Big 12 football picks: Texas Tech vs. #6 Oklahoma & 3 more

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September 27th, 2019

Oklahoma will host Texas Tech in this week’s spotlight Big 12 matchup, but the Red Raiders will be without starting quarterback Alan Bowman. Elsewhere No. 24 Kansas State will visit Oklahoma State, TCU will host Kansas and Iowa State will try to get a road win over Baylor (all games Saturday).

Texas Tech at #6 Oklahoma (-27.5), noon ET, FOX

Oklahoma opened as a 24-point favorite, and the line quickly moved up as money poured in on the home team. It was with good reason. Texas Tech’s starting quarterback Alan Bowman will be out until November with an injury, which means the Red Raiders will visit Norman with a backup QB making his first road start.
While Oklahoma’s secondary has been vulnerable to the big play, the Texas Tech offense only scored 14 points against a pedestrian Arizona defensewith Bowman taking the snaps. It is not a given that the Red Raiders will be able to do much better, especially with the pass rush they will face, but coming off a bye week may help their cause.

Maybe the Tech defense can take some of the burden off of the offense? Good luck with that. The Oklahoma offense is averaging 8.3 yards per carry, and 10.5 yards per offensive snap, through its first two games this season. That is a tough task for any defense to try to stop. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts will cause all sorts of problems, but the offense is also balanced and will score.

If Texas Tech had Bowman, I would take the Red Raiders with the points and feel confident. I would also feel confident about riding the Over, which sits at 69.5 points. Without Bowman it will be very difficult for Texas Tech to hang with the Sooners, or to even turn this one into a shootout. Oklahoma has won its last 12 home games by an average of 26 points and has covered six of the last seven times Tech has visited Norman. Bet on both of those trends to continue and take the home juggernaut to cover.

Pick: Oklahoma -26.5

#24 Kansas State at Oklahoma State (-4), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

This is a battle of two porous run defenses against very good rushing attacks. Kansas State is allowing nearly 140 yards per game on the ground, and Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard will look to improve on his 160.5 yards per game so far this season, which should open things up for the Cowboys passing attack even more than usual.

Kansas State’s two-headed rushing attack of James Gilbert and Jordon Brown leads the 12th-best run offense against the 80th-best rush defense.

Kansas State’s last six trips to Oklahoma State have gone over the total, and the Cowboys have gone over in 11 of their last 15 conference games. Enjoy the shootout.

Pick: Over 60.5

Kansas at TCU (-14.5), noon ET, FS1

This is a very important game for bowl eligibility, and both teams lost close games last week. TCU loves to pound the ball and control the clock, which it should be able to do against the 98th-ranked rush defense of the Jayhawks.

Given that Kansas has not forced a turnover against an FBS team this season, its offense will be forced to try to keep up to make up for the defense’s shortcomings.

The Horned Frogs should be able to win this one easily.

Pick: TCU -14.5

Iowa State (-2.5) at Baylor, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Iowa State found its offense last week, when the Cyclones dropped 72 points on a hapless Louisiana-Monroe team. It remains to be seen whether that was an anomaly, as Iowa State struggled with turnovers and with finishing drives against both Northern Iowa and Iowa.

The Cyclones will face a Baylor defense that has forced very few turnovers this season, despite a pedestrian schedule. The Bears have done well at keeping teams out of the end zone, however, and have the eighth-best pass defense in the nation.

The total has gone Under in nine of Iowa State’s last 10 games away from home, and in five of Baylor’s last six games against conference foes. The two teams have combined to score only 78 total points in their last two meetings, and both easily hit the Under.

Pick: Under 55

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