The Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6) meet the Missouri Tigers on (8-4) on Monday afternoon in the 2018 Liberty Bowl from Memphis. Kickoff is set for 3:45 PM EST on Monday, December 31st at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Missouri is currently listed as a 8-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 72 points.
Liberty Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Oklahoma State vs Missouri
Missouri reeled off four consecutive victories after a mediocre 4-4 start to their regular season, clinching bowl eligibility in early November with a huge 33-28 home win over Vanderbilt. The Tigers then crushed Tennessee on the road 50-17 before blanking Arkansas 38-0 in late November. QB Drew Lock played mistake-free football against the Razorbacks, throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns while also finding the end zone twice more on the ground. RB Larry Rountree III also had a good game, racking up 29 carries for 119 yards. The star of the game on offense was definitely WR Emanuel Hall, who posted 153 yards receiving and two touchdowns on only six catches. Overall, Missouri averaged 36.9 points per game (19th overall) during the regular season.
The Tigers were pretty good on the defensive side of the ball during the regular season, allowing opponents to score 24.4 points per game (44th overall).
Oklahoma State barely managed to extend their season, going just 2-5 down the stretch and not becoming bowl eligible until their second last game on the schedule, a massive 45-41 upset win over West Virginia. The Cowboys had played well leading up until that game, losing to Baylor by four paints and falling by a single point in a heartbreaking 48-47 defeat on the road in Oklahoma. QB Taylor Cornelius had a monster year, passing for 3,642 and 28 touchdowns. He also added 10 rushing touchdowns in 12 games. Cornelius had a ton of help from WR Tylan Wallace, who racked up 79 receptions for 1,408 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season. RB Justice Hill led the way on the ground this year, rushing for 930 yards and nine touchdowns. As a whole, Oklahoma State is averaging 38.4 points per game (14th overall) heading into the Liberty Bowl.
The Cowboys really struggled on the the other side of the ball during the regular season, giving up an average of 32.4 points per game to opponents (97th overall).
2018 Liberty Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: OSU +8
This should easily be one of the most entertaining games on the New Year’s Eve bowl lineup, as the total for this matchup is at least 20 points higher than it is for five out of the six contests. While I still think Missouri is the better team overall, they have been extremely weak defending against the pass – which shapes up perfectly for this powerful Cowboys aerial attack. Many may point to the fact that the Tigers are giving up almost ten points less per game than Oklahoma State, but that stat is slightly misleading. Missouri was repeatedly exposed through the air this year, as they gave up 256 passing yards per game during the regular season (104th overall).
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The Cowboys are a very respectable 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games. They are also 5-1 ATS over their last six games against teams with a winning record and 8-1 ATS in their last nine conference games. Missouri is only 1-4 ATS over their last five games against opponents from the Big 12. They are also a dreadful 1-8 ATS in their last nine games in the month of December.
It is also worth noting that the mere .500 record that Oklahoma State carries with them into this New Year’s Eve showdown is somewhat of an illusion. They had an extremely tough schedule that included games against ranked opponents such as Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Boise State. They also lost by a touchdown or less in four out their five losses to close out the season. I think the Cowboys offense is more than capable of keeping them in this game for four quarters, so I’m going to take the 8 points and side with the underdog – give me OSU.