Last week was another solid one, going 3-1, putting us at 23-13-2 on the season … off to Week 8!
Texas vs. Kansas State
Texas is coming off their bye week, which was preceded by a season changing win over Oklahoma, while K-State is coming off a 55-0 embarrassment against the Sooners. For Texas, it’s a huge game for their bowl chances. While the Wildcats just need to try and stop the bleeding.
So this line opened up at Texas -3.5 … and it’s moved all the way to a touchdown in many books. I think we’re seeing some public overreaction. Here’s what happened last week: the public (not me!), rode K-State with the points against Oklahoma (who was coming off a big loss to Texas). Then, the Wildcats get blown out by OU, and now, people are having an overreaction on the other end.
Sure, Kansas State isn’t very good, but neither is Texas! Let’s not forget that they got off to a really hot start against OU, but the offense was far from impressive in the final three quarters.
Kansas State’s secondary has struggled this season and it has shown in recent weeks against TCU and Oklahoma, but it has been solid against the run, allowing just 126 yards/game. Texas wants to run the ball because QB Jerrod Heard has not yet proven himself as a consistent passer. Meantime, Bill Snyder has only lost to Texas once since 2003 and I don’t see a Snyder-coached team getting embarrassed two straight weeks. This game will be close.
The Pick: Kansas State +7
#2 Baylor vs. Iowa State
This line is crazy. Get a load of this… it opened at Baylor -36. 75% of the public (according to sportsinsights.com) is betting Baylor, yet the line has only budged a point to -37. Vegas is begging you to take Baylor, so I’m rolling with the Cyclones.
Art Briles has proven time and time again he is not interested in embarrassing opponents. He will play his backups for most of the second half, let the young guys learn, and take the comfortable victory. The additional kicker here is the weather, with Waco, TX expecting heavy rain and thunderstorms.
This isn’t meant to show some kind of major support for Iowa State. The Cyclones have plenty of issues. But, I’m playing the number here. Iowa State does have some decent weapons on offense with WR’s Allen Lazard and Quenton Bundrage, who may be able to occasionally exploit a work-in-progress Baylor secondary.
Another silver lining that may help Iowa State cover this number: Baylor’s Andrew Billings, one of the best defensive linemen in the country, spent the early week in a walking boot with an ankle sprain. He may very well miss Saturday, especially if the weather is as bad as predicted. He’s officially listed as questionable.
The Pick: Iowa State +37
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma
It’s by far the best matchup of the weekend in the Big 12. OU QB Baker Mayfield gets a shot to take on his former team, as the Sooners try to keep themselves in playoff contention, with Tech trying to prove they are for real. The money is coming in nearly 50-50, so the line hasn’t moved much.
For those picking the Sooners, they cite the fact that they have one of the best pass defenses in the Big 12 and the country. But, when looking more closely at those numbers, OU has yet to face the top passing attacks in the Big 12. They’ve built those numbers against some of the Big 12’s worst passing teams like K-State, Texas and West Virginia. The Sooners haven’t come close to facing a passing attack like Tech’s. In fact, the only team they’ve seen that was similar, was Tulsa, who actually had a big day in Norman, putting up 38 points.
Tech has played the much tougher schedule so far this season, already facing TCU, Baylor and Arkansas. They’re far more battle tested than OU. Plus, I wonder how much this line is a reflection on each team’s outcomes last week, when OU crushed K-State, while Tech had some trouble with Kansas. I’m not putting much stock into Tech’s game against KU since it seemed they were sleepwalking through the game and already had their minds on OU.
The Pick: Texas Tech +14
Oklahoma State vs. Kansas
Oklahoma State is 6-0, but they really haven’t been overly dominant or impressive. That being said, they’re coming off their bye week, and need to get a big win and feel good about themselves as they head into their key stretch of the season. While Kansas looked decent last week and covered the spread against Texas Tech, the Jayhawks have had a couple of surprising performances over the past season and a half (TCU last year), but both have come at home.
Oklahoma State now goes up against the worst defense in the Big 12, with Mason Rudolph looking to boost his confidence. Plus, this could be the game that helps DE Emmanuel Ogbah (at least one sack in every game) join the conversation as one of the elite pass rushers in college football against a horrible KU offensive line.
Lastly, I’m not big into ATS trends. But, I’ll buy into this one: Kansas is 3-11-1 in their last 15 games following an ATS win. Why? Because with how bad Kansas has been the past couple of seasons, and how depleted their roster is… it would make sense that after a hard fought loss (ATS win), they are worn out and get blown out the following week.
The Pick: Oklahoma State -34
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