Baylor Bears

Big 12 college football picks against the spread: Week 7

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What a roller coaster season it’s been for these picks! From 3-1 to 0-5 to 3-1 the past three weeks! By breaking out of our slump, the record for this season improved to 15-18. Anyway, here are our Week 7 picks against the spread!

#19 Oklahoma vs. Kansas State

In the early season, Kansas State has emerged as one of the more surprising teams in the Big 12. Bill Snyder is doing it with his usual approach of defense, discipline, special teams, and the running game. Frankly, it’s about the opposite of what OU has done so far this season: sloppy but high-octane football.

K-State is top ten in turnover margin in the country and has allowed less than three yards/carry this season. If they can somehow slowdown Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, K-State can not only hang in this game, but can pull off the win.  Meantime, OU is turning the ball over more than 2x per game. These are the kind of matchups Bill Snyder thrives on, especially against one of his former pupils.

Kansas State has beaten Oklahoma the last two times these teams played in Norman, while OU won the last two games in Manhattan. Tomorrow’s game is in Norman and it’s an 11am kickoff. So, expected a sluggish home crowd to start, along with a big K-State special teams play which allows them to hang around until late in the game.

The Pick: Kansas State +13.5

#20 West Virginia @ Texas Tech 

The history between Dana Holgorsen and Kliff Kingsbury is well noted (Houston, Texas Tech) and always allows for an interesting matchup between these two programs. The Mountaineers are off to an impressive 4-0 start, while Tech is coming off a loss to K-State, with fans already disappointed with the two losses this season.

WVU is having success behind its running game of Rushel Shell and Justin Crawford, averaging almost 5 yards/carry. Also, the Mountaineers have been running more than passing this season, with 164 plays on the ground vs. 151 pass plays. Meantime, the Mountaineers defense lost 8 starts from last season, but hasn’t missed a beat. They’re 8th nationally in pass efficiency defense and top-30 in scoring defense. This will be especially key against Patrick Mahomes and the Red Raiders offense.

Texas Tech’s defense still can’t stop anyone, giving up 231 yards on the ground against K-State last week. I expect WVU to continue to use it’s run game to its advantage and keep Tech’s offense on the field. The Mountaineer pass D has been good, but in fairness, hasn’t faced an offense this explosive yet this season. Also, if there’s ever a game for Skyler Howard to open it up and feel good about himself, it comes tomorrow.

The line opened up at Tech -1, but has flipped this WVU -1. This despite 62% of the public putting their money on the Red Raiders. The smart money is on the Mountaineers. We’re joining them.

The Pick: West Virginia -1 

#11 Baylor vs. Kansas

The Bears are coming off a bye week, which was preceded by a major scare against Iowa State. Meantime, the Jayhawks are looking improved, and almost pulled off the huge upset against TCU last week. Kansas outgained TCU and picked off three Kenny Hill passes, but cost themselves with mistakes, especially on special teams.

Baylor’s defensive front has been its weakness so far, giving up over 200 rushing yards in the past 3 games. The problem is that Kansas can’t run the ball well, averaging only 3.2 yards per carry. Despite throwing 3 interceptions last week, Ryan Willis had a good game at QB for KU, and one interception was not his fault. He struggles under pressure, but as we noted, Baylor’s front line hasn’t been its strength this season.

KU did a nice job against the run vs. Tech and TCU. But, now comes a real big test with Shock Linwood.

Baylor will win this game convincingly, but there’s enough reason to doubt the Bears can cover this massive spread. Plus, while Baylor is 5-0 this season, the Bears are only 1-4 against the spread. This team is good, but the swagger from Art Briles isn’t there.

There’s not much to read into what’s going on in Vegas, as the line hasn’t moved and the money is split 50/50.

The Pick: Kansas +35

Texas vs. Iowa State

These are two teams trending in opposite directions. Despite two losses, Iowa State has led by 17 points in the second half against both Oklahoma State and Baylor. Then, there’s Texas, who has lost 3 straight games to Cal, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.

The matchup works out well for Iowa State in that they have a top-notch running back (Mike Warren), and solid dual-threat QB in Joel Lanning, and pieces on the outside (Allen Lazzard), to bother the Longhorns’ 118th ranked scoring defense. ISU has scored at least 30 points in three straight games.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Texas is going to put up points in this game. Iowa State has given up at least 38 points against its Power 5 opponents. But, there’s no way I can trust this UT defense to help the offense do enough to cover this spread.


The Pick: Iowa State +14

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