We have some exciting college football matchups coming up this weekend, including the Baylor Bears taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys for the Big 12 Championship.
Both teams have enjoyed outstanding seasons thus far. Oklahoma State (5) enters the game 11-1, with its lone loss coming by just three points against Iowa State back in Week 8. Baylor (9), on the other hand, is 10-2 and clinched a spot in the game with a narrow 27-24 victory over Texas Tech during its final game of the season.
The Cowboys already defeated the Bears earlier this year in Week 6, but on a neutral field in a crazy environment. Can Baylor return the favor?
Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 Championship Game, which is set for 12 pm ET on Saturday, December 4 on ABC. Please note that all odds and lines are current as of 10 AM EST on Monday, November 29.
Baylor vs Oklahoma State Prediction
Baylor managed to squeak past Texas Tech without starting quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who missed the game with a non-contact leg injury. Getting him back will be crucial for the Bears, as Bohanon threw for 2,165 yards this season with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 301 yards and scored nine touchdowns with his legs.
If Bohanon is unable to suit up, Baylor will turn to Blake Shapen, who threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns against the Red Raiders. While he’s not as polished or dynamic as Bohanon, Shapen appears capable and would at least give the Bears a fighting chance, especially since their defense yielded just 19.4 points per game this year.
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Baylor also has one of the better running games in the nation behind Abram Smith, who’s racked up 12 touchdowns and 1,366 yards on the ground this season. Smith is averaging an absurd 6.4 yards per rush this season behind a fantastic offensive line.
Oklahoma State has the edge on defense, however. Despite surrendering a season-high 33 points to Oklahoma last week, the Cowboys are allowing just 14.9 points and 261.3 yards per game. If Shapen’s under center for Baylor, don’t be surprised if he struggles against one of the top units in the country.
Spencer Sanders will lead the Oklahoma State offense after passing for 2,211 yards and 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions this year. He’s also rushed for 510 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, proving to be a skilled playmaker.
The key for the Cowboys will be getting their defense back on track. They’ll need to limit Smith in particular after permitting just 82.6 rushing yards per game.
If they can do that and limit turnovers on their end, Oklahoma State should prevail.
Baylor vs Oklahoma State Prediction: Oklahoma State 24, Baylor 20
Baylor vs Oklahoma State Best Bets
Best Bet: Oklahoma State Moneyline (-210) at Caesars
It’s not going to be pretty and there’s not a ton of value here, but Oklahoma State should be able to get the job done against Baylor. There are too many question marks coming into this game for the Bears, especially around who will start at quarterback. If Baylor is forced to roll with a freshman signal-caller at AT&T Stadium, you can forget about it.
Still, Oklahoma State will need to step up on defense after their poor showing against Oklahoma. Smith has been a beast all season, but he may run into a brick wall against the Cowboys’ vaunted rushing defense.
This game projects to be a defensive battle, which is Oklahoma State’s specialty. Back the Cowboys for our CFB bet of the day.
Best Bet: Baylor +5 (-110) at Caesars
While Oklahoma State should win this game, it’ll be close and I have Baylor losing by four. Therefore, I’ll take the Bears against the spread here.
Though not quite as airtight as the Cowboys’ defense, Baylor’s defense has been one of the best in the nation too and hasn’t been getting the credit they deserve. They’ve allowed more than 24 points just twice this year and never more than 30.
Regardless of who’s under center for the Bears, their defense should enable them to hang around and keep this a one-possession game throughout.
Best Bet: Under 46.5 (-110) at DraftKings
As mentioned, both teams have great defenses that are capable of shutting down their opponents at will. That makes the Under a wise play in what figures to be a low-scoring affair.
Based on our CFB gameday odds, I feel the most comfortable with the Under compared to any other bets on this game.
Thanks for reading our Big 12 Championship Predictions & Best Bets! For more CFB betting tips, check out our CFB Conference Championship Predictions.