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Last week I went a crappy 0-3 on the picks, putting me at 13-12-3 on the season. Let’s jump right into Week 6. Doubling down!
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
The Sooners are coming off a bye week where they allowed 41 points to the Baylor Bears. Iowa State has also had some extra time off following its 17-7 loss to Texas at home last Thursday night. Meantime, when it comes to this match up, it’s all Sooners. Oklahoma owns a 74-5-2 (.926) all-time record against Iowa State and is 38-3-1 vs. the Cyclones in Norman. In the Big 12 era, the Sooners hold a 13-0 series advantage (7-0 at home). The last time Iowa State defeated the Sooners was Oct. 20, 1990: Cyclones 33, Oklahoma 31.
THAT being said, this spread has gotten out of control. Iowa State might be the second-best team Oklahoma has faced this year. The Cyclones go on the road where there is no pressure and Matt Campbell will have his guys playing loose after appearing so tight at home against Texas. The offense is still explosive with Park, Montgomery, Lazard and others. Plus, Baylor smoked cornerback Jordan Thomas two weeks ago. He also suffered an injury, so if he can’t go, it’s two freshman, Tre Norwood or Tre Brown, at cornerback. Iowa State will put enough points on the board to cover this ridiculous spread.
The Pick: Iowa State +30
Kansas vs. Texas Tech
The Jayhawks have been surprisingly bad at rushing the passer this season and rank last in scoring defense and total defense in the Big 12. Did the bye week help Clint Bowen as he tries to turn the corner with this unit? Honestly, I think it will. Texas Tech’s offensive line is far from spectacular, and I think this is the weekend Dorance Armstrong Jr. finally gets back to the player he was last season.
Meantime, while Kansas is scoring more than last season under Doug Mecham, they are still the least efficient passing team in the country, plus they have the worst turnover margin in the Big 12, while Texas Tech has the best. I don’t feel comfortable with this spread, so I’m making a play on the “under”. Tech’s defense has been relatively improved, while KU’s offense has been inconsistent at times. Combine this with my belief that KU will finally have some success on defense, along with a massive over/under number, and there you have it.
The Pick: UNDER 80
TCU vs. West Virginia
The Horned Frogs are good, but are they nearly two touchdowns better than the Mountaineers? I don’t think so. TCU’s advantage is in its running game where they hope to use their strong stable of backs like Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson against a porous WVU run defense that allowed over 300 rushing yards against Kansas. Meantime, West Virginia’s advantage is passing the ball, as TCU’s pass D has show holes against SMU and Oklahoma State in recent weeks. That alone gives me reason enough to believe TCU will look to slow this game, while WVU hopes to keep it more uptempo behind its passing attack.
Here’s my other hunch: TCU is getting a ton of love, but maybe too much? The Arkansas final score was helped out by a couple of late TCU touchdowns, plus Arkansas botched it on their special teams. Against Oklahoma State, the Pokes were missing the right side of their offensive line, and by the time they got in a rhythm, it was too late. Here’s another tidbit: TCU is 1-9 against the spread in their last ten home games.
Also note: In College GameDay’s four trips to campuses this year, the home team has failed to cover the spread. The circus that is College GameDay likely has an affect on the home team, while motivating the road team. Go figure.
The Pick: West Virginia +13
Texas vs. Kansas State
The Texas defense has allowed 34 points its past three games, while Kansas State’s offense has struggled in recent weeks. Throw in that Texas’ offensive woes at quarterback, running back and offensive line, going up against Kansas State’s strong secondary, and there’s little reason to believe this game is a high-scoring affair. Texas has the second-best rushing defense in the Big 12, which is Kansas State’s preferred method of moving the ball. On the flip side, Kansas State has the best pass defense in the conference and is fourth in rushing defense.
Also a couple of trends to take note of: The total has gone under in 5 of Kansas State’s last 7 games on the road, while the total has gone under in 5 of Texas’s last 6 games at home. This game has 24-20, 24-17, etc. written all over it.
The Pick: UNDER 49