I have been on a heater the last five weeks (30-14), and I feel pretty confident about my selections this week, with the exception of one. Bedlam. This could be the last time I ever pick a Bedlam football game against the spread. To quote the great Walter Sobchak, “Goodbye, sweet prince.”
As we scatter the ashes of Bedlam, hoping they avoid Lebowski, let’s take a look at all of my picks against the spread this week.
Last week: 8-2
This season: 53-45
TCU at Texas Tech (-3), 6 p.m. Thursday: TCU was coming off of a national championship appearance and Texas Tech was many a sportswriter’s sleeper pick to win the Big 12, but both teams have spiraled to 2-3 conference records. Here’s a quirky stat for you. Texas Tech is 3-0 against Texas teams this season (Tarleton, Baylor, Houston) and 0-5 against teams from out of state. The last time I checked, the “T” in TCU stands for Texas. Pick: Texas Tech -3
No. 23 Kansas State at No. 7 Texas (-4), 11 a.m. Saturday: Kansas State’s two losses were on the road and in games where it did not force a single turnover. The good news this week for the Wildcats is that Texas has turned it over five times in the last three weeks. I smell an upset in Austin. Pick: Kansas State +4
No. 9 Oklahoma (-5.5) at No. 22 Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m. Saturday: There’s been so much written already and so much more that will be written over the next few days at selloutcrowd.com, and I know I’m going to sound like I’m trying to be political when I say this, but this is truly a hard game to pick for me. With the extra emotion of it being the last Bedlam, I can’t help but think that being in Stillwater is an advantage for Oklahoma State. Then again, historically, Oklahoma has beaten better OSU teams than this one in big games at Boone Pickens Stadium.
If the Cowboys win their fourth game in five weeks as an underdog, it will truly be the best coaching job we’ve ever seen from Mike Gundy and maybe at Oklahoma State. It would put the Cowboys in the driver’s seat. It just seems too good to be true for Oklahoma State in a series that has broken their hearts so many times before. Some books have predictable endings and some have surprises. I’m expecting the predictable end for the story of Bedlam. Pick: Oklahoma -5.5. Sooners pull away late, win 41-31.
Houston at Baylor (-4), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Aside from three quarters against UCF, Baylor has struggled mightily to move the ball in conference play. Aside from last week, Houston has moved the ball pretty well in conference play, as Donovan Smith is already over 2000 yards passing. Pick: Houston +4
UCF (-3.5) at Cincinnati, 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Yuck. The teams at the bottom of the Big 12 standings duke it out at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. Both teams are 0-5 in conference play, but at least UCF has had a pulse the last few weeks. Aside from turnovers against West Virginia, John Rhys Plumlee has helped the Knights move the ball. Cincinnati is just hopeless. Pick: UCF -3.5
No. 12 Missouri at No. 2 Georgia (-15.5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: I know that it’s jarring to see the Tigers at 7-1 and ranked No. 12 in the country, but the Tigers are capable of scoring points in bunches. I don’t think it’s enough to get a road win, but give me the fighting Eli Ledermans to at least keep it close. Pick: Missouri +15.5
Charlotte at Tulsa (-4), 3:00 p.m. Saturday: Charlotte head coach Biff Poggi was the Belle of the ball after AAC media days when he chastised the media for picking his 49ers last in the preseason AAC poll. Thankfully for Biff’s sake, he’s got one more conference win than Temple or East Carolina. The Hurricane can all but kiss their bowl chances goodbye if they lose this one. Pick: Tulsa -4
No. 21 Kansas at Iowa State (-2.5), 6 p.m. Saturday: Generally when Vegas makes an unranked team a favorite over a ranked team, it’s because it knows what it’s doing. The Cyclone defense is playing as well as they have all season and you’ve got to think that there’s a bit of a letdown for Kansas after the huge win last weekend. Pick: Iowa State -2.5
BYU at West Virginia (-10), 6 p.m. Saturday: Between the UCF/Cincinnati game and this one, it’s bizarro week in the Big 12 schedule. Since BYU won at Arkansas on Sept. 16, it has gone on the road three more times. In those games, it’s 0-3 and has been outscored 117-44. Pick: West Virginia -10
No. 5 Washington (-3) at No. 20 USC, 6:30 p.m. Saturday: The total on this game is 76.5. The total in the Iowa/Northwestern game is 30.5. Next year they will all be in the same conference. What a world. It’s been easy to laugh at USC the past few weeks, but since beating Oregon, Washington hasn’t exactly looked good against Arizona State and Stanford. Pick: USC +3
No. 14 LSU at No. 8 Alabama (-3), 6:45 p.m. Saturday: The good news for LSU is that it has scored 49 points in each of two road games this season. The bad news is Alabama has given up more than 24 points once this season (Texas). Pick: Alabama -3