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Countdown to Kick-off: Oklahoma State is surefire bet to win at least 8 games

Mike Gundy has a history of bouncing back after disappointing seasons.

West Virginia v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Oklahoma State will kick off its 15th season under head coach Mike Gundy this fall. Cowboys Ride For Free will have a 15-day countdown with one article each day until the Cowboys’ season opener Aug. 30 at Oregon State.

Most sports books set the Oklahoma State’s win total at 7.5 and are slightly favoring the under, with a +110 money line on the over, which means a $100 bet would turn a $110 profit. This not a hefty gain compared to what you can get from other bets, but there is great value here because I am certain the Cowboys will win eight games.

Here’s why:

First of all, our own Ryan Harris did an in-depth analysis on the Cowboys’ schedule and predicted eight wins. The non-conference schedule looks to be an easy 3-0 start and the Cowboys will be 6-1 by the time they visit Iowa State in late October. OSU should easily have eight wins before Bedlam, barring a meltdown. But there’s a few more points I want to make besides game by game predictions.

We all know the Cowboys were a disappointing 7-6 last year, but history shows that could be a good sign for this season. The last three times a Mike Gundy team finished with five or more losses they followed up with at least nine wins the next year.

2007 to 2008: 7-6 to 9-4

2012 to 2013: 8-5 to 10-3

2014 to 2015: 7-6 to 10-3

Bad seasons obviously light a fire under Gundy and the motivation seeps into the next season. He has already shouldered the blame for last year’s letdown, saying his players’ lack of discipline starts with him. “Win with discipline” is the team’s mantra this year, and the message is everywhere, even on the coaches’ T-shirts. History shows when Gundy emphasizes a message in the offseason, it is made clear in games. Expect a tougher and more disciplined team this year.

Gundy told the Tulsa World:

“It’s an important part of what we do,” Gundy said after practice. “That’s where I felt like I was deficient, which circles down to the coaches and the players, and then we become an undisciplined football team. That’s simply not controlling what we can control.”

Aside from coaching improvements, the roster is in better shape this year. Despite the confusion at quarterback, the offense will be fine. Whether it’s the experienced Dru Brown or redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders, OSU have loads of talent surrounding them to make their job easier. Tylan Wallace is returning as one of the best wide receivers in the nation. He’s the kind of guy that, when under pressure, you could close your eyes and throw to him and he’ll come down with it (hopefully that doesn’t have to happen though). I could probably throw a touchdown to him. And, of course, Chubba Hubbard is destined to shred the Big 12 defenses behind an improved offensive line, led by seniors Johnny Wilson and Marcus Keyes.

On defense, the Cowboy’s will get scored on a lot. But experience in the secondary with A.J Green and Rodarius Williams will lead to some game-changing plays that push the Cowboys over that 7.5 win total.

So the over on OSU’s win total is not the biggest win out there, but it is a surefire bet.