I think the time has officially come to admit that it is just not my year on this Betting the Big 12 column. Much like Iowa State, my record in close games has been abysmal. I’ve also been way off on big games. I’ve been on the wrong side of late line movements that would’ve paid off on gameday. I’ve also made self inflicted mistakes (like putting the Bears in as the NFL pick last week, yikes). But the most important adage as a gambler I can think of is “you are not a loser until you quit playing”. My wife will often ask why I bet when I get way more upset by the losses than I do happy with the wins, and the answer is always “well, what if I win the next one?” This is supposed to be fun. Nobody that lives in Iowa and does this recreationally is a true expert. And if the picks will revert to the mean eventually, that time has to be coming soon. I refuse to give up.
I need to be more accountable to you readers. There’s no time like the present to turn things around, and in a league with as much parity as the Big 12, success is only 1 week away. Iowa State is on a bye this week, so the focus does not need to be diverted at all. Let’s do this!
Unrelated, but still relevant: Texas fans can go to hell. The SEC is still going to own you like the Big 12 has for the last decade. It never feels like a bad time to say that.
Kansas (5-2) at Baylor (3-3)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Baylor -8
It’s been fun, but I believe Kansas has turned back into a pumpkin, as is a Halloween tradition. Kansas can’t stop anyone on defense, and I trust Baylor to get at least a couple of stops while being able to run the ball effectively.
Pick: Baylor -8
West Virginia (3-3) at Texas Tech (3-3)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: FS1 | The Line: Texas Tech -6.5
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Texas Tech covers spreads at home, but not on the road.
Pick: Texas Tech -6.5
#20 Texas (5-2) at #11 Oklahoma State (5-1)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: ABC | The Line: Texas -6.5
This one is an absolute trap line, but I’m willing to step in it. Sometimes the mouse gets away with the cheese, right? Texas gets way too much respect in Vegas. Oklahoma State has to be fired up after letting the TCU game get away. Lastly, we can’t discount the fact that this is Texas’ first trip to Stillwater since announcing the SEC move. That fanbase will let them hear it.
Pick: Oklahoma State +6.5
#17 Kansas State (5-1) at #8 TCU (6-0)
Kickoff: 7:00pm | TV: FS1 | The Line: TCU -3.5
I see 2 extremely similar teams here. Both QBs like to throw down the field and run the ball effectively. This really does feel like a toss up type of game so I guess the smart money should be on the underdog getting more than a field goal.
Pick: Kansas State +3.5
BEST BET AROUND THE COUNTRY
Oregon -6 vs UCLA
Folks, welcome to the trap line of the weekend. Everyone and their mother in the public is going to grab 6 points with UCLA as the undefeated and higher ranked team. Don’t join them. Oregon has the #1 run blocking offensive line in the country and should be able to push the Bruins around. Eugene will be rocking. The Ducks will get it done.
NFL PICK OF THE WEEKEND
Seahawks +6 at Chargers
Does anyone believe the Chargers can blow anyone out? Seattle can run with the 2nd best rookie RB in the NFL, Kenneth Walker, and LA can’t stop the run. Plus, the Chargers have to pick up a new kicker, and that’s a franchise famous for kicking woes. That feels like a formula to keep this close.
PROP OF THE WEEK FOR IOWA STATE FANS
How many Big 12 teams will reach bowl eligibility?
Season record: 26-31-2 (-8.4 units)