Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State Free Pick
Stanford Cardinal vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Gambling Odds from 5Dimes
NCAA FB Betting Favorite: Oklahoma State -3.5
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl gets the best matchup outside of the BCS Championship Game this year. Number four Stanford will take on number three Oklahoma State in this one. It’s a battle of top quarterbacks and offenses that have piled on the points all year long. The Desert should be rocking when fans of both of these teams pile in for a bowl game to remember on the night of January 2nd. Which one loss team will come out on top?
Andrew Luck was the Heisman favorite all year, but he finished second in the final balloting. It wasn’t that Luck did something wrong and blew his chance though. Luck amassed some terrific statistics in 2011. He threw 35 touchdowns compared to just nine interceptions. He also completed 70% of his passes. The strength of this Stanford offense is their ability to beat you both through the air and on the ground. The offensive front is very physical, and Stanford is a very good power running team. Stepfan Taylor is the main man in the backfield for Stanford. Taylor averaged 5.6 yards per carry this year. The Cardinal don’t have one great receiver, but they have a multitude of options on the outside. Seven players caught at least 22 passes this year.
Stanford’s defense was amazing against the run this year, but they were poor against the pass. The secondary lacks the quickness necessary to keep up with some of the top receivers in the country. This is a defense that relies on physicality rather than pure speed. On the whole, this unit is a pretty good group. Stanford gave up just 20.4 points per game this season.
Oklahoma State lost just one game all year and it was a road game at Iowa State that was played under very difficult circumstances. Some thought this team might get a chance to play in the BCS title game, but they had to settle for the Fiesta Bowl. Brandon Weeden is the senior leader at quarterback for the Cowboys. Weeden piled up an amazing 4,328 yards and 34 touchdowns this year. He also completed 72.4% of his passes. Justin Blackmon may the nation’s best receiver. Blackmon hauled in 113 passes and he found the end zone 15 times. Eleven players finished with at least ten receptions for Oklahoma State, which speaks to the depth of this team. Joseph Randle got overlooked by many people this year, but he averaged six yards per carry and finished with 23 touchdown carries. Oklahoma State averaged 49 points per game this season.
Oklahoma State was forced to win a shootout several times this year because this defense simply isn’t very good. This is a group that gave up 446 yards per game, which is 107th out of 120 teams in college football. One thing this unit did well was force turnovers. Brodrick Brown led the team with five interceptions. Oklahoma State will likely need to force some turnovers in this one or Stanford will put up a big number.
Both of these offenses should have a sizeable advantage against the defenses. This total is set extremely high, but I still think the value here is with the over.
Fiesta Bowl Free Pick: Over 73.5