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Oklahoma State vs. Houston 2023 College Football Week 12 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

For the first time, No. 24 Oklahoma State and Houston meet as Big 12 football members on Saturday with the Cowboys still very much in control of their destiny to reach the conference title game, while Houston needs to win out to simply get bowl eligible.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Houston Cougars Game Information

  • When: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: HOT 93.7 KSPI-FM (Oklahoma State) // KPRC AM 95 (Houston)
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • College Football Odds: Oklahoma State (-7) // Houston (+7)

Why Bet on the Oklahoma State Cowboys?

Oklahoma State (7-3) fell in the new pools because it had a dominant five-game winning streak snapped in pretty emphatic fashion on Saturday, 45-3 at UCF. In a matchup that featured two of the nation’s top running backs, it was UCF’s RJ Harvey that stole the spotlight from Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon, who entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher. Harvey tallied his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game and a career-high 206 rushing yards to become the Knights’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Greg McCrae in 2018. Harvey also found the endzone three times, matching his career best.

UCF’s defense limited Oklahoma State to just 52 rushing yards, the fewest for the Cowboys this year, and Gordon was held to 25 yards on 12 carries. It was Gordon’s fewest rushing yards in a game since the Sept. 16 loss to South Alabama. The Knights recorded their first top-15 win since 2017 when they defeated seventh-ranked Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the first top-15 home win since 2009 against No. 13 Houston.

Oklahoma State had a fumble and an interception in the first quarter to set the table for UCF’s lead. But things only got worse when it started raining heavily early in the second quarter. The Cowboys struggled with snaps on several occasions during the second quarter as the Knights built their lead. UCF outgained Oklahoma State 133-29 n the quarter, expanding the score by 10 points to 24-0 at the half.

Brennan Presley surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards on Saturday with five catches for 52 yards. He is now just 180 yards from tying Josh Stewart (2,204) and moving into the top 10 in program history. Alex Hale got Oklahoma State on the board with a 25-yard field goal five minutes into the third quarter. With the kick, he moved into solo seventh for both field goals made (21) and attempted (27) by a Cowboy in a single season. The Cowboy defense added two more fourth down stops against UCF to improve its season total to 3-20 (15%), the second-best percentage in the nation.

Oklahoma State is one of only four teams to post a winning season every year from 2010-22, joining Alabama, Boise State, and Wisconsin. Only two Power Five teams have winning seasons each of the past 17 years: OSU and Wisconsin. Mike Gundy, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney, Ryan Day and Mack Brown are the only active head coaches with teams who have finished seasons ranked in the FBS top five in total offense and total defense.

Why Bet on the Houston Cougars?

Houston (4-6) would have to win this game and then at UCF in the finale to earn bowl eligibility. The Cougars were upset at home Saturday by Cincinnati, 24-14. N – Junior running back Corey Kiner rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 23 carries to lead UC. The victory marked the first Big 12 Conference win for the Bearcats, who entered the league on July 1, 2023, and snapped a seven-game losing streak. It also was the fourth straight win for Cincinnati over Houston in the series.

The Bearcats defense did its part too, holding Houston quarterback Donovan Smith to just 32 passing yards in the first half – the third-fewest yards passing in the opening half in the FBS this season. Overall, UC held Houston to just 241 total yards and tallied three interceptions as well as a crucial fourth down stop in the fourth quarter. Smith threw picks to defensive back Deshawn Pace in the second quarter, to linebacker Dorian Jones on the first play of the second half and to defensive back Ken Willis late in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touch on the game.

Smith finished completing 16 of 28 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Smith also rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries. His touchdown passes both went to Joseph Manjack IV, covering 7 and 2 yards. Smith has thrown 11 touchdown passes in his last five games and has thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven of 10 games this season.

Freshman running back Parker Jenkins, who ranked second nationally among true freshmen with 14 rushes of 10+ yards on the season, added three more on Saturday. Manjack has caught a touchdown pass in each of his last four games. Houston’s defense tied its season-high with four sacks in the game, led by redshirt junior Jamaree Caldwell and redshirt freshman Anthony Holmes Jr.’s 1.5 each.

Junior Nelson Ceaser also posted a sack in the game. He now has a team-best 9.5 on the year. Ceaser is one of the best pass rushers in the Big 12. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound junior has 12 total tackles for loss and is a problem for opposing offensive lines. He will be the focus of an offensive line that was short-handed in Saturday’s loss at UCF. The Cowboys still allowed just one sack and have allowed just two in the past six games.

The chances of the Cowboys’ run game behind Gordon II sputtering for two straight weeks seems improbable. Houston is 10th in the Big 12 in run defense and has allowed 21 touchdowns on the ground. If the Cowboys can establish Gordon, they have a tremendous advantage.

Houston leads the all-time series 10-9-1 but they haven’t played since 2009 in Stillwater, a 45-35 Cougars win.

Oklahoma State vs. Houston Betting Trends

  • Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Cowboys are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.
  • The total went under in 12 of Oklahoma State’s last 16 games.
  • Houston is 7-13 ATS in their last 20 games played on a Saturday.
  • Cougars are 13-6 SU in their last 9 games.
  • The total went under in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games.

Oklahoma State vs. Houston Expert Betting Predictions

Oklahoma State 35, Houston 27.

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