The Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) face the Baylor Bears (10-2, 7-2) in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, December 4 at 11:00 am CST. Oklahoma State is a 5.5-point favorite and the game has an over/under of 46.5 points.
The Pokes won a previous iteration of this matchup 24-14 at home in Week 5. Spencer Sanders threw three interceptions but the Oklahoma State defense held Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanan out of the end zone. This time around, Bohanan is dealing with an injury and backup Blake Shapen may have to take his place.
When it comes to college football championships, be it conference or national, experience matters. Oklahoma State will either be facing an inexperienced backup or an injured starter.
On the other side of the football, the Pokes found their stride in two of their last three games, scoring 41 points per game during that stretch. However, the story has been all year long the Pokes’ defense that’s second nationally in points allowed per drive (1.09).
Running backs are also on display in this one between the Big 12’s second- and fourth-leading rusher Abram Smith and Jaylen Warren, respectively. Both players have usurped 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. In the first matchup, Smith nearly broke 100 yards (97) and scored once. Warren rushed for 125 yards and a pair of scores.
Baylor put themselves in a good position to win the first game by winning the turnover margin. A repeat of that could prove to be the winning formula in the Big 12 title game.
Bettors interested in this game should jump on the Oklahoma State side before Gerry Bohanan is declared in or out; him missing this one could push the line over a touchdown. Currently, it favors the Pokes by 5.5 points, a good value for this one.
Those interested in Baylor should wait to see if the line is bet up any more.
Ultimately, Oklahoma State has improved since their initial meeting and has the offensive advantage. Baylor’s murky quarterback situation is the decider here.
The pick: Oklahoma State -5.5
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