Hopefully we can build on a winning week last week, and keep it going. Picks are a little late this week, but better late than never!
LAST WEEK: 3-1
OVERALL RECORD: 14-16-1
Disclaimer: Before we get started, and I cannot stress this enough, take these picks at your own risk. I don’t take the easy way out with over and unders. All picks are against the spread. That said, I am probably wrong. I could say that you would be better off taking the opposite side of these picks, but I’d probably be wrong about that too.
#6 TCU (5-0) at K-State (3-2)
PICK: TCU -6.5
What to make of TCU? It hasn’t been pretty, and I’m not really sure they have been the better team in their last two outings, but they just keep winning. I expect that to continue this week. TCU hasn’t fully passed the eye-ball test of being a top 10 team (There is no denying their resume), but if they are to be exposed, it won’t be by Kansas State. The Wildcats have not looked anything like the contender we expected them to be. So far, their best win is over a Baylor team that hasn’t won a game.
Interestingly enough, neither team is winning against the spread overall, but both a winning against the spread when you factor in the home and away factors. Something will have to give. Another stat that pops out, TCU enters the game with the time of possession advantage. Now, that’s not a stat you will see us mention a whole lot with the Big 12’s quick-strike offenses, but if there is ever a game where it could be a factor, it’s this one. K-State likes to play keep away, but that’s a game TCU won’t mind at all.
Another factor, Quarterback Jesse Ertz may not be able to go, while it is time to start believing in quarterback Kenny Hill. Give me TCU.
#24 Texas Tech (4-1) at West Virginia (3-2)
PICK: TTU +3.5
All eyes are on the Red River Rivalry Shootout Showdown, and for good reason, but this is the game of the week for me. I’ll be honest, I don’t have much of a read on it either way. West Virginia is getting a lot of love from the guys here at the LGG, and won the Twitter poll, but I can’t shake the fact that all the Mountaineers have done so far is beat Kansas. And it was a game they didn’t put away until midway through the fourth quarter.
The two times West Virginia has faced a quality opponent, in Virginia Tech and TCU, they have wilted, and that is an all too familiar trend for West Virginia. Only now, they don’t have quarterback Skyler Howard to blame.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech has stacked up wins over Arizona State and Houston, and while they fell to Oklahoma State, they whipped the Jayhawks. Texas Tech enters this game leading in opponent win percentage and leading in scoring margin. Basically, they have played the tougher schedule, and are winning more impressively.
And here’s a stat for you, Texas Tech’s defense is ranked higher than the Mountaineers. By one spot, but Tech will take it. This has the making of a shootout, but I’ll ride the team that’s proven themselves thus far. I underrated the Red Raiders going into the season. It’s week seven, I can’t keep making that mistake.
Kansas (1-4) at Iowa State (3-2)
PICK: KU +22.5
Iowa State should have no problem winning this one as Kansas seems to be regressing with each week. I also don’t like picking against the home team or against a 8-2 swing in covering the spread. However, one simply does not knock off number three on the road as a 31-point underdog and not suffer some sort of hangover the following week.
With a possible hangover looming, Iowa State shouldn’t look to try to do anything to fancy. Kansas is giving up 3.75 rush yards per attempt, and Iowa State should look to ride dynamic running back David Montgomery, who is averaging an impressive five yards per attempt. Although, if Iowa State wants to give us some more of Joel Lanning playing both ways, I won’t complain.
#12 Oklahoma (4-1) vs Texas (3-2)
PICK: OU -9.5
If Oklahoma had not lost last week to Iowa State this line would have been bigger. And while the sky is falling in Norman, I like OU to bounce back. If both teams play to the best we have seen them play thus far, which I expect in a rivalry of this magnitude, the Sooners are the better team. I expect that after today there will be a little doubt about that.
I like OU to win big, but there are a few unknowns. Starting running back Abdul Adams may still be banged up which would put the workload on Trey Sermon, and standout receiver CeeDee Lamb has been questionable all week. On the flip side, who will OU face, season starting quarterback Shane Buechele, or highly-touted freshman Sam Ehlinger? Based on Ehlinger’s play last week, I would be shocked if we see much more of Buechele, but you never know what is up Herman’s sleeve. This one is tough to predict, but give me the team with the higher upside.
Baylor (0-5) at #14 OK State (4-1)
PICK: OSU -27
Cowboys in a big way in this one. Baylor has yet to come out on the right side of the score board and ,while they have looked improved since the week one loss to Liberty, they don’t have the horses to hang with OSU. Depth will be a factor, especially as it is expected to be unusually hot, and that doesn’t bode well for the Bears.
It’s a big spread to cover, but Oklahoma State holds almost every key stat advantage. Scoring margin, total offense, total defense, passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, turnover margin, redzone scoring, third down conversion percentage, opponent win percentage… all of it, it goes OSU’s way. Look for the Cowboys to pin their ears back on defense as Baylor is giving up 3.0 sacks per game (good for 108th in the country), and to have this decided by halftime. Cowboys play their most complete game since at Pitt, give me the Pokes.