Oklahoma State Win-Total Pick
Will the high-powered offense of the Oklahoma State Cowboys be able to lead them to another 10-win season in 2017?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Oklahoma State is listed with 45/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this season. The Cowboys are also listed with 3/1 odds to win the Big 12. When it comes to the over/under for regular-season wins, Oklahoma State is listed at 9. The over carries a line of -120, while the under is listed at -110.
Mike Gundy enters his 13th season as head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys this year. He has posted a record of 104-50 in his 12 years with the team thus far, including five seasons with at least 10 wins. The Cowboys have went 10-3 the last two years and in three of the last four seasons. They also have gone 7-2 in the Big 12 in each of those 10-win seasons over the last four years.
Like usual, the Cowboys relied mostly on their offense last season. Oklahoma State put up 38.6 points and 495 yards per game in 2016, including 323.9 passing yards per game. That shouldn’t take a step back this year, as Mason Rudolph returns under center for his senior season. He threw for 4,091 yards with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 2016. Rudolph also returns his top two receivers in James Washington and Jalen McCleskey. Washington has 71 receptions for 1,380 yards and 10 touchdowns while McCleskey caught 73 passes for 812 yards and seven scores. The Cowboys will need to replace a lot of loss in the run game, but the passing game being so strong should allow some new faces to have success in the run game. Defensively, Oklahoma State will need to make some progress. The Cowboys ranked 106th nationally by allowing 28.1 points and 457 yards per game. Oklahoma State loses its leading tackler and sack leader from the 2016 team, but does return defensive back Ramon Richards, who had a team-high three interceptions with six pass deflections. Edge rusher Tralund Webber also returns. He was second on the team in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (9).
Oklahoma State opens the season at home against Tulsa and then makes road trips to South Alabama and Pitt to cap non-conference play. Big 12 home games will feature TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Kansas. The Cowboys will go on the road to face Texas Tech, Texas, West Virginia and Iowa State. The road schedule is quite favorable for the Cowboys. West Virginia will be the biggest challenge, but the Cowboys get the toughest conference opponents at home. Tulsa could pose a challenge, but the offense should be able to win that shootout. The key for 10 wins will be beating Pitt. Both teams had poor defenses, but I like the Oklahoma State offense a touch more. The Cowboys could compete for the playoffs if their defense raises its game to just an average level on the national stage. With new coaches at Oklahoma and Texas, I think Oklahoma State could be the team to beat in the Big 12.
2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: OKLAHOMA STATE OVER 9 (-120)