Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas A&M Aggies Texas Bowl Pick

December 27, 6:45 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Texas A&M -7

The Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the Texas A&M Aggies in the Texas Bowl on December 27 at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Big 12's Cowboys are coming off an 8-4 season, while the Aggies won 7 games. They both had success in the second half of the season, though each squad came up short in their last games. Both teams last played on November 30, giving each almost a month-long break leading up to this game. After both sides played opponents in the CFP in their last games, they needed it. A&M fell to the top-ranked team in the nation, falling to LSU, 50-7. The Cowboys, meanwhile, lost to Oklahoma, 34-16.

Who Had Better Form Late?

It’s hard to say the Aggies are in great form after dropping their last two. Still, a lot of bowl teams wouldn’t have much wind in their sails after facing LSU and Georgia, the respective division winners in the SEC. But in not covering the spread either time, the Aggies were a letdown, and it will almost have been six weeks since they last tasted victory by game-time. It's still hard to ignore the spark A&M was showing leading up to those tough matchups, as they had won four in a row and 6 of 8 leading up to that, with losses to ‘Bama and a one-score loss to Auburn being their only setbacks in that stretch.

Last loss aside, Oklahoma State has looked pretty good of late. Losing to a CFP team isn't much of a knock on a side that ends up in the Texas Bowl. Outside of that elevated context, they've thrived within the Big 12 since mid-October after a series of mixed results. In beating Iowa State, TCU, Kansas, and West Virginia in succession, they entered the Sooners game with some steam. Maybe some of that momentum still exists.

How the Styles Will Mesh

Texas A&M mixes it up well on offense and toward the end of the season, were seeing some inflated point-totals. For the most part, however, they were steady on both sides of the ball with no significant weaknesses, with nothing they do particularly well, either. Winless against ranked opponents, they didn't beat a winning FBS team this season, as they have no wins against anyone of any consequence. Could they be more in their wheelhouse against the Big 12's Cowboys.

Oklahoma State has some playmaking on defense and the nation’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard, making them more explosive in a sense, as they are proven against better opposition and capable of hitting higher notes on offense. Being compromised heading into a game like this can't be good. And starting quarterback Spencer Sanders has missed the last two games, and his status for this game is unknown. Backup Dru Brown has a lot of experience having come off two seasons as Hawaii's starter, but they are also without the services of Tylan Wallace, their leading receiver. It's just that even with Hubbard being the most compelling offensive weapon on the field for this game, the primary appeal of taking the Cowboys is muted with the personnel issues being so rampant in key areas on offense. Still, with A&M defensive tackle Justin Madabuike sitting this one out in readiness of the NFL draft, it makes the prospects of a big game from Hubbard all the more viable.

Can the A&M Offense Take Advantage

It’s hard to not notice in bowl season how it’s easy to put too much credence into how poorly Big 12 defenses like Oklahoma State’s played over the course of the season. It's more or less the nature of the beast in the conference in which they play. They don't make a ton of plays, and the pass-rush isn't consistently applied. They are exploitable through the air, something Aggies' QB Kellen Mond looks to exploit with guys like Jhamon Ausbon, Quartney Davis, Jalen Wydermyer, and others. With Isaiah Spiller and Mond leading the running duties, it’s a lot to wield on opposing defenses. Still, there have been some promising signs toward the end of the season with the Cowboys’ defense.

Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M Prediction 12/27/19

This game will have importance for both teams. A&M played a brutal schedule this season, and head coach Jimbo Fisher would like to end on a positive note. I would have liked to see more fight from the Aggies heading into this game. Offensive personnel issues notwithstanding, Oklahoma State was better later in the season, and there were some subtle improvements made on defense, giving up a respectable 34 to the high-powered Sooners and allowing a total of just 26 points in their two wins leading up to that. I see some of that carrying over here as the Cowboys hang in there for the cover.

Free Pick: 
Take Oklahoma State +7