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 the best of the season with a 4-0 mark! So let’s get to the picks for this week!
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The Red Raiders’ rushing defense has been better than the passing defense, which is good when you’re taking on a TCU team that would much prefer to run than pass. The Horned Frogs are the least efficient passing team in the Big 12. Also, in turnover margin, Tech is +9 this season, which is the best in the Big 12, while TCU is -5, ranking eight in the conference. Tech also comes in with the second-best red-zone defense in the Big 12 and gets to face a true freshman QB in Max Duggan at home, who has struggled lately with six interceptions the past two games, while taking seven sacks. The home dog feels right.
The Pick: Texas Tech +3
The Jayhawks and Pokes are both coming off a bye week, and while OSU is ranked in the Top 25 and has played much better its last two times out, the number feels big for a Kansas team that has been playing better, sans Kansas State, especially on offense with new OC Brent Dearmon leading the way. Also, Les Miles is going up against his former team in his old stomping grounds, so throw a little extra motivation on there for the Jayhawks. OSU is not nearly as a strong on defense as Kansas State, which is the only team in the Big 12 who has been able to slow down the KU offense since Dearmon took over. OSU wins but KU can cover.
The Pick: Kansas +18
The Wildcats enter this game with the the fourth-ranked rushing offense in the Big 12 going up against the second-worst rushing defense in the conference. On the flip side, West Virginia will be unable to run the ball. They are dead last, by a wide margin, in rushing offense, with just 75 Rush YPG, which is half of what KU, the 9th ranked rushing offense in the conference, is averaging. Brutal. Also, WVU may be playing for 2020, giving Jarret Doege more reps at QB, along side, or in place of, Austin Kendall. Regardless, KSU has the top-ranked passing defense in the conference, which is going to make life tough for either QB. The Mountaineers are also just 3-6 against the spread this season. Wildcats bounce back from their loss at Texas with a big home win.
The Pick: Kansas State -14
Despite an up-and-down season, the Longhorns are still playing for a Big 12 Championship appearance and they’re continuing to get healthier. Jordan Whittington, Jeff McCullough, Chris Brown and DeMarvion Overshown should all see the field in some capacity this weekend. And while Iowa State has played, and lost, a ton of very close games, I wonder if the team feels dejected. When you lose four games by 11 points and your goals of reaching a Big 12 title are shot, how do you respond? We’ll find out. Turnover margin also hasn’t been kind to ISU, with 12 turnovers this season, which is the third-most in Big 12 play. Texas also comes in with the top 3rd-down conversion rate in the conference, while Iowa State’s defense ranks second-worst in the category.
The Pick: Texas +6.5
The Sooners are banged up. They’ve missed Jon-Michael Terry more than I expected, and Trey Sermon and Kenneth Mann are done for the season, hurting both sides of the ball, while Grant Calcaterra will miss Saturday’s game as wel. Baylor remains a stout defensive team, ranking first in pass defense efficiency in the conference, second in rushing defense and first in scoring defense. Also, the Bears are +6 in turnover margin, while their nine interceptions is the second most in the Big 12. That bodes well against Jalen Hurts who has thrown a pick in four of the past six games. The Bears are also rolling at 4-2 against the spread in their last six games. Give me the better defense at home to cover a double-digit spread.
The Pick: Baylor +10
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