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Last week I went 4-0 on the picks and am hitting my stride , putting me at 13-9-3 on the season. Let’s jump right into Week 5!
Iowa State vs. Texas (Thursday Night)
Weeknights in Ames tend to get a little weird and I don’t expect this one to be any different. I could see the outcome in this game going several different ways, therefore I’m avoiding the spread. But I do feel good about the over and here’s why: Iowa State ranks 121st in the country in red zone defense (opponents have scored on 11 of their red zone trips against the Cyclones with nine of those 11 scores being touchdowns). Granted, Texas has been one of the worst red zone offenses in the country, but this is their chance to break through. Also, it looks like the leader of the Cyclones secondary Kamari Cotton-Moya will play, but it’s not yet confirmed and who knows how healthy the safety really is. Meantime, Iowa State just set a school record for consecutive games with 400 yards of offense (six) while averaging 501.2 yards per game during those games. Texas’ defense looked better against USC, but Iowa State will run a much more open offense, similar to Maryland, and has so many weapons in David Montgomery, Allen Lazard, and Hakeem Butler, Texas is going to have to pick and choose who they’re trying to stop on a given play. This is going to be a fun, high-scoring affair. Oh, and the total has gone over in six of Iowa State’s last seven home games.
The Pick: OVER 63
Kansas State vs. Baylor
Kansas State has been given two weeks to think about their frustrating night at Vanderbilt ending with a 14-7 loss. But that’s also given the team time to refocus as they get ready for Big 12 play at home against Baylor. Yes, the Bears played their best game of the season last week versus Oklahoma, but they’re really banged up (Chris Platt, Xavier Jones, Mo Porter, JaMycal Hasty) and are heading into a perfect storm with a young team on the road against an angry Bill Snyder squad. Zach Smith had a career day last week against OU, but this Kansas State secondary will be ready as it’s the strength of this defense. Kansas State wants to run the ball first and they should have a field day against the Bears. Oklahoma rushed for 342 yards and four scores, and UTSA and Duke also ran for over 200 yards against Baylor. Jesse Ertz will also hit a couple of deep passes like he did in games one and two of the season as the Wildcats roll.
The Pick: Kansas State -17
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
If this game had been played Week 1, based on what we thought we knew about each team, it probably would have been a three-score spread. The spread opened at two touchdowns and has been pushed down to less than 10 points. I’m sorry, Tech has not earned that kind of respect just yet. Granted, Tech’s defense appears better than we expected, but how good is it really? The unit hasn’t seen anything close to this Oklahoma State offense, which by the way appears healthier on the offensive line as Zach Crabtree is listed as the starting right tackle in the depth chart (he missed the game against TCU). Plus, the Pokes are angry coming off their loss to TCU, know the Red Raiders are playing surprisingly well and aren’t going to be caught asleep at the wheel. Also, the Red Raiders don’t have anything close to the pass rush (one sack per game) that TCU was hampering the Cowboys with last week. Oklahoma State has dominated this series lately, going 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Texas Tech. Sorry, there’s way too much love going on here for Texas Tech. It sets up too good for a Tech letdown and a big Oklahoma State win.
The Pick: Oklahoma State -9.5