WE’RE BACK! This is going to be a fantastic season. Now that we’re back to a somewhat normal place in society, the college football is ready to go. The stadiums are going to be full. Home field advantage is back on the table. We are finally getting out of conference games after a (sort of) gap. That means we’re going to be betting from a place of normalcy. This offseason has been long, and tumultuous.
Texas and Oklahoma’s impending move to the SEC will cast a shadow over the entire season. The Big 12’s future is uncertain. It is totally unfair what the remaining 8 schools are going through. That has been taken into account, especially when those schools hit the road. Now, before we tackle week one, there are a couple of things to know about this column in particular:
1. Last season, the column made money.
I like to point this out as much as possible. This game isn’t easy, but I can promise your mortal Big 12 locks will be coming your way every Thursday during the season (bet with caution, but definitely follow these picks).
2. We’re here to make more money.
The hardest part about betting on Iowa State and the Big 12 as a whole is the emotional connection, both good or bad, to each program. There will be times where Iowa State is a big favorite and the prudent financial move is to take the other side. It’s not personal.
3. We’re going based on mid week lines.
A word of advice I’d give to all gamblers out there would be to jump on a line whenever you like it. Things will change a little bit between now and kickoff.
For reference, as we did a week ago, we will be betting point spreads only, and betting 1.1 units on each game. Assuming -110 odds on each side, we’ll win 1 unit on each victory. For example, a $110 bet on each game will return $100. All lines are being pulled from the DraftKings sportsbook. Now, with all the housekeeping out of the way, it’s time to bet the Big 12 2021!
South Dakota (0-0) at Kansas (0-0)
Kickoff: Friday - 6:30pm | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: Kansas -15.5
I love Kansas’ hire of Lance Leipold. South Dakota is not a good FCS team. I know that despite how bad their program is, the new coach will have them fired up to play. This has to be the only all year that we can do this, but GIVE ME KANSAS.
Pick: Kansas -15.5
#2 Oklahoma (0-0) at(?) Tulane (0-0)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ABC | The Line: Oklahoma -31
Oklahoma is tuned up for a run this year. Let’s start with this, Spencer Rattler will be good, but he won’t win the Heisman. His receivers will make him look great. The running game and the defense will control this one. Nothing against Tulane here, but the Sooners should be fine in this spot.
Pick: Oklahoma -31
Stanford (0-0) vs Kansas State (0-0)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: FS1 | The Line: Kansas State -3 | Location: JerryWorld in Arlington, TX
Stanford has been down for awhile now, but I’m not sure if their reputation has caught up yet. Skylar Thompson will be at 100% for this one. There might be under 10 total passes thrown and the game will take about an hour and a half to complete with the running clock. I just don’t trust Stanford.
Pick: Kansas State -3
West Virginia (0-0) at Maryland (0-0)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: | The Line: West Virginia -3
This is such a delight of a season opener. West Virginia is getting better under Neal Brown. Jarrett Doege is back. Leddie Brown is back. They should have enough to beat a middling Big Ten team, even on the road.
Pick: West Virginia -3
UNI (0-0) at #7 Iowa State (0-0)
Kickoff: 3:30pm | TV: ABC | The Line: Iowa State -31.5
I’ve been all over the place on this one. Here’s where I landed: UNI isn’t going to score enough points to keep up here. As scary as UNI has been in the past, a team with this much continuity shouldn’t have trouble starting strong.
Pick: Iowa State -31.5
#23 Louisiana-Lafayette (0-0) at #21 Texas (0-0)
Kickoff: 3:30pm | TV: ABC | The Line: Texas -8
Iowa State’s mortal enemy is back to take on another Big 12 heavyweight. The Cajuns are the extremely public underdog, as this line has moved a lot. That’s not moving me off them here. Texas’ first game with Sark won’t go nearly as well as everyone is expecting. Hudson Card is a huge unknown in his first start. Louisiana is returning their coach that everyone expected to bolt for a bigger job (amazing how that works out hmm?) and a bunch of starters. Texas might win this game, but it definitely won’t be by more than a touchdown.
Pick: Louisiana +8
Baylor (0-0) at Texas State (0-0)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: ABC | The Line: Baylor -14
I have no idea why Baylor is playing this game on the road. This is game number one with a new QB. I actually think Dave Aranda is going to point them in the right direction, but all the signs here should lead to a Baylor blowout, which is why we’re swerving and taking the Sun Belt school in the biggest home game in school history.
Pick: Texas State +14
Texas Tech (0-0) at Houston (0-0)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: ABC | The Line: Texas Tech -2.5
I found a fun little stat that Dana Holgorsen is riding a 5 game winning streak against Texas Tech as a head coach. That’s Matt Campbell-esqe efficiency. Houston has surprisingly been toiling in obscurity with Dana as head coach. Texas Tech has a little hype with Tyler Shough coming in at QB. However, we’re riding with the underdog here. Iowa State beat Shough off the field in the Fiesta Bowl his last time on the field. I know Houston won’t bring anything like that defensively, but this is a great spot for a home dog with a packed stadium.
Pick: Houston +2.5
BEST BET FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
LSU -2.5 at UCLA
First things first, LSU fans will absolutely PACK the stadium. UCLA looked a little too good last week. We’re essentially picking the game winner so lets take the SEC team with all the talent to get off to a strong start.
PROP OF THE WEEK SPONSORED BY SCOTT FROST’S BUYOUT
Empty seats at Jack Trice Stadium for the season opener?
O/U 0.5 - HAMMER THE UNDER
SEASON RECORD: 0-0