Bet of the Day – Texas A&M Aggies at Oklahoma State Cowboys, September 30, 2010

Texas A&M Aggies (+3) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (-3), Over/Under 67

Yesterday’s bet, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, was a winner.  Today we are back on the football field (Yeah!).  Tonight’s Oklahoma and Texas A&M matchup is the first real big 12 showdown of the year.  It’s like a warm up for Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday.  Don’t tell the Aggies and Cowboys that.  Both teams are entering tonight 3-0 and outscoring their opponents by more than 25 points per game.  Both can score, but can either team defend?  Both teams have had an extra 5 days to prepare for tonight’s game.  Expect an exciting game.

The Texas A&M Aggies have dominated opponents.  But they haven’t played anyone, YET.  The Aggies are averaging 5.9 yards per play (YPP) and 12.2 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense while allowing 3.6 YPP and 17.8 YPPT on defense (very efficient).  They have moved the ball well but have turned the ball over too much.  Senior QB Jerrod Johnson is averaging 7.94 yards per attempt (YPA) for 7 TDs and 4 INTs with a 139.23 QB rating.  In his last game, Johnson threw 4 consecutive picks against a underated Florida International team.  Johnson faces a Cowboy defense that has forced 9 turnovers in 3 games (against OSU in 2009, Johnson threw for 273 yds, 3 TDs and 0 INTs).  The Aggies face Arkansas next week.  Are they looking ahead or is tonight’s game a must win?

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have scored 65 points twice but barely survived a sneaky Troy team at home.  The Cowboys are averaging 7.6 YPP and 10.5 YPPT (very efficient) on offense while allowing 5 YPP and 13.5 YPPT on defense.  Teams have moved the ball well against the Cowboys.  The Cowboy defense will be looking to pressure Jerrod Johnson and force turnovers.  Junior QB Brandon Weeden is averaging 9.65 YPA for 11 TDs and 2 INTs with a 186.33 QB rating.  In 3 games this year, he has nearly passed for 1,000 yards and only sacked 3 times (Jerrod Johnson was 10 times in 3 games).  The Cowboys come into this game with a mediocre opponent next week, biggest game of the year so far, and have had a scare with Troy.  They will be focused.

The Sagarin Ratings have Oklahoma State at 81.35 over Texas A&M at 74.2.  With the 3.01 home advantage, the ratings indicate a fair line of 10.16 points.  With the Cowboys a 3 point favorite, the betting value appears is on the home team.  According to Pregame.com, 82% of bets have been on the Cowboys and the line hasn’t actually gotten closer.  My gut tells me there is some big money from sharp bettors on the Aggies.

My football model predicts Oklahoma State 32.9 over Texas A&M 25.7 for 58.6 total points.  On paper, both teams move the ball and score efficiently.  Texas A&M’s defense allows fewer yards and points but the Cowboys have faced a tougher schedule.  So far, no one has slowed the Cowboys down.  The single biggest variance contributor is the Cowboy pass offense.  If Oklahoma State moves the ball in the air, they will win.

I am a bit torn on this game; it will be close and Aggies will be motivated.  Normally I would go Aggies here.  But I am going to stick with the Cowboys tonight.  Here’s why.  Cowboy’s are the Thursday night home team in their biggest game of the year so far (the first road game of the year for the Aggies).  The Cowboys have a better QB and offense.  The Cowboys had a scare at home against Troy, have had two weeks to prepare, and next week is their let down game.  Aggies may be better than we think, but I am going to make them prove it before I support them.  Bet on the Oklahoma State Cowboys -3.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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