One month into the season and the Big 12 is already something of a three ring circus, with a battle between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Baylor Bears one of the main attractions on the college football odds board.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Baylor Bears
Saturday, October 1, 2022 – 3:30 PM EDT at McLane Stadium
If it was January and we were looking at the Big 12 standings for the basketball teams, we wouldn’t think twice about seeing Kansas leading the way in the early conference race.
But this is the first Saturday of October, or it will be by the time the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Baylor Bears hit the gridiron in Waco.
Both have a chance to not only keep pace with the surprising Jayhawks, but also keep space between them and the Oklahoma Sooners who were favored by the preseason NCAA football futures.
Cowboys Coming Off Bye Week
Oklahoma State has been idle for a couple of weeks after beginning the season with three successive wins at home, and to be honest, the only victory Mike Gundy’s team impressed us with was the 34-17 decision over Arizona State as 11½-point chalk at GT Bets in Week 2.
That game turned in the second quarter when the Cowboys took control with 17 unanswered points, and did most of that damage with the running game and a strong effort by a defense that had been porous, to put it nicely, in a Week 1 win over Central Michigan.
By virtue of its rivals in Norman being upset by Kansas State, again!, this past weekend, Oklahoma State is now the top-ranked team in the conference, and Gundy has to prevent his team from reading too much into that with this dangerous Big 12 opener at Baylor.
Bears Survive B12 Opener in Ames
David Aranda and the Bears also picked a tough road trip to begin conference play, and had to hold on for a 31-24 win at Iowa State where the Cyclones had won 11-straight Big 12 games and where Matt Campbell didn’t feel his team was done any favors by the referees.
Baylor closed as a 2½-point underdog at top-rated sportsbooks, and had a 17-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before the Cyclones started to make things interesting. The Bears capitalized on two ISU turnovers and won the time of possession battle.
Blake Shapen led the way on offense for the Bears as the sophomore from Shreveport completed 19-of-26 pass attempts with three of the completions going for touchdowns, while Richard Reese ran for 78 yards and a score on 21 workmanlike carries.
OSU Has Dominated Rivalry Since Joining Big 12
Shapen also threw for 3 touchdowns the last time Baylor met Oklahoma State, that matchup being the Big 12 Championship last December that ended in a 21-16 final score.
Shapen was playing for injured starter Gerry Bohanon, who has since transferred to South Florida.
Oklahoma State was potentially playing for a berth in the College Football Playoffs when Shapen and the Bears upset those plans, and the Cowboys had beaten the Bears 24-14 earlier in the season up in Stillwater behind a stout defensive effort.
- Oklahoma State has a 22-19 lead in the rivalry that date to 1914, and has beaten Baylor 19 of the 27 meetings since the Big 12 was formed.
- Both of last year’s final NCAAF scores failed to reach the totals.
- Baylor’s last three wins in the series came as the underdog.
The Cowboys are dealing with a thinner depth chart at wide receiver where Blaine Green (wrist) and Jaden Bray (arm) are both listed as questionable for Saturday’s tilt.
After missing Baylor’s game last week with an undisclosed injury, tailback Taye McWilliams is showing up as day-to-day on the Bears’ report.
Chalk Streak for Cowboys in Jeopardy
Oklahoma State has been favored the last six times facing Baylor, and unless the numbers swing around in this matchup, that streak is going to end with the Bears sent out as 1-2 point chalk before the spread rose to 2-3 points. Most shops have 54½ for the total.
Sic ‘Em, Bears! It is finally cooling off a little at night down in the Lone Star State, but the afternoons are still warm with Saturday’s forecast calling for the thermometer to be in the upper-80s at kickoff and plenty of sunshine to make that feel like the low-90s.
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor: Pick and Prediction
This game definitely has the potential to be just as exciting as their Big 12 title clash was last December, and the crystal ball for this free college football pick shows the Bears holding on for a 27-23 triumph.
NCAAF Pick: Baylor -2½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)
NCAAF Pick: Under 54½ (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.