Oklahoma (-17) at Baylor: The Bear are still inflated for two reasons: their big win against TCU the first week of the season in a stand alone game and alleged Heisman candidate Robert Griffin. The Bears faded after they beat Texas last year. Unlike all the other teams in the Big 12, Oklahoma can play defense, and should have no problem limiting the Bears. They’re also a team that likes to run it up, even though they’re only 6-4 ATS, they score at will. The Sooners lost wide receiver Ryan Broyles for the year, but they have enough playmakers to survive the loss. This is the Sooners last real hurdle before a showdown with possibly undefeated Oklahoma State. Oklahoma could also bring a substantial fan presence to Baylor. Good bet to swallow the points on.
Texas Tech (+18) at Missouri: The fact that this line has not moved in the last few days just signifies how bad the public thinks Texas Tech is. Almost always when there is bad news about a team during the week, the line will go in favor the other team. Last week, several lines moved a point in favor of Nebraska when news of Penn State’s scandal broke (and the subsequent coaching changes). When news came down that some of the suspended Ohio State players wouldn’t return against Nebraska, the line moved in favor of the Huskers (who at the time where 1-4 ATS). Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel gets arrested for DUI, and the line stays at 18. All the public remembers is Texas Tech getting blown out by Iowa State, Texas, and Oklahoma State. The Iowa State (which I bet up) came after an upset at to Oklahoma, but there’s no excuse for the other two.
This couldn’t be a better situational handicap. Texas Tech, having thumped three weeks in a row, goes on the road, where they can have an us against the world mentality. (One of the best bets you can make is to take a team that gets blown out at home and bet them if they go on the road the next week.) Missouri, on the other hand, is coming off their biggest win of the year against Texas, a team itself that was coming off a huge win against Texas Tech. Given how important the state of Texas is to Missouri in recruiting and that it’s the school’s last Big 12 matchup, it’s a huge win. After a slow start, the Tigers have worked their way back into the bowl picture. Both teams have five wins, making this a de facto play-in game for a bowl bid.
This game may come down to who needs it more. Texas Tech plays Baylor next week in Arlington, Missouri plays woeful Kansas in Kansas City. The urgency for Texas Tech is there, while it may be lacking for Missouri, with an easier opponent next week.
The weather will be 20 MPH winds with a small chance of rain. While this doesn’t bode well for Tech’s pass happy offense, it does bode well for a low scoring game. Missouri only scores 33 points a game, and is a run-oriented team. Even on a normal week, I would be taking Texas Tech, but Pinkel’s distraction and subsequent absence, I will definitely be taking Texas Tech.
Kansas State (+7) at Texas: Like Texas Tech-Missouri, here is another situational handicap. Kansas State is 8-2 and coming off an quadruple overtime win against Texas A&M. Texas is coming off a road loss at Missouri and the loss of their best running back Fozzy Whitaker. This is a spot where I would naturally favor Kansas State, but there are other variables to consider.
First, there is a revenge factor for the Longhorns. They were 5-7 last year, and four teams had what I would characterize as tear down the goalposts wins against Texas (UCLA, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma State). In those rematches (Texas hasn’t played Baylor yet) Texas is 2-1 and covered in both wins. The loss was to 10-1 Oklahoma State.
While I don’t think Kansas State’s victory over Texas last year made their season like the other losses did for the other teams involved, it was significant for K-State nonetheless. Kansas State has won the last three against Texas, all in controlling fashion (Texas got a late score for a three point loss in 2006). While I don’t think Texas gets up for most games other than Oklahoma (the only school in the Big 12 they consider close to their level), I do think there will be some extra motivation. As far as motivation for the Wildcats, they’re playing with house money now. Many thought they’d be lucky to get to .500, but they’ve road a wave of momentum to 8-2, not even having a letdown after their first loss of the season to Oklahoma. Now, there are distinct possibilities that the Fiesta would take an 10-2 Kansas State over a 10-2 Oklahoma team, given how anxious Kansas State fans would be to go to a BCS bowl, so they should have the motivation.
Texas has made enough strides on defense, and should be able to limit Colin Klein. Kansas State has been the hardest school for me to figure out (before last week I was 0-6 betting Kansas State), and I almost hate to go against them. I lean slightly to Texas, but if the line gets inflated to Texas -8 or -8.5 I may go Kansas State.