NCAAF Odds: Aggies, Cowboys still perfect

By: Jimmy Sirody | Monday, September 27, 2010
Jerrod Johnson

The Aggies have failed to cash in 16 of their past 19 road openers.

As expected, the Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma State Cowboys are both 3-0 headed into Thursday's ESPN-televised Big 12 opener in Stillwater.

But while the Cowboys rolled two weeks ago to a 65-28, 722-yard obliteration of Tulsa, the Aggies staggered to the finish line during a tough win over Florida International.

These were two programs that figured to be going in opposite directions entering the season. Texas A&M was up, while OSU was down. But the Cowboys' offensive wizardry puts a different perspective on a game that will by key if either upstart is to contend in the rugged Big 12 South.

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Oklahoma State is second in the nation in total offense (596 yards per game), first in passing offense (408 yards per game) and second in points per game with 57.

The Cowboys' offense has exceeded any reasonable expectations during coordinator Dana Holgerson's first year. Though Holgerson led the Houston Cougars to a No. 1 national ranking in passing offense and scoring offense a year ago, his first three games guiding the OSU offense has fans buzzing, and for good reason.

The Aggies rival the Cowboys in their offensive balance, ranking 27th nationally in rushing and 14th in passing. A&M is also 18th in points per game at 41 per outing.

Senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson went 52-of-78 for 671 yards with six touchdowns and no picks through the Aggies' first two games, but he struggled mightily against the Golden Panthers.

With Johnson and the offensive line struggling, the A&M running game saved the night. "A Boy Named" Christine Michael has three consecutive 100-yard games, and averages 5.8 yards per carry. Backup Cyrus Gray averaged 4.9 yards per carry and has 194 total yards.

First-year Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter appears to have his unit ahead of projections. The Aggies would have likely lost to FIU without his unit's work keeping the game close. But beating Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech and FIU likely hasn't provided a true picture of where the Aggies are, particularly for a defense that ranks 10th nationally.

Meanwhile, OSU is currently last in the conference in scoring defense and 84th nationally by allowing 27.7 points per game.

College football betting ‘cappers that depend on trends and angles will likely be jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon.

The Aggies have failed to cash in 16 of their past 19 road openers. They are 17-27 SU and 16-28 ATS in their past 44 Big 12 games on the highway. In addition, A&M is 9-23 as road short-enders overall and 10-21-1 as single-digit pups.

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OSU has grabbed the green in five straight as home favorites of between 3 ½ and 10 points and in 11 of its last 15 in Stillwater as favorites overall.

The Cowboys prevailed last season at Kyle Field as five-point favorites, 36-31, and trounced the Aggies in the last meeting at Boone Pickens Stadium, 56-28.

These conference rivals have combined to average 63 points per meeting since 2002, with five of the last six clashes topping the number. That includes the last four at Oklahoma State.

A&M has jumped the number in six of its last seven Thursday tests, while OSU has ended on the high side in five straight following a bye week.

Most offshore sports books monitored by the Don Best odds product opened the Cowboys as 3 ½-point favorites.


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