It’s Week 10 and there’s a full slate of seven Big 12 games on the docket this week. Here are the Big 12 plays that I like this week.
Thursday, November 2, 6:00 p.m. CT
Texas Tech -3, Total: 59 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
An all-Texas battle on a Thursday gets Week 10 in the Big 12 going. Both of these teams are coming off their bye weeks and both teams are coming off of bad losses. After destroying BYU in Josh Hoover’s first start, the Horned Frogs got a big dose of reality in Manhattan as Kansas State absolutely pummeled TCU in every facet of the game. TCU only averaged 4.6 yards per play and gave up 7.5 yards per play to the Wildcats resulting in a 38-point loss that wasn’t even as close as the blowout score showed. If TCU is going to make a bowl game after last year’s trip to the National Championship Game, they really need to win this game in Lubbock with games against Texas and Oklahoma remaining on the schedule. Texas Tech has had the “season from hell” starting from the get-go. Last time out, with third-string QB Jake Strong getting the start, the Red Raiders lost to BYU in Provo thanks to five turnovers. Now sitting at 3-5, the Red Raiders are going to need to spring at least one upset against either Kansas or Texas to make a bowl game. The good news for this one against TCU is that Behren Morton returns from injury to make the start at Quarterback for Texas Tech. This one is a bowl game elimination game and I think Texas Tech is further lost than TCU so I’ll take the field goal with the Horned Frogs in this one.
PICK: TCU +3
Saturday, November 4, 11:00 a.m. CT
Texas -4.5, Total: 51 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
In a statement that I’m sure will annoy Oklahoma fans, the two best teams in the Big 12 square off in Austin on Saturday. The winner of this game will likely beat the Sooners in Arlington in December so this is a huge game. Starting with Kansas State, since their shocking loss in Stillwater, the Wildcats have not only stabilized but they have absolutely dominated their last three opponents. K State has outscored Texas Tech, TCU, and Houston 120-24 and quite frankly the +96 point differential doesn’t even tell the whole story of their dominance. Now, there is a legitimate question to be asked of is this just a good team smacking down three mediocre teams? However, I believe there is more to it. The Wildcats are a very well-coached team and well-coached teams bounce back after bad losses. To see Kansas State just pummel everything in their path the last three weeks shows me that this team is pretty close to being as good as the one that won the Big 12 Championship last season. Will Howard is fully healthy and the Cats will need him on his “A” game in Austin. Texas destroyed an overmatched BYU team 35-6 last week and Maalik Murphy was good enough in his first start but he did not have to do much as it probably would’ve taken BYU 16 quarters to score 35 points against the Longhorn defense. Expect a large dose of Jonathon Brooks in this one for Texas as I don’t think Murphy is at the point where you can put a game on his shoulders. Obviously, there are massive playoff implications still on the board for Texas. If the Longhorns win out, they will have a great case of making the College Football Playoff but there is no margin for error. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, I think the path to the Playoff ends on Saturday. Kansas State’s defense will force Murphy into mistakes and the Wildcats will do enough on offense to steal this one in Austin. We’ll take the points with the Wildcats and a sprinkle on the moneyline at around +160 is good too.
PICK: KANSAS STATE +4.5
Saturday, November 4, 6:00 p.m. CT
Iowa State -2.5, Total: 54 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Credit to Matt Campbell and Iowa State for turning what looked like a completely lost season in Ames into a pretty darn good one that should end up in a trip to a bowl game. Sitting at 4-1 in conference with a loss in Norman being the only blemish, the Cyclones have gotten solid QB play out of Rocco Becht and absolutely stellar play out of their defense. We always knew that Iowa State could steal a few games because of their defense but the fact that Becht has been good should give Cyclone fans a good amount of hope that they can be a threat in the new look Big 12 in 2024. On the Kansas side of things, to the dismay of Sherri, the Oklahoma fan, the Jayhawks beat the Sooners for the first time since 1997 and they did it in dramatic fashion. Saturday was the ultimate Jason Bean experience for the Jayhawks. Bean was excellent early in the game, then threw two interceptions in the 4th that probably should have cost Kansas the victory. But credit to Bean as he converted the huge 4th down conversion to Lawrence Arnold to set up the game-winning touchdown. The Jayhawks defense also was opportunistic including the pick 6 of Dillon Gabriel early in the game. Kansas would be squarely in the mix to make it to Arlington if not for their collapse in Stillwater against Oklahoma State. Now this is a brutal spot for KU, going on the road after the biggest win the program has had since the 2008 Orange Bowl but I do think Iowa State is due for a regression game after playing at the top of their ability the last three games. I like the Jayhawks to win outright but for purposes of the article, we’ll be taking the two-and-half points as well.
PICK: KANSAS +2.5
Those are the three official plays but I do want to say a few things about Bedlam. Oklahoma is a six-point favorite but the Cowboys come into the game as the hottest team in the Big 12. If this game gets to seven, it will likely be a play on the Cowboys. I think the Sooners have been mostly smoke and mirrors this year except for the Texas game but Oklahoma State has been so good the last month and I’m not sure it is possible for the Pokes to continue to play at such a high level.
Here are a few bonus plays for the road!
Rutgers +18.5 v Ohio State
Missouri +16 at Georgia
Alabama -3 v LSU
Big 12 Bets: 1-1
Bonus Bets: 2-1