Last Week: 1-3
Baylor (-3.5) @ West Virginia Thurs. 6:00 FS1 Baylor 28-24
Each week I try to avoid looking at the lines before doing my picks. For this game, my guess was Baylor -7.5. The line at Draft Kings when I looked on Thursday morning said -3.5. I know Baylor has been underwhelming this season and is on the road this week, so I questioned my initial pick. I look at the SP+ rating of the teams. Baylor and West Virginia are essentially tied on the offensive side (Baylor 34 to W. Virginia 38), but on defense Baylor is way ahead, 14 compared to 56. The game will probably be closer than the 7.5-point spread I guessed because Baylor has to go on the road to Morgantown on a short week, but I am sticking with my pick, Baylor covers.
Kansas @ Oklahoma (-9) Sat. 11:00 ESPN2 KU 38-35
I did not “guess the line” on this game because I heard the opening line was OU -7, so I was surprised when I saw it was OU -9 when I looked it up Thursday morning. I thought -7 for OU was generous. I will be taking KU to cover. Do I take them outright?
Even if Dillon Gabriel returns this week, I do not think OU should be favored by -7, I do not care what the SP+ says in this case. KU has played as well or better than every team on their schedule this season, home and away. I know history and roster talent favor OU. I look to last year’s game though and know KU is better and OU is demonstrably worse this season. Last season’s game swung on a questionable “that is not a fumble, but a handoff” Caleb Williams strip of his own running back for OU to take control. Jason Bean was the starter that day for KU, as he will be this week, so the KU is playing their second-string quarterback does not deter me. The only pause it gives me is what happens if Jason gets hurt and Ethan Vasko makes his collegiate debut. Who knows what happens then, Ethan could be a world-beater or a floundering freshman.
I just do not see why OU should be favored by so many points when you look at how these teams have performed this season. Who has OU beaten this season? UTEP, Kent State, and Nebraska. Please do not tell me any of those teams are any good. KU’s FBS wins are West Virginia, Houston, Duke, and Iowa State. I conceded, not a murders row, but better than what OU has beaten this season. KU’s offense will be different this week with Bean playing quarterback, but that does not mean worse. KU’s defense has taken a lot of criticism for not being good, but they have been good enough every game this season, I do not see that changing this week.
So what am I going to do? I am going to be a homer and take KU to win outright. KU has never been more confident heading into an OU game in these players’ lifetimes (KU did not play OU in 2006 or 2007). KU is going to beat OU for the first time since 1997 when Terry Allen’s Jayhawks won 20-17 and for the first time in Norman since Glen Mason’s Jayhawks won 52-24.
Iowa State @ Texas (-16.5) Sat. 2:30 FS1 Texas 24-9
For this game, my “guess the line” spread was Texas -8.5. Why is my line so low compared to the actual spread? Maybe I am overvaluing Iowa State’s defense and undervaluing Texas’ win over OU. I again peek at the SP+ ratings and I am probably wrong based on the stats, but I am taking Iowa State to cover.
Oklahoma State @ TCU (-4) Sat. 2:30 ESPNU OSU 48-45
What did I think the spread would be for this game? Oklahoma State -2.5. I know TCU is my #1 team in the conference this week playing at home against my #3 team. TCU has scored 59 and 55 points in their last two home games and in the SP+ ratings the Cowboys and almost a carbon copy (is there a modern way to say duplicate that is not “carbon copy”?) of the Sooners. I know, I know, everyone has jumped on the TCU bandwagon now, but the way Jason Bean shredded TCU in the second half last week is sticking with me and TCU’s victory over OU looks a little less impressive after Texas took them out 49-0. Oklahoma State is significantly better than their in-state rival and I think TCU is vulnerable this week. I will stick with my original instinct and take the Cowboys to win outright.
Week 6 Results
|TCU (-7) @ Kansas||KU 42-38||TCU 38-31||L|
|Texas (-7) @ Oklahoma||Texas 45-35||Texas 49-0||W|
|Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State (-9)||OSU 38-30||OSU 41-31||L|
|K-State (-2) @ Iowa State||KSU 24-17||KSU 10-9||L|