in the country. The Cowboys open with a challenge against defending national champion Florida State in Arlington, only get four Big 12 home games and have to play at TCU, Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma.
The Cowboys have a chance to start at least 5-1 this season, but the second half, with four of six games on the road, against quality foes, will be testing for such a young team.
Big 12 Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5
Kansas State 10/1
Oklahoma State 10/1
Texas Tech 20/1
West Virginia 66/1
Iowa State 100/1
Oklahoma State performed admirably in a transitional year last season, compiling an 8-5 SU and ATS record. With loads of talent returning on both sides of the ball and one of the most explosive offenses in the country, the Cowboys enter the season as the betting favorite to win the Big 12.
After a sensational 12-1 SU and 9-4 ATS season in 2011, everyone was expecting a dip in 2012 with offensive mainstays QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon departing for the NFL. But even with some big holes needed to be filled by young players and some injury issues over the course of the season, Oklahoma State put together a solid 8-5 SU and ATS campaign last year.
The biggest question coming into this season is at quarterback. True freshman Wes Lunt had been given the job out of camp last year, but after getting injured his backups actually out-performed him. Senior Clint Chelf had 1,588 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions and sophomore J.W. Walsh had 1,564 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. With a new offensive coordinator in town, Oklahoma State would like to get the depth chart solidified sooner rather than later. The Cowboys lose star running back Joseph Randle, but senior Jeremy Smith and junior Desmond Roland are ready to carry the torch. Regardless of who is under center, the Cowboys will be able to shoot out with anyone.
Whoever emerges as quarterback will need to be able to show thick skin on the road. Oklahoma State finished 6-1 SU and ATS at home last season, but went just 1-4 SU and ATS on the road. The defense was a big part of the road woes too, allowing 41.8 points per game away from home. The Cowboys get most of their tough opponents at home this season, but an early season road game against West Virginia and a late season road game against Texas loom on the schedule as big tests.
Big 12 Conference Odds at 5Dimes as of August 9
Oklahoma State +260
Kansas State +1600
Texas Tech +2500
West Virginia +2500
Iowa State +4500