We are already four weeks into the season! Let’s get back to work as we have a bunch of conference games to look to for value!
Oklahoma Sooners at Cincinnati Bearcats
Saturday, September 23rd at Noon ET
Oklahoma -14.5, Total: 57.5 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
The first Big 12 game for the Bearcats comes one week after a bad loss to an in-state MAC school in Miami of Ohio. The overtime loss for Cincy was the right result, the Redhawks were the better team and should have won the game in regulation. I know it was a look-ahead and letdown spot put together for the Bearcats but that is a loss that would never have happened with Luke Fickell. Oklahoma steamrolled through non-conference play as they outscored Arkansas State, SMU, and Tulsa a combined 167-28. Dillon Gabriel was great again last week against Tulsa as he completed a dominant three-game stretch with 11 touchdowns to just one interception. The biggest improvement from last year is the Sooners’ defense, which was also spectacular through the non-conference games. Even with the loss last week, expect the crowd at Nippert Stadium to bring it for Cincinnati’s first game in the Big 12. I see a much better effort from the Bearcats in this one after last week’s debacle starting with a much better performance from the defense. Cincy will slow down the Sooners enough to keep this within two touchdowns. Give me the Bearcats plus the points.
PICK: Cincinnati +14.5
Texas Tech Red Raiders at West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, September 23rd at 3:30 pm ET
Texas Tech -6, Total: 55 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Texas Tech finally got into the win column with a blowout victory over FCS Tarleton State. I don’t take much of anything from the win last week. Going back two weeks when Texas Tech was a legitimate bad beat against Oregon on the last pick-six thrown by Shough but the performance against the Ducks was encouraging from the offensive side of the ball. The Tech defense left a lot to be desired against Oregon, but I won’t hold their performance in that game against them too much because the Ducks have one of the best offenses in the country. The one thing I need to see from Tech moving forward is in-game offensive adjustments. They were better against Oregon but Joey McGuire’s staff struggled against Wyoming in the loss to the Cowboys. West Virginia won last week against Pitt in an absolutely ugly game. The Mountaineers were able to win by double digits despite averaging a horrendous 3.4 yards per play. WVU cashed in on the positive turnover differential against the Panthers and the truly horrendous play by Pitt QB Phil Jurkovec. We are still waiting to see the status of Garrett Greene who was injured early in the Backyard Brawl. If Greene is unable to go, I expect the total to dip even further as well as Texas Tech to become a bigger favorite. I prefer the under so that’s the best play for this game.
PICK: UNDER 55
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, September 23rd at 4 pm ET
Iowa State -3.5, Total: 37 (Odds via Superbook)
Both of these teams are coming off of bad losses last week. Matt Campbell’s seat deserves to be hot after a loss against Ohio last week. For the second straight week, the offense struggled badly. It’s one thing to have a hard time against Iowa but it is another for a Power 5 team to look completely lost against a MAC team. I understand that an illness was going through the Cyclones team last week but if you hold your opponent to 10 points, it is a game you need to win and now Iowa State has an uphill battle to make a Bowl in 2023. In a week full of messes for Big 12 teams in non-conference, Oklahoma State had the biggest disaster. The Pokes were completely outclassed by the Sun Belt’s South Alabama 33-7. The Jaguars held the Oklahoma State offense to a paltry 208 total yards, 3.3 yards per play, and made all three Cowboy quarterbacks look bad. Oklahoma State’s defense even looked bad last week, South Alabama averaged over six yards per play. The other good opponent South Alabama played was Tulane and the Green Wave held the Jaguars to 4.3 yards per play en route to a 20-point win for Tulane. Both of these teams are going to have problems scoring and I am not scared off by the potential for defensive scores in this game. Make sure you find the 37s in the market to bet, I still think it is still good at 36.5 but getting 37 gives you a pushout at 20-17 in either direction. Let’s root for the defenses and take this game under.
PICK: UNDER 37
Those are the three games I like in the Big 12, here are a few bonus bets for a massive Week 4!
Alabama -7 v Ole Miss
Washington State +3 v Oregon State
Notre Dame +3 v Ohio State
Big 12 Bets 3-0
Bonus Bets 1-2