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Big 12 College Football Picks Against the Spread: Week 3

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After a rough Week 2, going 3-5, we are 5-7 on the season. Here are our picks heading into Week 3…!

#21 Baylor @ Rice

Despite a big second half, Baylor was unable to cover the spread against SMU last week (also 30+ points). But, that game was tied at 6 at halftime. After two games the Owls do not have a single rusher to break 100 yards, TOTAL … and that’s against Western Kentucky and Army. Baylor should be a bit more motivated in the first half after the slow start last week against SMU. Baylor won this game last year 70-17. That being said, I still don’t totally trut how motivated this Baylor team is. The first half last week against SMU still sticks out in my mind. I’ll have to trust Rice to cover the 5-score spread.

The Pick: Rice +31.5 

Kansas @ Memphis 
The Jayhawks came back to earth last week. After beating a bad FCS team in Rhode Island Week 1, KU lost to a solid MAC team last week (Ohio). Last season, KU could not handle the tempo or speed of Memphis en route to a 55-23 win. That game was in Lawrence. Now, KU goes on the road where they haven’t won since 2009. Memphis has a new QB (Riley Ferguson) and coach (Mike Norvell), but the style is all the same. I still don’t think KU has the depth as a program to hang.
The Pick: Memphis -20 
TCU vs. Iowa State
Boy, two teams that disappointed last week. TCU struggled in their late and stunning loss to Arkansas, while Iowa State was never in it against Iowa. The biggest disappointment has been Iowa State’s offense, much because of the offensive line. Now they have to deal with Josh Carraway and James McFarland at DE for TCU. But, TCU’s defense has been horrendous to date, especially the back 7. Still, with how bad ISU looked the past two weeks, I can’t pick them to cover this game. TCU is dying to get back on the field after the way last week’s game went, plus, it’s Homecoming Weekend. Frogs roll.
The Pick: TCU -24.5 
Kansas State vs. Florida Atlantic
After a week off following their loss to Stanford, the Wildcats finally play their home opener.
FAU lost 38-10 to #25 Miami last week, allowing the Canes to have two running backs to go over 100 yards.
The line on this game keeps growing from -19 to -24. I know K-State played a solid Stanford team in Week 1, and they will look to just pound the ball against FAU’s weak run defense. But, I can’t confidently lay 4 scores on this Kansas State squad and feel good about it. The offense has to show me more before I go do that.
The Pick: FAU +24.5 
Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh
This is one of the hardest games of the weekend to figure out. So much of it depends on what exactly the mindset is of Mike Gundy’s Cowboys after last week’s debacle.
The line is interesting. It opened at OSU -6.5 and has moved to -4.5. But the Cowboys are getting 56% of the betting public, leading me to believe the sharp and big money is coming in on Pitt.
Pitt had a very solid win over Penn State last week and dominated on the ground 341-70, which doesn’t bode well for OSU’s really bad running game (and questionable O-line).
In the end, I have no faith in where the Cowboys are mentally, and there are many reasons to like Pitt’s toughness to prevail in this game … or at least cover.
The Pick: Pitt +4.5 
Texas Tech vs. Louisiana Tech
Here’s another game that is going in two different directions. 65% of the betting public is picking TTU, but the line is moving in favor of LA Tech, opening at TTU -11.5 and now sitting at -10.
Tech is getting hammered by smart money because no one believes in their defense. Yes, LA Tech does have solid QB-WR combo in Ryan Higgins and Trent Taylor, but they will need to try and run the ball effectively against a porous TTU run defense.
Still, playing at Jones AT&T Stadium at night is tough, and the Red Raiders want to show their fan base last week was a fluke. I think the game stays close for a half, but the Tech offense overpowers for the final quarter and a half to cover the spread.
The Pick: Texas Tech -10 
#14 Oklahoma vs. #3 Ohio State
77% of the money is going in on Ohio State, yet the line is going in the other direction from Ohio State -2 to -1.5. So… once again, the sharps are on the Sooners.
I don’t love this OU team, and I said before the season I felt it was getting too much love. But, this game defines their season. Lose, and OU can’t make a playoff. Win, and they’re back in business.
Ohio State is replacing 16 starters from last season’s team. Put a bunch of new faces in Norman at Memorial Stadium in a ruckus night atmosphere and that’s going to be damn tough. J.T. Barrett may have his way with the OU defense, similar to Greg Ward Jr. for Houston, but OU did do a much better job in that second half containing Ward and the UH offense.
I’ll go with the desperate and more experienced team, at home, in prime time.
The Pick: Oklahoma +1.5 
#11 Texas @ Cal
Is Texas as good as they’ve shown? Is Cal as bad as they looked against San Diego State? The line keeps growing in favor of Texas. But, remember, it’s the first road game, late at night, for Shane Buechele and this young Texas team. Cal can fling the ball around with the best of ’em and they will try to use quick passes with David Webb to avoid Malik Jefferson. This game has been closer than most people expected over the past couple of years, and I think this year will be no different.
The Pick: Cal +7.5
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