It’s too early for apple picking or the pumpkin patch. It’s still going to be too warm to throw on the sweatshirt. Fall is coming soon, but not yet. We’re still in full on 12 hours of football on the couch mode. I’m starting this week’s column by standing on my soapbox to say there is no such thing as a bad slate of college football. A lot of times chaos is caused during weeks where no one expects it. So when you hear experts talking up next week, and yes next week does look phenomenal, don’t overlook what Saturday has in store. I love going to Iowa State games and I love tailgating, but there’s something magical about watching the pregame shows at home and taking it all in at home.
Last week, we watched Iowa State lose the CyHawk game at home. The Bears laid a massive egg against the Packers on Sunday. (Side note, I think I’m suspending my fandom of the Bears and just riding the Brock Purdy hype train in San Fran as long as possible). On top of that, my picks in this column stunk. What a disaster of a football weekend that was. Thankfully, there are plenty more to go. We aren’t officially out until we run out of games or we give up. This is the week for a bounce back.
Iowa State (1-1) at Ohio (1-1)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: ESPNU | The Line: Iowa State -3
Ohio isn’t scoring more than 10 points. As long as Iowa State can get to 14, they cover. The really small spread has everyone spooked. Let’s just say we better be talking about a comfortable win before the mid-afternoon games kick off.
Pick: Iowa State -3
#15 Kansas State (2-0) at Missouri (2-0)
Kickoff: 11:00am | TV: SEC Network | The Line: Kansas State -4
I have a theory about Big 12 schools going on the road against these middling SEC and Big Ten schools. It matters to us to win these games. There’s been a surprising amount of animosity online between Mizzou and K-State this week. I’ll chime in here. I think Mizzou’s coach is a giant dork and I don’t understand any hype they receive. I actually like the purple cats in a blowout.
Pick: Kansas State -4
#19 Oklahoma (2-0) at Tulsa (1-1)
Kickoff: 2:30pm | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Oklahoma -27.5
Get ready to hear a lot of Boomer Sooner. They’re definitely not going to be playing road games against Tulsa after the SEC move. Tulsa stinks and is going to give up a lot of points.
Pick: Oklahoma -27.5
Miami Ohio (1-1) at Cincinnati (2-0)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: Cincinnati -14.5
Did anyone know these schools play every year for the Victory Bell? It even has it’s own Wikipedia page! Cincinnati has won the last 16 matchups and just took the all time lead in the series last year.
Pick: Miami (OH) +14.5
South Alabama (1-1) at Oklahoma State (2-0)
Kickoff: 6:00pm | TV: ESPN+ | The Line: Oklahoma State -7
Everyone I know thinks South Alabama is the play. Whenever everyone is aligned on the same side, the bet is to take the opposite.
Pick: Oklahoma State -7
BYU (2-0) at Arkansas (2-0)
Kickoff: 6:30pm | TV: ESPN2 | The Line: Arkansas -8.5
How effectively can BYU score offensively? KJ Jefferson and the Arkansas run game are the real deal, and will put points on the scoreboard.
Pick: Arkansas -8.5
Pittsburgh (1-1) at West Virginia (1-1)
Kickoff: 6:30pm | TV: ABC | The Line: West Virginia -1
Ooh this is going to be fun. West Virginia has to feel bitter about letting this one slip away last year. Neal Brown needs this one. The home crowd has to help.
Pick: West Virginia -1
Wyoming (2-0) at #4 Texas (2-0)
Kickoff: 7:00pm | TV: LHN | The Line: Texas -28.5
Classic letdown spot for Texas here. I think they’ll jump out to a lead and coast. Wyoming has already proved that they are no slouch.
Pick: Wyoming +28.5
TCU (1-1) at Houston (1-1)
Kickoff: 7:00pm | TV: FOX | The Line: Houston +7.5
I’m working on a theory with these new Big 12 teams. I’m taking them, no matter what, in their first conference home game. Fans are going to be nuts. The crowd is definitely worth points.
Pick: Houston +7.5
Kansas (2-0) at Nevada (0-2)
Kickoff: 9:30pm | TV: CBSSN | The Line: Kansas -28
It’s going to be LATE and Kansas is going to score a lot of points. Nevada gets just enough to not lose by more than 4 scores.
Pick: Nevada +28
LOCK OF THE WEEK SO GOOD IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO THE IOWA GAMING COMMISSION
Florida Atlantic +24 at Clemson
I’m not moved by Clemson blowing out an FCS opponent last week. FAU is coming off a disappointing home loss but has been pretty good defensively so far. Former Texas and Nebraska QB Casey Thompson can put up enough points in a low scoring game to cover.
NFL LOCK OF THE WEEK
Bengals -3.5 vs Ravens
Here’s the biggest “get right” spot of the slate. Cincy and Joe Burrow specifically will not look that bad again. The Ravens are very injured on defense. One of my best tenets of NFL betting is to back good teams off a bad performance.
PARLAY OF THE WEEK FOR BAYLOR FANS
Baylor to beat Long Island + Art Briles being someone else’s problem + RGIII getting signed by the Jets +1000
Season record: 10-12 (-3.2 units)