Saturday’s NCAAF Game of the Day: Oklahoma State at Baylor

Baylor will be looking to start 4-0 for a program-record fourth straight year when it hosts Oklahoma State in the Big 12 opener for both teams Saturday night. The 15th-ranked Bears will also be looking to extend a 11-game September winning streak which dates back to 2012.

Baylor is the lone remaining undefeated team in the Big 12 thanks in part to what most would argue was the conference’s softest non-conference schedule starting with a 55-7 win over Northwestern State, a FCS school, followed by back-to-back blowouts over SMU (40-13) and Rice (38-10). Now the Bears host an Oklahoma State squad that is one controversial Hail Mary throw at the end of a 30-27 loss to Central Michigan away from entering the game undefeated itself. “The best measuring stick is going to be on the field,” Baylor wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne told the Waco Tribune when the topic of the Bears’ weak non-conference schedule was brought up. “We’ll hopefully come together and put some points on the board and get our first conference win.”

7:30 p.m. ET, Fox.

LINE HISTORY:  The home team Baylor Bears opened as 10-point favorites at the beginning of the betting week and by Wednesday the spread was all of the way down to -7.5. Since hitting that low point of -7.5 the faves have rebounded slightly to settle at the current number of -9. The total hit the board at 74.5, peaked at 76 on Wednesday, and dropped way down to 73.5 during the second half of the week. Check out the complete line history here.


Oklahoma State – .DE J. Brailford (Questionable Saturday, leg), RB C. Carson (Out Indefinitely, hand), WR M. Ateman (Out Indefinitely, foot).

Baylor – .WR P. Stricklin (Questionable Saturday, shoulder), CB R. Reid (Questionable Saturday, ankle), S O. Stewart (Questionable Saturday, ribs), RB J. Jefferson (Out For Season, personal), DT B. Bonds (Out Indefinitely, knee).

WEATHER REPORT: .There is a 25 percent chance of some thunderstorms developing in the Waco area during this game at McLane Stadium. The temperatures at game time will be in the 90’s and humidity levels will be up around 70 percent.


ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (2-1, 2-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U): The Cowboys bounced back from the Central Michigan fiasco — the officials incorrectly gave the Chippewas an extra play after the Cowboys had seemingly won the game with a pass out of bounds to run out the clock that was ruled intentional grounding — to defeat Pittsburgh 45-38 last Saturday. Quarterback Mason Rudolph led the way, completing 26-of-46 passes for a school-record 540 yards and two touchdowns while wide receiver James Washington caught nine passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns, including a 91-yarder on the very first play of the game. Linebacker Jordan Burton leads the defense with 20 tackles while defensive ends Cole Walterscheid and Jarrell Owens top the Cowboys with two sacks each and corner Ramon Richards has a team-best two interceptions.

ABOUT BAYLOR (3-0, 0-3 ATS, 0-3 O/U): The Bears have failed to score in the first quarter of each of their last two games, a minor catastrophe for a team that has led the NCAA in total and scoring offense each of the last three years. Quarterback Seth Russell, who sat out the end of the 2015 season with a neck injury, has been inconsistent at times but still has completed 62-of-105 passes for 761 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions while three running backs — Shock Linwood, Terence Williams and JaMycal Hasty — are averaging at least 71 yards rushing per game. Acting head coach Jim Grobe switched to a 3-4 defense this season, and it has paid off with impressive results so far as Baylor is allowing only 249.3 yards per game which ranks seventh nationally.


* Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
* Bears are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 6-0 in Cowboys last 6 conference games.
* Under is 7-1 in Bears last 8 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
* Cowboys are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.

COVERS CONSENSUS: The Oklahoma State Cowboys are being favored by the public with 56 percent of the picks on Covers and Over is grabbing 64 percent of the Covers’ wagers. Check out full consensus data here.


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