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The Texas Tech Red Raiders have had all kinds of defensive problems this season and that’s a good thing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, whose offensive concerns have to be bothering Mike Gundy. These two Big 12 foes will take center stage on ESPN on Thursday night in Stillwater when the Red Raiders and Cowboys open up conference play. The Cowboys are a 13.5-point favorite to beat their 25th straight unranked opponent at home.

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State College Football Preview

Date/Time: Thursday September 25, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb

College Football Betting Favorite: Oklahoma State -13.5

Total: 71

Texas Tech is 0-3 against the spread and just 6-10 in Kliff Kingsbury’s first 16 games at the helm. The Red Raiders are 3-3 ATS in road games under Kingsbury. They were just 3-6 ATS last season against Big 12 competition. Mike Gundy is a man and he’s 40. He’s also 2-1 ATS this season and 66-44-3 ATS during his time at Oklahoma State. As home chalk, Gundy is 27-13-1 ATS. The over is 5-1 combined through six games for these two teams.

Texas Tech Red Raiders:

The Texas Tech Red Raiders run defense hasn’t gotten any better from a group that allowed over 200 rushing yards per game last season. Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt left the program during the bye week as rumors circulated that he was under the influence of a substance on campus. A subpar defense has hurt a Red Raiders offense that lost 189 receptions and over 2,700 yards of offense from Jace Amaro and Eric Ward from last season’s squad. Scoring points hasn’t been a problem, with 100 points over three games, but the Red Raiders defense has allowed 110 points to Central Arkansas, UTEP, and Arkansas. Through three games, the Red Raiders have allowed 297 rushing yards per game. Texas Tech is looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Cowboys and they have lost five straight in Stillwater. The Cowboys don’t have the same offense, but the Red Raiders have allowed 177 points in the last three meetings.

Oklahoma State Cowboys:

After opening some eyes with a very competitive performance against Florida State, Oklahoma State has picked up wins over Missouri State and UTSA. The Cowboys have scored 114 points this season, but offensive efficiency has been a problem. Cowboys quarterbacks have completed just 55.9 percent of their passing attempts and Daxx Garman has taken over for JW Walsh after Walsh suffered a foot injury. The Cowboys are averaging just 4.2 yards per carry, which would be the lowest output in the last eight seasons. Granted, those numbers include a game against Florida State in which the Cowboys ran for 3.8 yards per carry. The Cowboys lost a lot from last season’s team, including their top two receivers, and seven starters on defense. This will be a good measuring stick for the secondary. Also, the running game should be able to get back on track against a porous Red Raiders defense.

Free Pick: Oklahoma State -13.5

Texas Tech has had defensive problems against lesser competition than Oklahoma State and the Cowboys should chew up yardage and clock in the running game. A backdoor cover is always a concern in Big 12 games, especially with a quarterback like Davis Webb on the other side, but the extra time for Garman to prepare should help the offensive continuity of the Cowboys. Texas Tech has been blown out by an average margin of 33.25 points over the last four seasons against the Cowboys.

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