Oregon State +13.5 2.2% play
Oregon State is 19-3 all time in home openers, but this is obviously a step up in competition facing a Big 12 opponent. These two conferences have been pretty even over the years, and Oregon State is one of the PAC 12 teams I show as improving this year, especially ATS. Oklahoma State has just 12 returning starters, and I don't think they have a QB that fits Gundy's system. Gundy will be splitting between two guys, and one of them is Dru Brown, a transfer from Hawaii.
The strength of both teams on defense is in the secondary, and the strength of both offenses is running the ball. I fully expect both teams to come out running the ball and that gives us more value with 13.5 point spread in my opinion with the home team. Oregon State also has much more returning this year with their top 8 tacklers on defense compared with Oklahoma State's front 7 that has to replace all 4 defensive lineman and their top two linebackers. Oklahoma State finished last in their conference in stopping the run and ranked 78th overall having gone up against an average rushing offense ranked 78th. Now Oregon State's rushing ypc doesn't look great, but that's because they took a ton of sacks. Jermar Jefferson was a stud rushing for over 1400 yards and 5.8ypc. They had over 200 yards or 5ypc against decent defenses Stanford, Washington State, Arizona State, and Ohio State. Oregon State also added some depth, which was a major issue a year ago. I think Oregon State will be able to run the ball at home particularly to the left where their LG & LT are in their 3rd year as starters against a very inexperienced front 7 of Oklahoma State. If I'm right on this we should have a close game in my opinion, because Oklahoma State although they have the talent at WR don't have the talent at QB, and they go up against Oregon State's pass defense which is the strength of their defense. Gundy is a smart coach, and I expect he'll lean on the run here in their first road game.
I do think Oklahoma State's defense improves as the season goes on as they are in year #2 of Knowles 4-2-5, which is great for the Big 12, but not against a team that should have success running the ball.
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