There are just times when the breaks aren’t going your way, and that’s the rut I find myself in right now. If you have been fading my picks in recent weeks, you’ve made some nice money. Last week was a 2-1 week. The worst streak since I started this column a couple years ago. But, only losers quit. I just keep ’em churning. So let’s get to the picks!
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The Red Raiders come into this game off a bye week desperate for a win, while WVU may be suffering a hangover from nearly beating Baylor last week in Waco. Here’s the problem for WVU: It’s strongest part of the team is its pass rush. And TTU has been good against the pass rush, only allowing 11 sacks in eight games, which is the second-fewest in the Big 12 to OU. Also, TTU has 11 interceptions on the season, the most in the Big 12, while WVU has throw 11 picks, the most in the conference, which is not a good sign for the Mountaineers.
The Pick: Texas Tech -2.5
It’s a great rivalry between these two. The Bears got their scare against WVU last week and should be re-focused going into the final month of the season. Baylor is the leader in the Big 12 in sacks with 26 on the season, while TCU ranks eight in the conference in sacks allowed with 20. Also, Baylor can stop the run, ranking second in the Big 12 in the category. If TCU can’t run, then relying on Max Duggan to win this game is going to prove difficult.
The Pick: Baylor -2.5
This may end up being a sucker bet, but I don’t care. The spread is too big, and Kansas State is playing great football. Texas is finally getting healthy in the secondary, but if UT can’t stop the run, having a healthy secondary won’t matter much. Texas may also be coming off a bye, but K-State has had a nice run not having to leave the state of Kansas since late September. The Wildcats also have the best turnover margin in the Big 12, which is always vital in a big road game.
The Pick: Kansas State +7
Both teams are well rested, and while OU is still trying to reach a CFB Playoff, while Iowa State is trying to get itself back into contention for a Big 12 title, these two teams may not be as different as some expect. Iowa State and OU are both in the top ten in the country in yards per play and ranked right near each other in the top 30 in yards per play allowed (OU: 27, ISU: 28). Plus, ISU is ranked third in the Big 12 in time of possession, while OU is 9th. This is partially what hurt the Sooners vs. Kansas State. Lastly, OU has just one takeaway in Big 12 play, and as a result is -5 in turnover margin in conference play. I don’t know if the Cyclones can win outright, but they can cover this big number.
The Pick: Iowa State +14.5
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