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Baylor at Oklahoma State
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Matchup: No. 3 Baylor at No. 11 Oklahoma State
Venue: Boone Pickens Stadium (Artificial) from Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
Time/TV: 8:00 pm. ET - ABC
Line: Baylor -9 ½, Over/Under 78 ½
Last Meeting: 2012, Baylor (-4) 41 vs. Oklahoma State 34

The Big 12 won’t be decided in Stillwater on Saturday night, but the winner of Oklahoma State vs. Baylor will certainly be in the driver’s seat to win the conference title.

As of early Wednesday, most betting shops had Baylor (9-0 straight up, 8-1 against the spread) installed as a 9 ½-point favorite with a total of 78. Gamblers can take the Cowboys on the money line for a +305 payout (risk $100 to win $305).

Baylor has won all nine of its games by double-digit margins and eight of those victories have come by 29 points or more. Now certainly, part of that speaks to a weak non-conference schedule, but much of that speaks to absolute dominance and incredibly dynamic offense.

Art Briles’s team fell behind 14-0 vs. Texas Tech at Cowboy Stadium last weekend, but Baylor shook off the early deficit quickly and cruised to another blowout win. Bryce Petty threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to lead his team to a 63-34 win as a 27.5-point ‘chalk.’

Playing without one of his top receivers, his two best RBs and a starting offensive tackle, Petty completed 17-of-31 passes for 335 yards without throwing an interception. Shock Linwood rushed for a career-high 189 yards and one TD on 29 carries, while Devin Chafin rushed 11 times for 100 yards and two scores.

Levi Norwood brought down a team-high seven receptions for 156 yards and two TDs. Antwan Goodley had four catches for 101 yards and one TD.

Oklahoma St. (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) has won six in a row since suffering its only loss at West Va. on Sept. 28. In its last five games, Mike Gundy’s team has won by 14 points or more and covered the number each time.

OSU is off a 38-13 win at Texas as a three-point road favorite. The Cowboys ended the Longhorns’ six-game winning streak in large part thanks to a defense that intercepted Case McCoy three times, including a 43-yard pick-six from Justin Gilbert with 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Clint Chelf threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a pair of scores. Gilbert had a second interception in addition to the crucial pick-six that basically put the game away before intermission.

Oklahoma St. hasn’t been as explosive offensively this year, but the Cowboys are still 13th in the nation in scoring with a 40.4 points-per-game average. OSU averaged 45.7, 48.7 and 44.2 PPG over the previous three seasons.

But the fact that the offense isn’t quite producing at such a frenetic pace doesn’t mean the 2013 Cowboys have taken a step backwards. That’s because the defense is vastly improved. After allowing 28.2 PPG in 2012, Oklahoma St. is giving up just 19.0 PPG this year, which ranks 15th in America.

The improved OSU ‘D’ will have its hands full Saturday night, however. Baylor is No.1 in the nation in total offense (686.2 YPG) and scoring (61.2 PPG).

Petty hasn’t missed a beat even though WR Tevin Reese was lost for the rest of the regular season in a 41-12 win over Oklahoma two weeks ago. Also, RB Lache Seastrunk left the OU game and didn’t play against Texas Tech.

Reese has 33 catches for 824 yards and eight TDs, while Seastrunk has run for a team-high 88 yards and 11 TDs while averaging 8.7 YPC. Seastrunk remains a question mark due to a strained groin. On the bright side for the Bears, RB Glasco Martin (five TDs) has been cleared to return.

Petty has been putting up Heisman-like numbers all season. He has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 3,002 yards with an incredible 24/1 TD-INT ratio. Petty has rushed for 10 TDs. Goodley has brought down a team-high 49 receptions for 1,005 yards and 11 TDs.

The ‘over’ is 6-2-1 for Baylor, 1-1 in its road assignments. The Bears have had four totals in the 70s and the ‘under’ has gone 2-1-1 in those spots. They had one total in the 80s and that was last week (84) when the ‘over’ hit in their win over the Red Raiders that had 97 combined points.

The ‘under’ is 6-4 overall for the Cowboys, 4-1 in their home games. This is the highest total OSU has seen this season. The previous highest was 69 ½ in a 52-34 win at Texas Tech that saw ‘over’ backers cash an easy winner.

During Briles’s tenure, Baylor owns a 3-4 spread record in seven games as a road favorite. Meanwhile, Oklahoma St. has posted a 5-7-2 ATS mark in 14 games as a home underdog on Gundy’s watch.

ABC will have the telecast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Wisconsin has covered the spread in eight consecutive games as a double-digit favorite. The Badgers are favored by 16.5 today at Minnesota. The Gophers will be without their best WR for the rest of the season. The Minnesota Star-Tribune reported Friday that Derrick Engel has a torn ACL. Engel has made a team-high 25 catches for 405 yards and five TDs. Minnesota’s second-leading receiver has just eight receptions and no other receiver has a TD grab.

--Florida QB Tyler Murphy (shoulder) remains ‘questionable’ vs. Ga. Southern. The Gators are favored by 28.

--A few offshore books finally released a line for today’s game between Washington and Oregon St. The Huskies are favored by 1.5 in Corvallis and the total is 62.5. There hasn’t been a number due to the uncertain status of UW senior QB Keith Price, who injured his shoulder in last week’s 41-31 loss at UCLA. At this point, it appears that Price (19/4 TD-INT) will be a game-time decision. If he can’t go, Cyler Miles will get his first career start. The redshirt freshman had a pair of TD passes against the Bruins, but Miles was also intercepted twice.

--Duke has only been a road favorite once during David Cutcliffe’s tenure that started in 2008. That spot came earlier this year when the Blue Devils won 28-14 at Memphis as four-point ‘chalk.’ Duke is favored by 6.5 today at Wake Forest.

--Marshall owns an abysmal 0-7-1 spread record in eight games as a road favorite during Doc Holliday’s four-year tenure. The Thundering Herd is a 33-point favorite at FIU.

--As of early this morning, it remained unclear who Mississippi St.’s starting QB would be at Arkansas. Dak Prescott (stinger) and Tyler Russell (shoulder) are both ‘questionable.’ If neither can play, true freshman Damian Williams would get the starting nod. Williams played the last nine minutes of last week’s home loss to Alabama. All five of his pass attempts fell incomplete but two were dropped, the last of which would’ve been a touchdown on a four-and-eight play.

--With Thursday’s 41-21 win at Air Force, UNLV has six wins and is eligible for a bowl bid. The Rebels haven’t gone to the postseason since 2000.

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