Thank the Lord we got back to some winning ways last week going 3-1 and moving to a still pathetic 21-29 on the season. Here’s to finishing strong!
#11 Oklahoma vs. Baylor
The Bears continue to reel with reports this week that OC Kendal Briles met with the NCAA over recruiting violations. Add to that no Shock Linwood this week, a blow out by TCU, and now facing an OU team that needs to dominate down the stretch to have any shot at the College Football Playoff.
This line opened at around 2 touchdowns and continues to expand. But, it’s kind of a perfect storm to grow the line as the national powerhouse team has been dominating while the Bears have had issues on the field (TCU) and off the field (everything else).
That being said, there are reasons to believe Baylor can cover this spread fairly easily. In terms of motivation, the Bears are technically still in the Big 12 title hunt.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has ripped off 6 straight wins, but recent victories against Kansas and Iowa State have still masked issues, especially on defense. OU’s biggest weakness is the secondary, so even though Shock Linwood won’t play for the Bears, Seth Russell should be able to put up points with wide outs KD Cannon and Ishmael Zamora.
I don’t see Baylor winning, but they will play up because it’s OU, and will keep it within the margin.
The Pick: Baylor +17.5
Texas vs. #16 West Virginia
59% of the money is going on the Mountaineers, but it’s the Longhorns who are opening up the spread from -1 to -2. Frankly, I don’t quite get why the sharps appear to be on UT.
The Longhorns have won two straight games against Baylor and Texas Tech, but this is far from a complete team. The Mountaineers will have a real shot with their depth at wide receiver (Daikiel Shorts, Shelton Gibson) to torch a team ranked 123rd in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
Longhorns RB D’Onta Foreman is awesome, but he’s racked up big games against a couple of dismal run defenses in Baylor and Texas Tech. Now, he has to face a West Virginia defense that is 4th in the Big 12. The Mountaineers top-ranked pass defense in the Big 12 will force Shane Buechele to beat them through the air, which won’t be easy considering the WVU secondary and the lack of depth and quality at wide out for the Longhorns.
The public and the sharps are buying back into the Longhorns much too quickly. I’ll roll with the team still fighting for a conference title.
The Pick: West Virginia +2
Iowa State @ Kansas
For both these teams, this is clearly their best chance at a conference win this season. Iowa State is the better team, having kept a lot of their losses close, dropping 4 games by no more than 10 points. But, the Cyclones are still confused on offense debating between quarterbacks Jacob Park and Joel Lanning, while continuing to deal with banged up running back Mike Lanning, who should play through an ankle injury. They have to get by a Kansas defense that is 3rd against the pass (although that is somewhat inflated since teams that are winning by so much will run the ball). But, Kansas is 4th in the Big 12 in sacks and Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise should give trouble to an ISU offensive line that is still shaky.
Also, the Jayhawks seem to play much better at home than on the road. After two very tough road games, Kansas is back home and the toughest part of their schedule is behind them. The biggest problem for KU has been the turnovers. Now, with redshirt freshman Carter Stanley hopefully getting more reps at QB, we’ll see if he can be the answer under center for the Jayhawks.
The line is being split 50/50 in Vegas. I think there is enough reason to like KU to cover.
The Pick: Kansas +10
#13 Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
These two teams are trending in opposite directions with the Cowboys winning 5 straight to stay in the Big 12 hunt and Texas Tech losing 4 of 5.
We know how bad the Red Raiders have been on defense, especially against the run where they are allowing 5.8 yards per carry. But, Oklahoma State’s strength is the passing game, with the running game slowly coming on. So, maybe, just maybe, Tech won’t get totally gauged on the ground this week.
On the other side, Texas Tech does a good job of protecting the ball, giving up a Big 12-low 8 turnovers this season. Oklahoma State’s defense has thrived off fumbles and interceptions. Star QB Patrick Mahomes will keep the Red Raiders in this game against a shaky Cowboys defense.
Also, this spread seems too high, as the Red Raiders have been in almost all of their games. Of their 5 losses, 4 of them have been by 8 points or less. Tech is 6-3 against the spread this season and that continues on Saturday.
The Pick: Texas Tech +12.5