Big 12 football picks: #6 LSU vs. #10 Texas & 4 more

Ashley Anderson

September 5th, 2019

It’s a make-or-break game for the Texas Longhorns and their positioning for a College Football Playoff spot. The No. 10 team in the nation faces No. 6 LSU in Austin on Saturday, September 7, and a loss in Week 2 will force Texas to win out to stay in the playoff conversation.

The other Big 12 teams have a much easier week, including the Oklahoma Sooners, who host a cupcake game against South Dakota, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who meet with UTEP on Saturday.

Here’s your roundup of Week 2 action in the Big 12, with a free pick to go along with each matchup (all games Saturday).

LSU (-6.5) at Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

In Week 1 the LSU Tigers destroyed Georgia Southern 55-3 behind senior quarterback Joe Burrow’s stellar play. Burrow completed 23 of 27 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns to earn a quarterback rating of 97.2. The LSU defense held the Eagles to just 24 passing yards and 74 on the ground.
The Longhorns had a fairly easy contest against Louisiana Tech in their first week of football, as well. Texas defeated Tech 45-14 and kept the Bulldogs scoreless until the fourth quarter, when the Longhorns second string entered the game. Heisman hopeful Sam Ehlinger went 28-of-38 passing for 276 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 34 yards on eight carries.

On defense Texas featured eight new starters and gave up 340 yards through the air. The Longhorns will need to be much more disciplined against Burrow and LSU’s new spread offense, which racked up 472 total yards against Georgia Southern.

Home-field advantage won’t be enough for Texas. LSU’s defense will stifle Ehlinger and lead the team to a seven-point win Saturday.

Pick: LSU -6.5

West Virginia at Missouri Tigers (-14), noon ET, ESPN 2

Week 1 was all about transfer quarterback play, as Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields and Jacob Eason enjoyed success with their new schools. Kelly Bryant wasn’t quite as lucky. The former Clemson quarterback started off strong for Missouri in the Tigers’ road contest at Wyoming, but it was all downhill from there.

Wyoming scored 27 points in the second quarter and went up 34-17 heading into the fourth. Missouri staged a comeback attempt and scored twice in the fourth, but the Tigers came up short, as Bryant’s final pass of the game fell incomplete.

Bryant connected on 31 of his 48 passes and tallied 423 yards and two TDs, but he threw an interception in the end zone and lost a fumble that Wyoming returned for a touchdown in the first half.

West Virginia won 20-13 against James Madison with barely any production from the run game (34 yards). Missouri couldn’t get much going in the run game against Wyoming, either, and allowed the Cowboys to rush for 297 yards.

With Missouri playing comfortably back at home, look for the Tigers to eliminate some of the mistakes they made in Wyoming and bounce back with a resounding win against West Virginia.

Pick: Missouri -14

Bowling Green at Kansas State (-23.5), noon ET

Bowling Green and Kansas State both scored in the 40s last week against weak competition, as the Falcons defeated Morgan State 46-3 and the Wildcats ousted Nicholls State 49-14. The Wildcats won’t take an upset at home, but the spread is a bit too high against a Bowling Green team that totaled 326 rushing yards and 294 through the air, and allowed 70 yards of total offense in Week 1.

Pick: Bowling Green +23.5

UTSA at Baylor (-24.5), 4 p.m. ET

Baylor beat Stephen F. Austin 56-17, with running back Trestan Ebner leading the way with three total TDs. UTSA suffocated Incarnate Word’s run game in the Roadrunners’ 35-7 home victory but won’t do as well against Baylor’s balanced offensive attack.

Pick: Baylor -24.5

UTEP at Texas Tech (-34), 8 p.m. ET

UTEP barely got by Houston Baptist, 36-34, at home in Week 1. The Miners are far outclassed in Week 2, as they travel to Lubbock to compete with a Red Raiders team that obliterated Montana State 45-10 and racked up 691 total yards on offense.

Pick: Texas Tech -34

*No odds are available for the Oklahoma-South Dakota game, but it's an excellent opportunity for Jalen Hurts to pump up the volume on his Heisman campaign. Make your pick for this year's Heisman winner at BetAmerica!