Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Predictions, Odds, Picks
- When Oklahoma State has the ball – Spencer Sanders looks to rebound
- When Notre Dame has the ball — Can it put up points against an elite defense?
- X-factors to watch
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds
Those who have consistently bet on Notre Dame this year know they’ve been a wagon for the last two months. A big name program like the Irish, that Vegas knows is going to be bet more frequently than most, that still covers seven straight games? That’s big time.
But this isn’t the typical Cowboys team that likes to get in shootouts.
Oklahoma State is perfectly comfortable playing a slug fest – and like it or not for either side, that’s probably what we’re going to get. Oklahoma State has gone under in EIGHT STRAIGHT bowl games when they’re the underdog. The under is 4-0 in the Irish’s last four bowl games – we’re sensing a pattern.
We like Oklahoma state to cover the spread and the under because it has a little extra juice.
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Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Trends to Watch
- Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games
- Cowboys are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall
- Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games as an underdog
- Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games as an underdog
- Under is 8-0 in Cowboys last 8 bowl games as an underdog
- Under is 7-1 in Cowboys last 8 neutral site games
- Under is 5-1 in Cowboys last 6 vs. a team with a winning record
- Under is 16-5 in Cowboys last 21 games as an underdog
- Fighting Irish are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- Fighting Irish are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games
- Under is 4-0 in Fighting Irish last 4 bowl games
- Under is 9-2 in Fighting Irish last 11 neutral site games as a favorite
Spencer Sanders’s looks to rebound
Oklahoma State is likely still heartbroken. How could they not be? The Cowboys were literally less than one foot away from their first trip to the College Football Playoff before Baylor came up with a goal line stand to knock Oklahoma State out of the final four and steal their Big 12 Championship.
But as they say, there’s no use in crying over spilled milk, so it is up to one of the more underrated coaches in the country in Mike Gundy and his junioir quarterback in Spencer Sanders to show the team about having a short memory and just playing ball.
Because keep in mind, a win would give the Cowboys 12 victories on the season, a feat that has happened exactly once (2011) in program history. Again, it starts with the dual threat Sanders. The junior, who was the Big 12 Quarterback of the Year, had his worst game of the season vs. Baylor the last time out, throwing no touchdowns and four interceptions which destroyed his numbers for the year.
He finished with 61.5 percent completions for 2,468 yards,d 16 touchdowns and 12 picks. In total, Sanders has six interceptions in the last eight quarters of play – he’d thrown just six interceptions in the first 11 games of the seasons prior to that. But don’t forget, he added 510 rushing yards and a career-best six scores on the ground.
His favorite target, however, is Tay Martin. The second-team All-Big-12 wide receiver caught 70 pases for 942 yarads and seven touchdowns.
Notre Dame ranks No. 27 in the nation in total defense; very balanced against the rush (29th) and the pass (42nd), while Oklahoma State comes into play as the 65th ranked offense.
Irish out to prove they were deserving of the CFP
There’s no question about the fact that Notre Dame was the first team out. Often times whoever is No. 5 can claim they were “snubbed”. Not this year. The top four shook out pretty clearly (only because Baylor beat Oklahoma State) with the Irish just on the outside.
That said, they feel is if they could compete with any of the four teams ahead of them and want to use this as the shot to prove it.
It’s a classic Notre Dame team – no absolute star, but extremely talented players at every position across the field. Transfer quarterback Jack Coan shouldered much of the load this year, completing 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,641 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions.
He spread the ball evenly to this two favorite targets, receiver Kevin Austin Jr. and tight end Michael Meyer. Austin caught 42 passes for a team-high 783 yards and six touchdowns, while Meyer led the team in receptions (63) while netting 768 yards and five scores.
However, this offense that was good-not-great, will have to go against a truly elite defensive unit, that ranked No. 3 in the nation.
X-factors to watch
We like to sometimes save the best for last and for both of these teams, it’s the running back. If you look at the box score and compare Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams and Oklahoma State’s Jaylen Warren, whoever has the better game will likely win.
Williams rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns and had 359 receiving yards and three more scores. Warren meanwhile, rushed for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns and had 191 yards receiving.
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How to watch Oklahoma State vs Notre Dame
|Teams||Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|Location||State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ.|
|Time||Saturday, Jan. 1,1:00 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||ESPN|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.