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Big 12 college football picks against the spread: Week 9

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The disappointing (to put it politely) season continues. 1-3 last week, 17-24 on the season. 5 games this week so a chance to get back near the .500 mark with a full sweep. Why not?!

#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State

The Mountaineers look to continue their magic this season on the road in Stillwater, where it’s homecoming weekend for the Cowboys.

WVU has shut down two really good quarterbacks in back to back weeks: Patrick Mahomes and Kenny Hill. Now, the test turns to Mason Rudolph. The Cowboys have given up the second most sacks in the league and the running game is still a work in progress. Look for WVU defensive end Noble Nwachukwu to get to Rudolph and force him into off-balanced passes. That’s where the WVU secondary comes in, where they are 2nd in the conference in interceptions.

On the other side of the ball, the Oklahoma State secondary struggles, which will help Skyler Howard build off his 4-touchdown game last week vs. TCU. But, of course it will all be set up by Rushel Shell and the running game. The Mountaineers magic continues.

The Pick: WVU -3.5 

Iowa State vs. Kansas State

It’s Farmageddon time!

Kansas State continues to be the biggest surprise in the Big 12, this side of Morgantown. The Wildcats are using the classic Bill Snyder model of strong defense, good-enough offense, solid special teams and efficiency.

Kansas State is the most efficient team in the Big 12 in the red zone, in fact leading the nation in red zone conversions. K-State would rather run the ball with Charles Jones and now they get to face the worst run defense in the Big 12.

On the other side of the ball, the Kansas State defensive line of Jordan Willis and Reggie Walker cannot wait to feast on an Iowa State offensive line that has given up the most sacks in the Big 12 this season. This will slow down the running game as well, and will force Iowa State to go to the air.

The Pick: Kansas State -6.5

#8 Baylor at Texas

The Bears remain a mystery. Yes, they are undefeated and ranked in the top ten, but let’s be honest, their schedule to date has been a joke. While the stats are a bit inflated, the defense is still strong, ranking 1st in pass defense in the Big 12, while the running game is tops in the Big 12.

Meantime, Texas is just a mess in so many ways. Rumors around Charlie Strong’s job, issues on both sides of the ball. But, in recent weeks I’ve convinced myself this was the week the Longhorns get Strong a big week to silence the critics and get the program back on track. But, I’m bailing on that theory this week.

Baylor is the better team and the more motivated team. Not only are they undefeated, but they would love nothing more than to stick it to a Texas team that took some of their recruits after the Art Briles fallout.

The Pick: Baylor -3.5 

TCU vs. Texas Tech

Right off the bat there is an interesting betting trend shaping up in this game. 60% of the public money is on Texas Tech, but the line has grown in favor of TCU from -7 to -9.5.

While Tech is down, Patrick Mahomes may not be totally healthy, and the defense is a disaster, TCU hasn’t exactly met expectations this season either.

There should be plenty of passing yards as TCU and Tech are 8th and 9th respectively in passing yards allowed per game. We expected that from Tech, but it’s amazing how bad TCU’s passing defense has been this season.

Turnovers could be the difference in this game. Texas Tech has tossed seven interceptions this season, but has lost only two fumbles. Meantime, TCU has turned the football over 13 times. But, the Red Raiders defense has once again been its own worst enemy, creating just five takeaways, the fewest in the Big 12 and tied for the second fewest in the nation. Still, this could be Tech’s week to turn around this trend.

In the end, the number is just too big to feel good about TCU and its defense holding up.

The Pick: Texas Tech +9.5

#16 Oklahoma vs. Kansas

Oklahoma’s defense is a total disaster. Heck, they have no business being a 40-point favorite over a Division II team at this point. That’s my analysis on this game and that’s all it requires. Take the Jayhawks to score at least a couple times and cover the spread with some ease.

The Pick: Kansas +40.5

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