College football picks, odds for Big 12 in Week 5: Oklahoma and Texas trying to avoid more upsets

Well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And, holy cow, I was wrong about Week 4 games in the Big 12. My only true correct pick was laying the points with Baylor against Kansas — but, come on, does that really count? Had I taken Iowa State-TCU at -3 or -3.5, perhaps that would have counted as a winner. In any case, I completely whiffed on laying the points with Oklahoma and Texas. Then again, neither of those games went to script. 

Given the number of picks we make a week, hitting above 60% ATS is normally a successful year. That might have to be graded on a curve in 2020. Regardless, we’re back this week trying to pick winners in uncertain times. Not all heroes wear capes, but some take the points. 

Let’s get to this week’s picks in the Big 12. 

TCU at No. 9 Texas (-13.5): This game has been a Gary Patterson special. TCU has won six of eight against Texas since joining the Big 12, though some of that has to do with the Longhorns being decisively mediocre during that stretch. Getting quarterback Max Duggan back is a boost for the offense. He threw for three touchdowns in the second half against Iowa State, though one was as time expired in the game. Given Texas’ struggles against the pass, the Frogs could hold their own. Speaking of quarterbacks, Sam Ehlinger makes enough plays for Texas to get the home W, but I’m not loving the defense to make the necessary stops to win by two full touchdowns. The over could be an additional play here, too. Pick: TCU +13.5

Baylor (-3) at West Virginia: The Mountaineers are much better at playing horseshoes than football at the moment. They’ve been close enough, but not all the way there. Last year’s 17-14 loss at Baylor was an embodiment of that, as was last week’s game against Oklahoma State. West Virginia gets its procedural penalties cleaned up a bit and that helps. An improved run game does, too. Baylor has more offensive weapons and Swiss Army knife Trestan Ebnar is coming off a monster game against Kansas in which he scored three different ways. I think that reduces to the mean a bit, however. If the Mountaineers can grind this out they have a chance not just to cover, but get the outright win. Pick: West Virginia +3

No. 17 Oklahoma State (-21) at Kansas: The injury to quarterback Spencer Sanders hasn’t helped the offense. Still, the bigger story is that Chuba Hubbard hasn’t quite been himself. Sure, he’s averaging 97 yards a game, but he’s also hitting just under four yards per carry. That’s down from 6.38 yards per attempt last year. He’s felt more like a closer than anything. The good news? Kansas has the worst run defense in the Big 12. Even if it’s Shane Illingworth at quarterback again this week — Sanders is practicing — the Pokes take advantage of getting the Big 12’s worst team. The game could be closer than three touchdowns, though, with the Cowboys kicking down the front door near late. Pick: Oklahoma State -21

Texas Tech at Kansas State (-2.5): What a line. Which team has the hangover: Kansas State, coming down off its big win against Oklahoma, or Texas after giving up its surefire win against Texas in overtime? And is Kansas State back at full strength (or closer to it) after having seven starters out a week ago? A lot of factors at play. Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman and receiver T.J. Vasher are a formidable combo, but I like Skylar Thompson and Deuce Vaugn to make some big plays at home. Pick: Kansas State -2.5

No. 18 Oklahoma (-7.5) at Iowa State: As I noted in this week’s edition of Burnt Ends, Oklahoma hasn’t lost back-to-back regular season games since Bob Stoops’ first season in 1999. I’m going with the Sooners straight up in a bounce-back game, but what of the spread? Oklahoma needs more out of its run game and if Seth McGowan gets going, that’s an advantage for the Sooners. I also believe Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley pulls the leash in ever so slightly with Spencer Rattler. He’ll still let him sling it, but he’s also going to give him more opportunities to win on standard downs. Still, Iowa State has big-play ability from running back Breece Hall and that keeps this thing close. Pick: Iowa State +7.5

Source Article