It’s time for the final weekend of the 2023 regular season and there’s a full slate of seven Big 12 games on the docket. Here are the Big 13 plays that I like this week.
Friday, November 24th at 11:00 p.m. CT
Oklahoma -10.0, Total: 63.5 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
This is the final football conference game the Sooners will play as a member of the Big 12 (barring a horrible loss from Oklahoma State). Oklahoma was incredibly fortunate to get out of Provo with a win last week and if they were playing a different QB for the Cougars, the Sooners probably would have lost as 24-point favorites. Dillon Gabriel left the game with an injury but Brent Venables said Tuesday that he expects Gabriel to be able to make the start on Friday. The Sooners need to hope that Gabriel is there on Friday because Jackson Arnold did not seem ready for the moment in relief last week. I also would like to see OU’s defense play better as BYU was able to run for almost 6.0 yards per carry.
On the TCU side, the Horned Frogs need to get a win on Friday in order to get to bowl eligibility a year after their magical run to the National Title Game. TCU dominated the final 45 minutes last week against the hapless Baylor Bears. This is a big step up in competition but I expect the Horned Frogs to be ready for the moment and if Gabriel is compromised at all during this game it will favor TCU. I’m not sure the Horned Frogs will get there outright but I do expect this game to be tight so we will take the points with TCU.
PICK: TCU +10.0
Saturday, November 25th at 6:30 p.m. CT
Kansas -6.0, Total: 58.0 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Jayhawks played well enough to pull the upset last week in the Sunflower Showdown but well enough wasn’t sufficient to finish the job. Even with Jason Bean in uniform, Cole Ballard got all of the snaps at QB for Kansas and I thought Ballard did a good job for the second straight week. Now Kansas looks for their 8th win of the season on the road against arguably the worst team in the Big 12. Cincinnati was completely outclassed by West Virginia in Morgantown last week.
I’m still confused on why bettors aggressively took UC last week but hey, I won’t complain about an easy win for the column. I’m not sure what type of effort we will see out of the Bearcats in this one. Even with it being Senior Night, this could be a go-through-the-motions game, especially if Kansas gets out to an early lead. I expect the Jayhawks to be focused as a win would mean a better bowl for KU. Anything less than a touchdown is good with Kansas in this one, we’ll lay the 6 with the Jayhawks.
PICK: Kansas -6.0
Those are the last two official plays of the regular season for me. The rest of the games on the card are tough to handicap. I do expect the Longhorns to handle their business at home against Texas Tech but I have no interest in laying 13 points. Same deal for Oklahoma State at home against BYU, 17 points is just too much to lay with the Cowboys but I have no interest in taking a Cougars squad that is limping to the finish line. Kansas State hosting Iowa State is the best game of the weekend. I think the Wildcats being favored by 10.0 points is correct so we will pass on that as well.
Here are some bonus bets for the road.
Michigan -3.5 v Ohio State
Minnesota +2 v Wisconsin
UNLV -2.5 v San Jose State