Among the top offerings of Bowl Week is a matchup of former ancient rivals from the old Big Eight Conference between the Missouri Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys. For Mizzou what was looing like a lost season turned out to be one that ended as a rousing success. As a result, head coach Barry Odom was extended with a nice raise. For the Cowboys a season that started with great promise turned out to be a dud. In fact, it can be said that both teams did the opposite of what was expected of them this year. One thing that everyone knew was that Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock was among the best in the land. Lock will be leading the Tigers out to gridiron in his final game as a collegian.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl matchup Memphis, Tennessee will take place on Monday, December 31, 2018, at 3:45 p.m. ET at Liberty Bowl Stadium. ESPN is providing the telecast of this game.
NCAA Football Betting at BookMaker.eu
Oklahoma State +8.5
Live Betting Odds Analysis
This line is understandable, at least from a public betting sense, due to Mizzou’s strong finish in the elite Southeastern Conference while Oklahoma State was among the biggest disappointments in the country for 2018.
True Son Odom Stabilizes Program
When Missouri suffered a gut-wrenching 15-14 home loss to Kentucky on the final play of the game, they were 4-4 and written off for dead. A disconsolate Barry Odom vowed he would never get over the defeat as fans howled for his flesh. Yet the following week the Tigers went down to the swamp and curb stomped a much-improved Florida team 38-17 to ignite a four-game winning streak for a strong finish that garnered plenty of attention. Missouri finished with a record of 8-4 straight up, 7-5 against the spread and 6-5-1 over the total which was good for fourth place in the SEC East Division.
Pokes Fail to Ride High
Oklahoma State started off in impressive fashion with three wins in their first three games capped off with a powerful pose in a 44-21 home payout over Boise State which improved their national ranking to 15th. But from there the Pokes season turned into a nightmare. Okie State lost five of their final seven games of the season to finish at 6-6 straight up, 6-6 against the spread, and 8-4 over the total. Among the disappointments was a loss in Bedlam at Oklahoma 48-47 in the final moments. A reminder of what could have been was a 45-41 home win over West Virginia.
Offense was certainly not the problem for the Pokes this year as OSU ranked 10th in the nation for total offense and 14th for scoring offense. However, that was offset by a defense ranked 100th overall in the country and 98th for points allowed.
Mizzou was also strong offensively with national rankings of 17th overall and 19th for scoring. What was most impressive about the Tigers was their rapid improvement defensively after a couple of really bad years. Missouri ranked 44th in the nation for points allowed. While not dominant it’s a good enough complement to their offensive prowess.
Players to Watch
For the Tigers of Ol’ Mizzou it all begins with senior quarterback Drew Lock. Lock threw for 3125 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Running back Larry Roundtree kept defenses honest with 1012 yards rushing and 10 TD’s. Emanuel Hall was a breakout receiver with 21.6 yards per catch and six touchdowns.
Okie State quarterback Taylor Cornelius threw for 3642 yards with 28 touchdowns and just 11 picks. Tylan Wallace had 1408 yards receiving good for 17.8 yards per catch and 11 touchdowns. Top running back Justice Hill is out with bad ribs.
Free Live Betting ATS Pick
Mizzou has covered three of their last four bowl games and has the vastly superior defense and momentum.
NCAA Football Odds: Missouri Tigers
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