The Cotton Bowl pits two of the nation's best bets against each other, as Missouri takes on former conference rival Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State (Big 12, 10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 4-7-1 OU) comes into this season's Cotton Bowl as a one-point underdog, with the total set at 60.5. The Cowboys have won and covered in their last three bowl games, and the same result will happen here if the computer prediction of 36-33 Cowboys holds true.
Oklahoma State finished the season tied for second in the Big 12 with a 7-2 SU mark in conference play. The Cowboys ended their regular season on a down note, however, with a 33-24 loss to rival Oklahoma on Dec. 7 as a 10-point home favorite.
This loss snapped a six-game winning streak both SU and ATS. The total ended as a PUSH against the Sooners, due to a last second defensive touchdown. Oklahoma State had stayed UNDER in four of its previous six games.
The Cowboys passed for an average of 268.5 yards a game with Clint Chelf and JW Walsh splitting time under center. Josh Stewart led the team in receptions with 52 catches for 623 yards. Tracy Moore added another 44 catches for a team-high 638 yards.
Desmond Roland was the team's leading rusher with 745 yards on 160 carries, while Jeremy Smith tacked on 442 more yards on 114 rushing attempts.
Missouri (SEC, 11-2 SU, 11-2 ATS, 7-6 OU) won the SEC East this season with a 7-1 SU record in conference play, but it fell to Auburn 59-42 in the conference title game in early December as a 1.5-point favorite. The total in that game went OVER the 59.5-point line after staying UNDER in four of the Tigers' previous five games. Missouri was 5-1 ATS in six road games this season and the total went OVER in five of those six contests.
The Tigers threw for an average of 256.5 yards while racking up another 236.5 yards per game on the ground. They scored 39 points per game.
Missouri's feature running back, Henry Josey, ran for 1,074 yards and 13 touchdowns on 162 carries, but this team boasted four different backs with over 450 rushing yards this season. The defense remained solid all year long and it held opposing teams to 21 points or less in seven of its 13 games.
The Cotton Bowl betting history is full of UNDER bets lately, despite nine of the past twelve editions of this game going OVER the total.
These two were familiar foes over the years when Missouri was still a part of the Big 12. The series is tied 5-5 both SU and ATS in the last 10 meetings, but Oklahoma State is 3-0 SU in the last three.
Computer Prediction: 36-33 Oklahoma State (from Odds Shark NCAA picks engine)