Oklahoma State vs. Texas betting lines, props, predictions: Style points needed to move ‘Horns up CFP rankings

Texas owns a win over Alabama, but won’t get a chance to avenge its lone loss to Oklahoma in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship game.

The No. 7 Longhorns are now in a situation where it may need to chase style points to impress the College Football Playoff selection committee and have a couple of breaks go their way in order to crack the top four.

Oklahoma State has had a wild season, getting blown out by South Alabama and UCF, but went 7-2 in Big 12 play and won Bedlam over the Sooners to claim the tiebreaker that allowed them to oppose the Longhorns in Arlington.

The Cowboys will look to play spoiler, riding the wheels of arguably the nation’s most electric running back in sophomore Ollie Gordon II. 

Big 12 Championship odds and predictions beg the question, can the Cowboys continue their improbable run of success against mighty Texas?

These teams didn’t play during the regular season, but Oklahoma State has actually pulled off upsets in each of the last two years, and won six of the last eight meetings outright. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian hasn’t been able to defeat counterpart Mike Gundy and hopes the third time’s the charm.

These teams have played one-possession games six years running and have combined for at least 56 points in seven of their last eight encounters.

Mother Nature won’t be involved inside AT&T Stadium, so a wild affair is entirely possible. Texas scored a season-high 57 points in a 50-point blowout of Texas Tech last week, while Oklahoma State has scored 40 or more in four of its last six games and have seen over 70 points posted in four of its last seven contests, all of which resulted in wild victories.

Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET on Saturday.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas odds: Point spread, moneyline, total

Here are the latest college football betting odds for the Cowboys vs. Longhorns:

Oklahoma State betting news: Cowboys all in on Ollie

The Cowboys (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) lost at Iowa State in overtime after falling to South Alabama 33-7. The Jaguars were expected to be pretty good this season and Oklahoma State was picked to be a middle-of-the-road Big 12 team, so it’s actually more surprising that it picked up the pieces after the loss in Ames, utilized its bye week to recharge and won seven of its final eight regular-season games. 

Oklahoma State’s best win came over Oklahoma on Nov. 4, pulling away in the fourth quarter. It then no-showed in Orlando, losing 45-3 in a turnover-laden performance, but bounced back by rallying from double-digit deficits against Houston and BYU. The Cowboys beat the Cougars by rallying to force overtime after falling behind 24-6 at halftime. 

Gordon scored all five touchdowns in that game, and has 21 touchdowns, 20 via rush, ranking second nationally behind Michigan’s Blake Corum. His 1,580 rushing yards are tops in the country. In last season’s win over Texas, Gordon ran for just 13 yards on four carries and had two catches, but stopping him will be the focal point of its defensive gameplan.

Gundy gave three different quarterbacks in-game reps to open the season for the first three games before deciding on Texas Tech and Michigan transfer Alan Bowman as the starter. He’s thrown 10 TD passes and 11 interceptions.

Bowman has only played against Texas once, throwing for 331 yards and five TDs against five picks in a 63-56 Texas Tech loss in 2020. His 2,808 passing yards rank second behind OU’s Dillon Gabriel.

Oklahoma State has to overcome its shoddy defense, which has surrendered 30 or more points in seven of the 12 games it has played. The Cowboys have standouts at linebacker and safety in Collin Oliver and Kendal Daniels, some talented defensive backs and a solid defensive lineman in Tulsa transfer Anthony Goodlow.

We’ll see if that’s enough for first-year coordinator Bryan Nardo to slow down a Texas offense loaded with elite recruits.

Gundy lost his only Big 12 Championship appearance in 2021 against Baylor, falling 21-16 in a game the Cowboys trailed by double-digits at halftime.

More conference championship previews: Alabama vs. Georgia oddsOregon vs. Washington odds | Louisville vs. Florida State odds

Texas betting news: Longhorns looking to make a statement

The Longhorns had to stay afloat for a few weeks with redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy at quarterback, survived Kansas State in OT and now have Quinn Ewers back at the controls. Ewers sustained an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder on Oct. 21, came back three weeks later and hasn’t been as sharp as he was pre-injury, but still got the job done in wins over TCU, Iowa State and Texas Tech. 

A top prospect for the 2024 NFL draft, Ewers leads an offense that includes a great left tackle in Kelvin Banks, and a likely first-round pick as his top receiver in Xavier Worthy, who was cleared to play after suffering an injury on Saturday and numerous other playmakers.

Top running back Jonathan Brooks tore his ACL a few weeks ago against TCU, but sophomore Jaydon Blue and true freshman CJ Baxter have stepped in as capable replacements.  It would be surprising if Sarkisian’s offense doesn’t have success in Arlington, especially with Ewers looking healthier.

Texas (11-1, 6-6) is playing in its first Big 12 Championship game since 2018, so this is its biggest game under Sarkisian. The Longhorns have the annual Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma and have played a pair of games against Alabama under Sarkisian’s watch, but a loss in this contest would be an indictment of his ability to win contests that matter most.

The Alabama win, a 34-24 victory in Tuscaloosa that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate, was a huge step forward. Even this season’s loss to Oklahoma was a game the Longhorns led inside the final minute.

With the Pac-12 Championship eliminating one national title contender while elevating another, Texas is going to move up in the CFP rankings. It will likely need Florida State to lose to Louisville in the ACC to move into the top four, but that’s possible if it looks good in this one.

The Longhorns have an excellent run defense that will try and keep Gordon from another dominant performance, and if they’re able to post a blowout win, they’ve got a shot to leapfrog Ohio State. Giving themselves a chance at the College Football Playoff likely requires winning this game by double digits.

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Oklahoma State vs. Texas prop picks

  • Oklahoma State WR Leon Johnson III OVER 50.5 receiving yards (-114) 
  • Texas RB Jaydon Blue OVER 30.5 rushing yards (-114)

Johnson has emerged as a key figure in the Cowboys’ passing game since burning his redshirt, making 27 catches over five games and posting a pair of 100-yard games. Oklahoma State will need to pass it to compete in this contest, and the transfer from Division III George Fox University in Oregon figures to be involved.

Blue comes off a 121-yard game against Texas Tech, showing tremendous burst in a 69-yard TD run in the blowout win. Blue was a top recruit who has gotten 17 carries over the last two games and should get work alongside Baxter. 

Oklahoma State vs. Texas ATS pick

Gundy’s offense stalled out in his first Big 12 Championship appearance, and although he’ll be facing a sturdy Texas defense, he’s going to take his shots and go down swinging as he looks to pull off another upset of the Longhorns.

Ewers should be able to move the ball well against the Cowboys defense and has plenty of weapons to work with as he looks to lead Texas to its first conference title since 2009. Expect to see the scoreboard at AT&T Stadium get a workout.

Pick: OVER

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