It’s been a great year for Cyclones in the NFL, and I feel so bad for Breece Hall. One thing I know for sure is that he will come back stronger. But what I realized while watching NFL ball last weekend is that it’s amazing how far we have come from a player development standpoint. Allen Lazard is the #1 wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, and about the only pass catcher that Aaron Rodgers won’t throw under the bus. David Montgomery helped lead the Bears to an upset win over the Patriots on Monday night. Brock Purdy took his first snaps for San Francisco. Breece was going to win offensive rookie of the year. Charlie Kolar is getting healthy. Matt Campbell and co have developed so many playmakers in the last few years. Seeing these guys play so well at the next level is an important important dose of reality for Iowa State fans when we see the offense struggle this year. It’s not just that we graduated some good players. We basically lost as much talent as anyone outside of the SEC. It takes time to build up again. The good news is we have a proven track record of doing it. The growing pains are evident, but we will build a great offense again.
On the gambling front, turns out all we needed was a week off from Iowa State football to get the column back on track. 5-1 last week is exactly what we’re looking for! For all the talk about Texas football, CFP threat, we’re much more back than they could ever hope to be. The important thing now is how to carry momentum. We’ve hit the best time of the year for football. Starting today, there will be at least one college or NFL football game every day until the day before Thanksgiving. Embrace it because it’s going to be awesome.
Oklahoma (4-3) at Iowa State (3-4)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: FS1 | The Line: Oklahoma -1.5
I’ve tried everything with Iowa State to get us over the finish line with a win. This time, we’re back on the happiness hedge. Oklahoma can move the ball, and I expect a higher scoring game here, which should play into their favor. They are a completely different offense with Dillon Gabriel. I trust Jon Heacock, but the smart bet is on the Sooners.
Pick: Oklahoma -1.5
#7 TCU (7-0) at West Virginia (3-4)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ESPN | The Line: TCU -7.5
How long is TCU going to be able to keep this going? There’s been a lot of talk about how many times they’ve played hurt or backup QBs in the last month. As long as West Virginia keeps JT Daniels in bubble wrap until game time, I love them in this spot. It’s Morgantown on Halloween. I can’t think of a scarier environment for an undefeated team on the road.
Pick: West Virginia +7.5
#9 Oklahoma State (6-1) at #22 Kansas State (5-2)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: FOX | The Line: Kansas State -2
So the big problem with handicapping this game is we have no idea what’s going on with Adrian Martinez. I still don’t feel like we figured out what happened on Saturday night? This line reflects him playing, but if he has a lingering injury then who knows? I think Gundy sees the conference championship game in his sights. Their schedule lightens up after this game, and there’s no letdown after Texas against a ranked team. With uncertainty at QB for the home team, we have to back the Cowboys.
Pick: Oklahoma State +2
Baylor (4-3) at Texas Tech (4-3)
Kickoff: 6:30pm | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Texas Tech -2.5
Texas Tech covers at home. They just do. I haven’t figured out why but as long as the money keeps hitting the betting account, there’s no need to ask questions.
Pick: Texas Tech -2.5
BEST BET AROUND THE COUNTRY
UCF -1.5 vs Cincinnati
Defense at the Bounce House? Believe it or not, UCF is only allowing 17 points per game this season. Cincy is a little overdue for a loss, and being a ranked underdog is a promising trend. This is good practice for all of us as these teams enter the Big 12 next season.
NFL PICK OF THE WEEKEND
Packers +10.5 vs Bills
A lot has been made of Aaron Rodgers’ decline (rightfully!) and the Packers being a big underdog. As a society, we aren’t getting rid of him that easily, no matter how good the Bills are.
PROP OF THE WEEK FOR KANSAS FANS
Best Halloween candy?
Kit Kat +200
Candy Corn +500
Season record: 31-32-2 (-4.5 units)