The Liberty Bowl is one of the most historic bowl games there is and powerhouse programs like Alabama, USC and Penn State have all played their part in its rich history. On Dec. 31, the 2018 AutoZone Liberty Bowl will bring back No. 24 Missouri for its third appearance to take on Oklahoma State in its first trip to Memphis for the event. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET and the Tigers are favored by 10 points with the total at 71.5 in the latest Missouri vs. Oklahoma State odds. But you can expect Taylor Cornelius and the Cowboys to come hard as they look to add Missouri to their list of ranked opponents downed with Texas and West Virginia this season. So be sure to check out the 2018 Liberty Bowl picks and predictions from SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel before locking in your own Missouri vs. Oklahoma State picks.

A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in handicapping college athletics. He's having another solid season for SportsLine members too, hitting on 60 percent of his spread selections. During Championship Week, Nagel delivered with a slew of picks that wound up converting, including Georgia +13, Washington -4.5 and Under 52.5 in Boise State vs. Fresno State.

Nagel also has a particular knack for picking games involving Oklahoma State against the spread of late, as he's hit on six of his last eight selections when the Cowboys are involved. That includes nailing Oklahoma State to cover as 3.5-point underdogs against Texas on Oct. 27, a game the Cowboys went on to win 38-35.

Now, Nagel is honed in on the 2018 Liberty Bowl and locked in a strong spread pick. You can only see it at SportsLine.

Nagel knows that as both teams set their sights on Liberty Bowl 2018, one obvious advantage for Oklahoma State will be having Taylor Cornelius under center. Cornelius won't have his sidekick, Hill, by his side, but that's something he had to deal with at the end of the regular season. Hill missed the final two games of the season, but that didn't stop Cornelius from taking over in a win against West Virginia.

The senior quarterback threw for 338 yards and five touchdowns against the Mountaineers and added 106 yards and another score on the ground. On the season, he wound up with over 4,000 yards in total offense and scored 38 touchdowns.

But just because Oklahoma State features an explosive offense doesn't mean it can stay within the Liberty Bowl spread against the Tigers.

One sneaky reason to like Missouri despite needing to cover a double-digit cushion has been the play of its defense down the stretch. The Tigers gave up just over 15 points per game in their last five, finishing the season on a four-game winning streak and with a pair of impressive defensive performances against Tennessee and Arkansas. Those two squads averaged just 221 yards of total offense, and Missouri turned them over five times.

Oklahoma State is obviously in a different class offensively than those two teams, but with Justice Hill electing to sit the bowl out to get healthy from a rib injury and prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cowboys won't be as balanced. That should allow the Missouri defense to focus in on Taylor Cornelius and could go a long way towards covering that spread.

We can tell you Nagel is leaning toward the under, but his much stronger pick is on the spread. He has studied the latest Liberty Bowl odds and discovered a crucial x-factor you haven't considered that makes one side of the spread hit hard. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Missouri vs. Oklahoma State? And what crucial X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the 2018 Liberty Bowl spread you need to jump on, all from an expert who's 6-2 picking Cowboys games, and find out.