Performing the way OU did last Saturday was an important step forward, but having a good showing in a true road game isn’t something Oklahoma has done yet this season.
By no means have my picks been bad this season, but we’re reaching the point where there’s a good chance that I finish under .500 and I’m looking for excuses. My excuse is pretty simple. I’ve picked every Big 12 game against the spread, and how in the hell am I supposed to pick anything in this wacky conference? I missed OU, OSU and Tulsa last week too, so I’m really on a roll.
Here are my best guesses for this week, because guessing is all you can do in this year’s Big 12.
Last week: 5-6
This year: 63-57
No. 14 Oklahoma (-24.5) at BYU, 11 a.m.: West Virginia seemed to be the cure for whatever ailment the Sooner offense suffered from in losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State. Performing the way OU did last Saturday was an important step forward, but having a really good showing in a true road game isn’t something Oklahoma has done yet this season. The Sooners won ugly at Cincy and lost their heads in Lawrence and Stillwater. I don’t think BYU is any good, but Oklahoma has to show me more before I lay that many points on the road. Pick: BYU +24.5 — Sooners 28, Cougars 13.
Cincinnati at West Virginia (-6.5), 1:30 p.m.: The Bearcats finally ended their seven-game losing streak at Houston, but what else do they have to play for? West Virginia will want to bounce back for their head coach on senior day in Morgantown. This might be a blowout. Pick: West Virginia -6.5
No. 22 Utah at No. 17 Arizona (-1), 1:30 p.m.: If we were in next year’s Big 12, this would be a massive game for the right to see who plays in Arlington or Vegas or Mexico City or wherever Brett Yormark moves the title game. Utah has played a brutal road schedule, with games at Oregon State, USC and Washington in its rear-view mirror. Pick: Arizona -1
North Texas (-1.5) at Tulsa, 2 p.m.: This is not a game that means a lot for either team, so I’ll give you a quick “The More You Know” moment. The Mean Green’s leading receiver is Ja’Mori Maclin, the cousin of former Missouri Tiger great and NFL wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Pick: Tulsa +1.5
Baylor at TCU (-13), 2:30 p.m.: TCU nearly upset Texas last week and Baylor couldn’t stop a nosebleed against Kansas State. Two teams headed in separate directions will often lead me to take the underdog, but not this week. This week is about the return of the Hypnotoad. TCU by a million. Pick: TCU -13
No. 1 Georgia (-10) at No. 18 Tennessee, 2:30 p.m.: I’m chalking up Tennessee’s embarrassing loss last weekend to the ol’ look ahead, and I’m expecting Georgia to have the ol’ letdown game after their dominating win over Tennessee last week. Double digits are a lot to ask at Neyland Stadium. Pick: Tennessee +10
No. 23 Oklahoma State (-7) at Houston, 3 p.m.: I don’t know if last week’s performance in Orlando was a blip or a worrying sight for Oklahoma State, but what I do know is that you don’t have to be very good to win at Houston. Cincinnati proved last week. Heck, Houston’s only decent home win this season was on a Hail Mary against West Virginia. Pick: Oklahoma State -7 — Alan Bowman has a big day in a 38-17 win.
UCF at Texas Tech (-2.5), 4 p.m.: Tech running back Tahj Brooks has gone over 100 yards in five of his last six games (98 against Kansas State). Brooks also has over 30 carries in four of those games. UCF ranks 116th in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Pick: Texas Tech -2.5
No. 21 Kansas State (-7.5) at No. 25 Kansas, 6 p.m.: Don’t look now, but the Wildcat offense is rolling, racking up 41 points per game since losing in Stillwater. Kansas isn’t the best team defensively, but more worrying is the health of backup quarterback Jason Bean. It’s a tough ask for an unhealthy Bean or third-string Cole Ballard to keep up with Kansas State’s scoring machine. Pick: Kansas State -7.5
No. 5 Washington at No. 11 Oregon State (-2.5), 6:30 p.m.: One of the craziest trends I’ve ever seen is this — Oregon State is 16-1 against the spread at home since 2021.