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Oklahoma State vs. Baylor prediction and pick for Saturday's Big 12 Championship. Can Baylor dampen the Cowboys' CFP hopes? Mike Spector breaks it down

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Baylor Bears

Spread: Oklahoma State -5

Total: 46.5

Game time: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

Where to watch: ABC

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor odds

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor Prediction

In the four-year history of the newly formatted Big 12 Championship, the Oklahoma Sooners have dominated, winning the first three conference championship games, with Iowa State unseating them last year. In that span, the Baylor Bears appeared in the title game once in 2019, while the Oklahoma State Cowboys have never cracked the top two in the standings or played in the Big 12 Championship game. With Oklahoma no longer in the mix, will Baylor or Oklahoma State win their first-ever conference championship?

The Baylor Bears (10-2, 7-2) ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak riding a dominant defense that allowed just 16.0 points per game over the last three games. They also won five of their last six games after a 24-14 loss at Oklahoma State on October 2. The Bears went 3-1 ATS as underdogs and were 6-3 ATS in their nine conference games.

Oklahoma State finished the regular season 11-1 with an 8-1 conference record. The Cowboys’ lone loss was a 24-21 slip-up at Iowa State, but they rebounded with five consecutive wins, four of which came by at least 21 points. That margin of victory is much improved from the first half of the season when four of Oklahoma State’s first six wins were decided by one possession. The Cowboys were a dominant 8-0-1 ATS in their nine conference games and 3-0-1 ATS against ranked opponents.

This year’s Mike Gundy squad is not your typical Cowboys team, as they are one of the country’s best defensive teams instead of one that tries to outscore you with an air-raid offense. Oklahoma State ranks fifth in the country in PPG allowed (16.4) and is third-best in total defense, allowing just 276.3 yards per game.

Baylor’s defense is not too far behind, as they were the Big 12’s second-best scoring defense at 19.0 PPG and were second to the Cowboys in run defense, allowing 120.7 yards per game on the ground. Baylor was the conference’s best offense at 446 yards per game and scored 33.4 PPG this season (third-best in the Big 12).

Oklahoma State’s win in the Bedlam rivalry was a thriller, and they once again have their stout defense to thank for sealing the victory. After heading into halftime tied at 24-24, the Cowboys outscored the Sooners 13-9 in the second half and stopped Oklahoma on their last eight possessions. The win gave the Cowboys the best conference record in the Big 12 at the end of the regular season for the first time in the last ten years.

Meanwhile, Baylor barely survived its visit from Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders missed a field goal attempt as time expired that would have forced overtime. Bears redshirt freshman backup quarterback Blake Shapen filled in admirably for injured starter Gerry Bohanon, as he completed 20-of-34 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. However, for Baylor to have their best chance to beat Oklahoma State this week, they need Bohanon healthy.

Considering Bohanon was considered day-to-day with a leg injury all last week, one would expect him to be able to suit up in this Big 12 Championship Game. In Oklahoma State’s 24-14 win over Baylor in the regular season, Bohanan was 13-for-27 passing, adding just 13 yards rushing. While Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders was not much better (13-for-23 with three interceptions), Oklahoma State wore down the Baylor front with 59 rushing attempts for 219 yards and won the time of possession battle by over nine minutes.

Most bettors will overreact to Oklahoma State’s thrilling victory over Oklahoma in primetime while being down on Baylor needed to squeak out a win last week with their backup quarterback. However, this is a tremendous buy-low spot on Baylor, which has the athletes to compete in the trenches. It is hard to trust Spencer Sanders in a big spot, as he has five combined interceptions against the Big 12’s other best two teams in Baylor and Oklahoma.

The Bears are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games against teams with a winning record and are 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games as underdogs at neutral sites. With the familiarity of having seen Oklahoma State’s defense in person once this season, look for Baylor to be more creative offensively and keep this game closer than the experts think.

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor Pick

Article Author


Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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