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Big 12 college football picks against the spread: Week 5

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Daddy’s back! We went 3-1 in Week 4, putting us back at .500 on the season at 12-12. Big 12 conference play officially gets underway this weekend with a full slate! With Texas Tech-Kansas playing tonight, I am getting this pick up early. Let’s roll.

Texas Tech vs. Kansas 

So, we know Texas Tech can score in bunches, but can Kansas score just enough points to cover the spread?? That’s really the only question. Also, historically, KU has played TTU tight. Last year, Tech only won this game by 10 points. In 2014 it was 13 points, and in 2012, Tech needed overtime. I’m not sure what it is with KU, but they’ve been horrible and given Tech some issues.

Also, KU’s defense has been a strength. Once again, enough to stop Tech? No. But, enough to keep KU within the spread, yes. Defensively, KU is led by sophomore Daniel Wise who was the second-highest rated DT on the college rankings at Pro Football Focus through three weeks. In the secondary, Fish Smithson is a helluva player that leads the way.

Tech’s defense has been so bad this season that KU might be able to score in the 20’s which should give them a cover. Also, if you want to know what Vegas thinks, 80% of the public money is betting Tech to cover. BUT, the spread has decreased by a point or so in favor of Kansas. So, considering how heavily the public is liking TTU, the wise guys are hitting KU at an insane clip.

The Pick: Kansas +28

#13 Baylor vs. Iowa State

The Cyclones might’ve thought they found an answer last week, but unfortunately the game was against San Jose State. Jacob Park and Joel Lanning continue to push each other at QB, but it does not appear like one is the clear starter over the other. Iowa State has had issues with the running game, not because of RB Mike Warren, but because of the offensive line. Baylor’s defense picked up 13 TFL’s and 4 sacks last week against Oklahoma State.

Baylor continues to hum on offense and despite ISU’s defense grabbing 4 interceptions last week … once again, it was against SJSU. The Bears are still playing with a chip on their shoulder and do not appear to be playing with the hangover some of us expected following the offseason turmoil.

The Pick: Baylor -17

Oklahoma State vs. Texas

This is the most interesting game of the weekend because of the implications for both teams. Charlie Strong will be back on the hot seat with a loss, while Oklahoma State falling to 2-3 to start the season, combined with Boone Picken’s comments this week, might start some chirping in Stillwater.

Texas hasn’t played since their loss at Cal two weeks ago, while OSU fell at Baylor last week. Both teams have issues in the secondary, especially Oklahoma State, which is ranked 118th in pass efficiency defense. With the new spread attack from OC Sterlin Gilbert, he is likely feasting at the chance to face OSU. But, Texas’ secondary showed how much work it has to make after the loss to Cal.

Ultimately, the difference will be the running games. UT can pound away with Foreman and Warren, while OSU has become so one dimensional because of the issues on the offensive line. Also, it’s an 11 AM CT kickoff, so any kind of home field advantage will be negated by a crowd that will not be at it’s best.

The Pick: Texas +2

Kansas State @ West Virginia

I’m pretty shocked by this line. I know WVU is coming off a solid opponent in BYU, while K-State won a shortened game against Missouri State.

Since Kansas State has only played 2.5 games, it’s hard to figure out how good this team is. I still believe it’s an average team that has to go on the road to one of the hardest places to play in the Big 12, Milan Puskar, and beat a WVU team that feels they can shock the Big 12 this season.

This game will be won or lost in the trenches, with the Mountaineers having one of the best offensive lines in the country, while K-State’s strength is its defensive line.

Offensively, I don’t buy into what Kansas State is doing. They’ve looked really good against FAU and Missouri State, who cares. The one Power 5 team they played, Stanford, QB Jesse Ertz looked lost at times. Now, he’s heading to a raucous situation in Morgantown? Good luck.

This appears to be one of the most even games of the weekend, with 56% of the money going in on WVU, and 44% to K-State.

The Pick: West Virginia -2.5

Oklahoma @ TCU

Before the season we thought this might be a game that determines the Big 12 title. Now, it’s just two teams trying to right the ship for the rest of the season.

I’m not the biggest fan of TCU QB Kenny Hill’s ability to match up against legitimate Power 5 teams. But, he gets to face an Oklahoma defense that is one of just seven teams in the nation without an interception. Look for Hill and LSU transfer WR John Diarse to go to town on the Oklahoma secondary.

Meantime, the Sooners have had issues protecting Baker Mayfield this season. OU has allowed 11 sacks through 3 games, so TCU DE’s Josh Carraway and James McFarland are likely licking their chops as the chance to try and get to Mayfield in the backfield. The coaching is a wash between Stoops and Patterson.

About two-thirds of the money is going in on OU, which has grown the spread by 2-3 points. That being said, give me the underdog at home.

The Pick: TCU +3.5 

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