The Big 12 Conference moves into Week 10 with some fascinating matchups on tap. Our survey of the top three Big 12 best bets for the coming weekend does not even include a fascinating game between Oklahoma State and Kansas, in which OSU is a one-point favorite.
The Big 12 has one of the better conference-specific schedules for the weekend – not as good as the SEC’s two huge games, but better than everyone else’s.
Let’s take a look at three matchups in which the point spread is in the single digits.
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Sooners
Odds: Oklahoma -3.5
The Baylor Bears and Oklahoma Sooners were the preseason top two picks in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma had high hopes for its season under first-year head coach Brent Venables, while Baylor was the defending Big 12 champion under head coach Dave Aranda. Yet, the season has not unfolded in ways either of these teams and coaching staffs expected.
Baylor’s offense was woefully inadequate in the first few weeks of the season. The defense was noticeably weak in the middle third of the season. However, a solid performance two weeks ago against Kansas revealed a team which might be coming together at last, after several weeks of noticeably uneven efforts. A win over Texas Tech this past weekend affirmed that notion. The Kansas and Texas Tech games showed that Baylor is capable of getting its offense and defense to play well at the same time in the same game – not for 60 full minutes, but at least for 40. If Baylor can improve to 60, the Bears will be extremely dangerous.
Oklahoma had a disastrous three-game losing streak earlier this season, falling to Kansas State, TCU and Texas. The Sooners got quarterback Dillon Gabriel back into their lineup and have subsequently won consecutive games versus Kansas and Iowa State. Baylor, though, represents a much tougher challenge than the Jayhawks and Cyclones. Look for Baylor to cover the spread here.
Pick: Baylor +3.5
Texas Longhorns at Kansas State Wildcats
Odds: Texas -2.5
This is a very interesting game. Texas is favored, and yet Kansas State clearly seems to be the better team. Texas was a six-point road favorite at Oklahoma State a few weeks ago and lost outright. Kansas State is coming off a huge blowout win over Oklahoma State.
Many people will ask why Texas is favored in this game. Maybe the fact that Texas played Alabama very closely earlier in the season is still giving the Longhorns the benefit of the doubt in betting markets and in public perception of where the money should flow in a game. However, Kansas State is an overachieving team which does more with less, while Texas remains a team which does less with more under head coach Steve Sarkisian. Take Kansas State here, especially at home. And if you wait, you might get a +3 as Texas opened at -1 and is now up to -2.5 -115 at Bovada at last check.
Pick: Kansas State +2.5
Texas Tech Red Raiders at TCU Horned Frogs
Odds: TCU -8.5
Texas Tech just lost handily to Baylor, so it will be easy to write off the Red Raiders as they face the still-unbeaten surprise team in the Big 12, the TCU Horned Frogs. However, Texas Tech has already beaten Texas this season and has proven to be a resilient team. The Red Raiders nearly won at Oklahoma State and have been a tricky opponent for a lot of Big 12 teams. TCU probably wins outright, but Texas Tech will cover the spread.