It’s last call in the Big 12 this weekend as the Baylor Bears play host to the No. 22 Oklahoma State Cowboys. On the road, the Cowboys are five-point favorites over Baylor with an over/under of 49 points.
It’s almost hard to fathom that a few weeks ago, Oklahoma State was the Big 12’s best chance at getting a team in the College Football Playoff. After three losses in their last five games, the Cowboys aren’t even going to the conference championship game. Nevertheless, Mike Gundy’s team will try to bounce back from last week’s loss to TCU as the Cowboys seek their first win in Waco in 10 years.
Baylor was in the Big 12 Championship Game a year ago. Alas, the Bears are just 2-6 this season under first-year head coach Dave Aranda. It’s been a rough year for Baylor, especially since the Bears have lost three games by seven points or fewer. They will now do their best to create some positive momentum heading into 2021.
The Brew Crew
Quarterback Charlie Brewer was hoping for a much better senior season than the one he got. With key playmakers from last season missing, either due to graduation or the NFL draft, Brewer’s numbers have plummeted in 2020. He’s already thrown more interceptions than he did in 2019 and is averaging just 6.4 yards per pass attempt.
In fairness to Brewer, the Baylor rushing attack has been dreadful. Outside of one strong game from freshman Craig Williams on Halloween, the Bears have failed to do anything on the ground. Nobody on the roster has more than 197 rushing yards on the season, while the team averages just 2.8 yards per carry.
There’s a sliver of hope for the Baylor offense this week against a porous Oklahoma State defense. The Cowboys appeared to be much-improved earlier in the season, but Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech have all scored 40-plus points against the Cowboys this year. TCU racked up more than 500 yards of offense against OSU last week despite turning the ball over five times.
Offensively, the Cowboys have been without a healthy Chuba Hubbard for over a month. Not having Hubbard has hindered the Oklahoma State offense significantly. At the same time, sophomore quarterback Spencer Sanders has been erratic in his performances over the past month. Sanders has just two touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last four games despite having Tylan Wallace, who is arguably the best receiver in the Big 12.
The Baylor defense has played a little better than what some of the numbers suggest. Even some of the best quarterbacks in the conference have put up modest numbers against the Bears this year. On the other hand, a few teams have been able to shred Baylor’s run defense and score points against the Bears on the ground.
While it’s tough to trust Oklahoma State too much, the modest five-point spread makes it a little easier. Even with Hubbard out and Sanders struggling, the Cowboys have far more offensive firepower than Baylor. The Bears will struggle to stay close if this evolves into a classic Big 12 shootout. With that in mind, bet on Oklahoma State to win and cover.
FREE PICK: Oklahoma State (-5).
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