- Drew Lock’s final college game should be a good one, as the star quarterback will be taking on an Oklahoma State secondary that can be ripped apart.
Liberty Bowl – Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (+8.0)
Mon., December 31, 3:45 p.m. ET
Three things to know before betting on Missouri-Oklahoma State:
1. There aren’t many coaches that do as well in bowl games as Mike Gundy. In his career with Oklahoma State, the Cowboys are 8-4 straight up and 7-5 against the spread. In bowl games played in December, the record becomes even better at 5-1 both straight up and against the spread. Oklahoma State has also won and covered in three of its previous four bowl games. Meanwhile, Missouri lost 33-18 as a three-point favorite in Barry Odom’s first bowl game as the head coach of the Tigers last season. Also, Oklahoma State is 16-6 against the spread when coming off a game in which they rushed for 100 or fewer yards under Gundy. That tends to mean that the Cowboys can fix their mistakes and get back to running the ball effectively.
2. While Oklahoma State might not have the world’s best defense, it’s not like Missouri’s is anything to write home about. The Tigers gave up 256.1 yards per game this season, which is only slightly better than the 258.3 yards per game that the Cowboys allowed. So while Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is definitely going to put up some numbers in this game, it’s unclear why anybody assumes that giving eight points to an Oklahoma State passing game with Taylor Cornelius under center and Tylan Wallace on the outside is a good idea. On the season, Cornelius threw for 3,642 yards with 28 touchdowns and 11 picks. He also added 385 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. In fact, Cornelius’s ability to run added a whole new dimension to the Cowboys offense. Wallace hauled in 79 passes for 1,408 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He’s extremely explosive all over the field, and he should make his mark against the Tigers’ porous defense.
3. Oklahoma State's defense did find ways to come up with big stops in games against Boise State, Texas and West Virginia, three extremely explosive offenses. The Cowboys were also able to hang close in a loss to Oklahoma, losing 48-47 as 21.5-point underdogs. While the Cowboys might not have much talent on defense, they've proven they can play well enough to win games. Oklahoma State is most comfortable in shootout situations, and it should actually be Missouri’s defense that feels the pressure here.
Pick: Oklahoma State +8.0
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)