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Betting the Big 12: Some Scary Good Games this Weekend

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Week 8 Record ATS: 3-1

Overall Record ATS: 23-19

Beginning Bank: $314

P/L: $38

New Bank: $352

West Virginia Mountaineers @ (5) TCU Horned Frogs- Thursday, October 29th @ 6:30PM - FS1

Line: TCU -14

O/U: 75.5

Following their Thursday night opener in Minneapolis, TCU's offense exploded into the consistent juggernaut everyone expected it to be. It has been feast or famine, however, for the team's injury-riddled defense which gave up 52 points in Lubbock a game before limiting the Longhorns to 313 yards and seven points in Fort Worth.

Their opponent, West Virginia, enters without a Big 12 win, having lost their first three conference games this season. If it wasn't the Mountaineers' fourth season in the conference, I would question if their October scheduling was some sort of sadistic rite of passage, having already traveled to Oklahoma and Baylor this month. Fear not, West Virginia faithful. Your schedule gets significantly easier after this game.

These games have historically been close since the two joined the league in 2012, so I don't feel comfortable with a two-touchdown margin. Hopefully Skyler Howard can keep pace with the Heisman candidate on the other sideline.

My bet: $44/Over 75.5

(12) Oklahoma State Cowboys @ Texas Tech Red Raiders - Saturday, October 31st @ 2:30 PM - ESPN

Line: OSU -3

O/U: 79

After a 7-0 start, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will finally face a team ranked close to the top 50. We're not one to diminish any team's 7-0 record — we have more journalistic integrity than that — but it doesn't take many glances at their schedule to conclude the Cowboys have benefited from a less-than-impressive lineup of opponents to open their 2015 season. Unlike some of the other unbeaten teams at the FBS level, the Cowboys' road to perfection is about to get a lot harder, and it starts this week with the nation's third ranked ranked offense.

Like TCU, Kliff Kingsbury's team plays significantly better inside Jones AT&T Stadium than on the road. At home, the Red Raiders pushed TCU to the edge before succumbing in the waning moments, 55-52. On the road, Texas Tech allowed Kansas fans a glimmer of hope before holding on for a 30-20 win. At home, the Red Raiders have scored an average of 61.5 points per game, allowing less than 40. On the road, Texas Tech has allowed 48.7 ppg and scored only 30.

This game is home for Texas Tech, and at home, the Red Raiders win.

My bet: $22/TTU +3

(14) Oklahoma Sooners @ Kansas Jayhawks- Saturday, October 31st @ 2:30 PM - FS1

Line: OU -40

O/U: 62.5

Oklahoma losing to Texas in the Red River Hoedown was not a good thing for the Sooners' opponents moving forward. The loss angered them and they have been taking their frustrations out (K-State 55-0, Tech 63-27) ever since.

The next two up are Kansas and Iowa State and, personally, I'm hoping the Sooners bathe in the blood of their Jayhawk prey, finally exorcising the demons that have been haunting them since Dallas, so that when the Cyclones come to Norman next weekend, we can all come together and sing "Kumbaya."

But, 40 is a lot of points to cover on the road.

My bet: $11/KU +40

Texas Longhorns @ Iowa State Cyclones- Saturday, October 31st @ 6:00 PM - FS1

Line: UT -6.5

O/U: 51.5

Texas has played two road games this season, opening the season with a loss at Notre Dame and opening the month of October with a loss in Fort Worth. Over those two games, the Longhorns totaled just 476 yards of offense and 10 points. It would be misleading, however, to insinuate that the team that ventures into Jack Trice Stadium this Halloween will be the same. A Week 6 victory over hated rival Oklahoma has seemingly given the Longhorns, a roster filled with top tier Texas talent, the confidence of a good team. And that is a dangerous thing.

Iowa State will enter the stadium under the Saturday night lights as a team also bordering on respectable after claiming a stunning moral upset of No. 2 Baylor in Waco last weekend. Replete with a new QB, a new OC and the nation's top freshman running back Mike Warren, the Cyclones have no intention of giving up on the season and neither should we.

Neither team is exactly where they want to be as a program, but both will play this game with passion and a desire to win. For Texas, this is about doing what they should do: vanquish a weaker foe. For Iowa State, it's about moving forward and proving it wants to be a winning program. I'm not sure if Saturday will be the prologue of a new era or the final chapter of yet another book in the miserable saga that is Iowa State Cyclone football, but I'll be tuned in to see how the story plays out.

My bet: $22/Iowa State +6.5

CycloneStateOfMind's Best Bets

That's right, we have a guest picker this week, and it's none other than ATS guru CycloneStateOfMind who leads us all in the WRNL pick'em league with a staggering 104-67 record. He doesn't lead Narber by much, but it would behoove you to put your faith into the following locks, at least for this week.

Saturday, 7:00 PM – Vanderbilt @ Houston (-12): Tom Herman has had the Cougars firing on all cylinders all season, and Vanderbilt is facing the second best team they'll see this year. A few things make me think that this game will be bloody: Houston is 5-2 ATS this year, and Vanderbilt hasn't beaten a team ranked higher than 70th. Herman continues to amaze, and Houston rolls. O/U: 49

Saturday, 7:00 PM – Michigan (-14) @ Minnesota: Minnesota refused to show up last week for an loss to a recently struggling Nebraska program, and even more unfortunate for them, Michigan is in an completely different weight class. Michigan is also coming off an bye week and will be ready for an Jerry Kill-less Minnesota team. This is the week the fighting Harbaughs get back on an winning streak and look to show that the Michigan State game was a fluke. Michigan destroys what little hope was left after last week. O/U: 38.5

Thursday, 7:00 PM – North Carolina (-3) @ Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has been an revelation this year as they've recovered from an 6-7 season last year to currently sit at 6-1 and 23rd in the polls. However, they've been taken to the wire the last couple weeks, and have an tough stretch ahead with North Carolina, Notre Dame and Duke. I think this is the first of a three-loss streak for the Panthers, North Carolina takes it by at least seven. Pittsburgh drops out of the polls, and Iowa loses it's only top 25 opponent. O/U: 55.5

Saturday, 3:30 PM – Clemson (-10) @ North Carolina State: North Carolina State has been surprising so far this year, but they also have not played a team like Clemson. Dabo has Clemson on a tear, and it looks like his team is finally starting to shed the "Clemsoning" moniker and hit its midseason stride. While I feel that No. 3 in the AP poll is high, I don't see this one even being close. Easiest pick of the week as Clemson covers easily. O/U: 51.5

Saturday, 2:30 PM – UTEP @ Southern Mississippi (-24.5): Southern Mississippi is bringing in an offense that averages 35.9 points per game, good enough for 30th in the country, while UTEP has a 1-5-1 record ATS and is 0-3 ATS on the road. UTEP is also allowing 39.3 ppg and hasn't looked very good in any of them. Southern Miss is 4-0 at home ATS and is 7-1 on the year. That's more than enough for me. The spirit of Brett Farve lives on in Hattiesburg, and Southern Miss Covers. O/U: 58