Two teams will kick off their season in a Thursday night affair in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as the 12th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys will host the Chippewas of Central Michigan. Both schools are coming off of successful 2021 campaigns, as Central Michigan won 9 games, while Oklahoma State fell just short of winning the Big 12 title. Let’s preview both of the teams, and then we’ll give you some NCAA Football Betting information, followed by our prediction.
A Thursday Night Showdown in Stillwater | NCAAF Week 1 Odds: Central Michigan Chippewas at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Mike Gundy’s squad fell just short of winning the Big 12 last season. They did win 12 games. Last season, the Cowboys had a very different look. In the past, they had been known for their high-scoring offense, but last season, it was the defense that took center stage. Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, last season’s defensive coordinator, Jim Knowles, left for Ohio State.
Along with Knowles, the Cowboys lost a lot of key pieces from last year’s defense. They lost many of their top tacklers, so we’ll see what they’ve done to replace them. Jason Taylor II is back, and he, along with Collin Oliver will lead the defense. Even though they lost a lot from last year, this still should be a formidable group.
Offensively, the Cowboys should have a strong unit. Quarterback Spencer Sanders returns, along with many key skill position players. Mike Gundy knows how to score points, and this team should be able to score a lot of points this season.
Central Michigan Chippewas
After being fired by the University of Florida, Jim McElwain came to Central Michigan. In his four seasons there, he has done a tremendous job of building a successful program. Offensively, McElwain’s team runs a very high-powered offense. They averaged over 30 points per game, with nearly 450 yards of offense last season. They return their quarterback, their top two receivers, and their leading rusher from last season’s team.
On the defensive side of the ball, they lost a lot of players from last year’s unit. We’re not sure how this unit is going to look, especially going up against a skilled offense like Oklahoma State’s. It’ll be interesting to see how the Chippewas attack the Cowboys experienced offense.
Betting Numbers & Prediction
For their home and season opener, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are 20.5-point favorites. Central Michigan can score, and with JimKnowles leaving, we don’t think the Cowboy’s defense is going to be nearly as good as it was last season.
In looking at the betting numbers, neither team has much of an advantage. Central Michigan is 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 games. Oklahoma State is 12-3-1 against the spread in their last 16.
There’s no doubt that the Oklahoma State Cowboys have the more talented roster, and will be the most athletic team on the field on Thursday. We have the Cowboys winning the game, but with their defense losing a lot of key pieces, we think Central Michigan will hang around. The Chippewas will put up some points, but it won’t be enough to beat the Cowboys. Oklahoma State gets the victory, but they won’t cover the 20.5-point spread.