Missouri Tigers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Date and Time: Monday, December 31, 2018, 3:45 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Opening CFB Odds: Missouri -9.5, 71
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State TV Coverage: ESPN
Mizzou kicked off their 2018-19 campaign with its hair on fire logging three straight wins and covers against UT Martin, Wyoming and Purdue. Then the schedule took a turn for the worst with the Tigers dropping three straight to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. They took their frustrations out on Memphis, but then proceeded to drop a 15-14 heartbreaker to Kentucky which prevented them from having any shot of winning the SEC East. That didn’t stop the Tigers from entering the bowl season winning four straight with a pair of excellent road wins at Florida and Tennessee in the mix.
With huge home wins over Boise State, Texas and West Virginia, the Cowpokes still managed to punch their ticket to the bowl season for a tenth straight time even though they only managed a 6-6 overall record. The 48-47 Bedlam loss to Oklahoma also put them in a good light. Mike Gundy’s squad proved to be a very competitive squad. Of its six overall losses, only two came by double digits. The other four were lost by an average of just 4.5 points per game. Because of it, the betting line for the Liberty Bowl has fallen two points with the betting public seemingly enamored with the Cowboys will to fight.
265.4 – This is the average amount of passing yards each of these teams gave up combined. Missouri conceded an average of 262.7 passing yards per game ( No. 109 ) at 7.8 yards per pass attempt ( No. 92 ), while OK-State was gouged for an average of 268.1 passing yards per game ( No. 117 ) at 7.6 yards per pass attempt ( No. 82 ). Needless to say, Locke and Cornelius are going to have field days attacking each of these secondaries over the course of the game’s entirety with the former throwing for 3,125 yards and a 25:8 TD/INT ratio and the latter going for 3,637 yards and a 28:11 TD/INT ratio. Hopefully no elements to inhibit each of these studs from dazzling CFB bettors with their respective aerial attacks!
Matchup To Watch
A fun battle to watch over the course of this matchup will be Mizzou’s offensive line squaring off against the Cowboys front seven. The Tigers front wall only allowed Locke to get sacked an average of 1.2 times per game which ranks out as the No. 14 best unit in protecting the quarterback. Only 10 teams got more pressure on opposing quarterbacks than Oklahoma State who averaged 3.1 sacks per game. If OK-State can get pressure on Mizzou over the game’s entirety, it would no doubt limit the damage Locke and his pass catchers will be able to do against their porous pass defense. Should Mizzou actually have the better overall front wall – which is highly likely – it will be a long day for a Cowboys defense that surrendered an average of 37.6 points per game in Big 12 play.
Bet the Liberty Bowl at BookMaker.eu
In bowl games played in the month of December, Oklahoma State checks in a moneymaking 5-1 SU and ATS under Gundy’s watch. That’s no doubt one of the factors as to why the betting line has moved in the direction of the Cowboys in their first Liberty Bowl appearance since opening at +9.5 at top rated sportsbooks. I’m still leaning ever so slightly towards laying the points with the Tigers who hold an extreme edge in this matchup up front and possess an NFL caliber quarterback under center. Though the Tigers defense gives up a bunch of yards, it still only conceded 24.4 points per game which ranks out as the No. 44 ranked scoring defense in the country. I expect Locke to have a big game in this matchup against a very beatable Cowboys secondary, and for OK-State to have more issues matching than the betting public expects. With nearly 60 percent of the bets coming in on the Cowboys, I’m going to wait it out and see if I can land a better number with Mizzou leading up to kickoff.
CFB ATS Betting Pick: Missouri -7.5 at BookMaker.eu
CFB Score Prediction: Tigers 55 – Cowboys 36