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|The Big 12 Report: Week 8
By Tony George www.sportsaudioshows.com
Another week has passed and Texas has continued to impress asthe #2 team in the nation and a legit contender for the BCS Bowlgame to play USC, but dates with Texas Tech and Texas A&M loomlarge on the schedule. The Longhorns get Tech at home this weekin what should be a high scoring game, and laying 16 points inthat one. If there is less than 80 points scored I would be surprised,and this is the first spread offense Texas has really faced andTech comes in here unbeaten with little respect as far as theoddsmakers are concerned. It should be a wild one in Austin onSaturday.
Elsewhere Oklahoma continues to struggle, but covered the numberagainst Kansas, one of our Winning Picks last week in the Big12, as we stand at 6-3 ATS on season with Big 12 Plays. Here aremy takes on some key games this week in this conference. IowaState continues their downward spiral with 3 straight losses andit looks like the Nebraska and Missouri game will be crucial thisSaturday for the North race, along with Colorado who has Kansasat home this week. It is getting interesting in the North, thesouth division is all but decided after Saturday.
Baylor @ Oklahoma (-14)
Other than beating up on Kansas St in Norman,the Sooners have been less than stellar at home this season, andless than stellar overall, as it is a down year for OU as theystruggle on offense with a freshman QB in Rhett Bomar. Baylorgave Nebraska all they wanted, but Nebraska has a great defensethis season and already had seen the spread attack a week earlierfrom Texas Tech, so they adjusted nicely, something I do not thinkthe young and inexperienced secondary of Oklahoma can do herecompletely, however I do not see Baylor getting a win here, butI do see them keeping it closer than 2 TD’s with their offense.The offense’s are even in point production here, and Baylor’sdefense is only allowing 16 ppg. OU gets the win by 12.
Nebraska @ Missouri (-2.5) My Featured Gameof the Week
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (-14.5)
Last year the Cowboys put an old fashion buttkicking on ISU in Stillwater 36-7, but I see a reverse fate forthe Cowboys this season in Ames, as Iowa State is coming off 3straight losses, 2 of them in OT to Nebraska and Missouri lastweek, and getting beat by Baylor 2 weeks ago. The number is largein this game, but I think the Cyclones could cover it, given thatOSU has no defense as evidenced by their last 3 games where theygave up a whopping 545 yards of offense per game and 62 pointslast week to an angry Texas A&M team. I do not feel comfortablelaying 14+ points with any team that has 3 straight losses andfeel the number here is too close to call, but a cover by OSUwould not surprise me either, as Iowa State has been deflatedafter many touted them, including myself, to win the Big 12 Norththis season. A gun to my head, I would lean towards the dog inthis one, they scored 31 against Missouri two weeks ago in a homeloss, that is more than ISU mustered up against them last week.
Texas A&M (-5) @ Kansas State
Back in the saddle after a blowout of Okie Statelast week 62-23, the Aggies offense got rolling again. Converselythe Wildcats got hammered at Texas Tech allowing 59 points. Thisis an interesting game, as Kansas State is hard to beat at home,and the line has jumped from A&M opening at 2.5 all the way upto 5 points as of Wednesday, as the sharps are all over the Aggieshere. I am not sold on Kansas State as they have lost to everygood team they played in conference this season and struggledwith the likes of Marshall and Kansas. The only team that KSUbeat up on was lowly North Texas, and I think the QB McNeal willmake the difference, but this is a bad number to lay on the road,but I cannot make case for Kansas State right now, and A&M hasa quick strike offense, so we look that way in this one.
Texas Tech @ Texas (-16.5)
A 3.5 point jump on the Longhorns since the openingline here, and both these teams are 6-0 and ranked in the TopTen. Both these offenses have been off the map and QB Hodges forthe Red Raiders has tossed up 22 TD passes against 5 ints. thisseason, and both defense’s allow less than 16 points per game.The KEY in this game is the running game of Texas which puts up264 yards rushing per game, and Tech is respectable at stoppingthe run at 117 yards per game allowed. I think Texas will findsuccess on the ground here, and their best defense against thishigh octane spread offense is their own offense, being able togrind it out on the ground and eat up the clock. Last year Texasbeat up the Red Raiders 51-21, and while I do not think the spreadwill be that large, I expect a high scoring game here and thetotal of 71 here is not out of reach.
Those are my takes for this weekend’s actionand games of interest, the picture in the North should be decidedin the next few weeks, and after the showdown in Austin this weekend,Texas only has a so/so A&M to deal with at seasons end, but thatgame is in College Station.