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Big 12 Preview

The Big 12 Championship Game is back! For the first time since 2010, the Big 12 will play a conference championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington during the first weekend of December. The Big 12, which, naturally, consists of 10 teams and is void of divisions, will feature a regular season round-robin format in which the top two teams make the conference title. This is guaranteed to be a 2017 rematch.

If more than two teams are tied at the end of the regular season, the third tiebreaker, a ‘slip of paper’ draw, could potentially determine who plays in the conference final, which would cause complete chaos. Let’s all root for this to happen.

As a result of the reinstated championship game, the Big 12 also changed the timing of some of the conference matchups. For example, they moved Bedlam from the last weekend of the regular season up to November 4th in order to ensure Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could not potentially play in back-to-back weeks. Oklahoma State and Baylor benefit from having five true home games in the conference round robin. Conversely, Texas and Oklahoma each only have four home games, but they do play the Red River Rivalry on a neutral field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

I hit Texas (+225) and Oklahoma State (+205) to make the Big 12 Final, which I prefer, since their Big 12 odds are not that much greater than my projected ML for either against OU on a neutral. I ultimately see one of these two making it to Arlington. I also hit some Baylor Big 12 Conference futures after initial release at 90/1, and still recommend anything down to 30/1 on Matt Rhule’s boys if you are in the market for a Big 12 lottery ticket. Currently, 5Dimes is offering Baylor 38/1 to win the Big 12 and +850 to make the Conference Final. I can see the argument for every Big 12 Conference future outside of Kansas and West Virginia.


Oklahoma Sooners

Opening Power Rating:          67
Home Field Advantage:         3.5

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 UTEP Oklahoma OKLA -37.5
Sep 9 Oklahoma Ohio St. OSU -7.5
Sep 16 Tulane Oklahoma OKLA -28
Sep 23 Oklahoma Baylor BAY +7.5
Oct 7 Iowa St. Oklahoma OKLA -21
Oct 14 Oklahoma Texas TEX +6
Oct 21 Oklahoma Kansas St. KSU +5.5
Oct 28 Texas Tech Oklahoma OKLA -19.5
Nov 4 Oklahoma Oklahoma St. OKST +3
Nov 11 TCU Oklahoma OKLA -14
Nov 18 Oklahoma Kansas KU +26
Nov 25 West Virginia Oklahoma OKLA -22.5
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      10.4
CW Projected B12 Wins:        7.9
Posted Total Wins:              O 9.5 -135

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 54th Overall (Offense 77th, Defense 40th)

  • Lincoln Riley moved from offensive coordinator to head coach after Bob Stoops retired.

  • Baker Mayfield returns at QB as one of the Heisman favorites behind Orlando Brown and an experienced offensive line that returns ~90 percent of its snaps.

  • There’s heavy skill position turnover, as the Sooners lost their top two running backs (Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon) and top receiver/Heisman finalist (Dede Westbrook) to the NFL. Wide Receiver Jeff Badet transferred in from Kentucky.

  • Oklahoma will have a very experienced secondary led by two solid corners, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Parker, which is always a plus in the Big 12.

  • Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Caleb Kelly will lead a solid LB unit, but there are major questions on the defensive line as they transition to a 4-3 scheme.

X-Factor

  • Mark Andrews (TE) – Andrews, who had 31 catches and seven touchdowns in 2016, returns as Mayfield’s most experienced target. The two-time All-Big 12 tight end should be a very prominent red zone weapon for the Sooners this fall and a comfort blanket for Baker Mayfield after all of the offseason turnover at the skill positions.

Useless Trend

  • The over is 10-1 in games following a straight up Oklahoma loss.

Betting Outlook

  • OU is currently the odds-on favorite to win the Big 12 at +100, which I don’t see much value in. However, 5Dimes posted OU -295 to make the Big 12 Championship game, which seems short for the most talented team in the conference finishing top two in the Big 12.

  • The season win total of 9.5 looks about right. The list of talented teams (Oklahoma State, Kansas State) and talented head coaches (Texas, Baylor) is rising in the conference.

  • Oklahoma will travel to Ohio State in early September seeking revenge for an embarrassing 21-point loss at home last season

  • Take UTEP at anything over +42 week one against Oklahoma, who should rest starters very early in the second half with Ohio State on deck. They also could have a letdown the week after Ohio State vs. Tulane before they begin conference play.

  • Be careful if you are anticipating a letdown from the Sooners after the Red River Rivalry, as OU has throttled Kansas State the past two seasons the week after playing Texas.

AD


Oklahoma State Cowboys

Opening Power Rating:          60.5
Home Field Advantage:         3.6

Date Away Home CW Line
Aug 31 Tulsa Oklahoma St. OKST -11.5
Sep 9 Oklahoma St. South Alabama USA +26
Sep 16 Oklahoma St. Pittsburgh PITT +4.5
Sep 23 TCU Oklahoma St. OKST -7.5
Sep 30 Oklahoma St. Texas Tech TTU +6.5
Oct 14 Baylor Oklahoma St. OKST -7.5
Oct 21 Oklahoma St. Texas TEX -3
Oct 28 Oklahoma St. West Virginia WVU +10
Nov 4 Oklahoma Oklahoma St. OKST +3
Nov 11 Oklahoma St. Iowa St. ISU +9
Nov 18 Kansas St. Oklahoma St. OKST -5.5
Nov 25 Kansas Oklahoma St. OKST -25
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      8.2
CW Projected B12 Wins:       5.8
Posted Total Wins:             O 9 -110

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 49th Overall (Offense 30th, Defense 97th)

  • Mike Gundy signed a five-year contract to remain as head coach.

  • QB Mason Randolph (28 TD/4 INT in 2016) will lead a prolific offense behind a very experienced offensive line with four senior starters (95 returning starts).

  • RB Justice Hill returns along with one of the best FBS wide receiver units in James Washington (preseason All American) & Jalen McClesky. (Both had 70-plus catches in 2016.)

  • There are questions all over the defense (as usual) with the exception of safety.

  • Zach Sinor is one of the best punters in the country.

X-Factor

  • Tre Flowers (S) – The biggest question on this Pokes 2017 team is the secondary. Flowers had 61 tackles and was named second-team Big 12 in 2016. Flowers and fellow safety Ramon Richards will be under the gun week one against a strong Tulsa passing attack, and then all throughout conference play.

Useless Trend

  • Pokes are 4-9-1 ATS since 2007 as a home underdog, which should apply for this year’s Bedlam.

Betting Outlook

  • Tulsa +17 is a live dog in week one. Oklahoma State will be breaking in new linebackers and defensive backs against an up-tempo Philip Montgomery Tulsa offense. It’s a horrendous matchup for this defense out of the gates in what should be a shootout.

  • The Pokes are in the College Football Playoff discussion, and a three-game stretch (Texas, WVU, and OU) will determine whether Oklahoma State makes it to Arlington. I don’t see any value in +375 to win the conference, but I did hit +205 to make the Big 12 Championship Game.

  • Oklahoma State really has no unfavorable situational spots on their schedule. Winning Bedlam at home this year will go a long way. They’ve lost 10 of 12 in the series.

OKLitePete


Texas Longhorns

Opening Power Rating:          61
Home Field Advantage:         2.6

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 Maryland Texas TEX -18
Sep 9 San Jose St. Texas TEX -24
Sep 16 Texas USC USC -11
Sep 30 Texas Iowa St. ISU +9.5
Oct 7 Kansas St. Texas TEX -5
Oct 14 Oklahoma Texas TEX +6
Oct 21 Oklahoma St. Texas TEX -3
Oct 28 Texas Baylor BAY +1.5
Nov 4 Texas TCU TCU +1.5
Nov 11 Kansas Texas TEX -24.5
Nov 18 Texas West Virginia WVU +10.5
Nov 25 Texas Tech Texas TEX -12.5
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:     8.7
CW Projected B12 Wins:      6.3
Posted Total Wins:             O 7.5 -190

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 6th Overall (Offense 14th, Defense 6th)

  • New head coach Tom Herman brings in Tim Beck as the new offensive coordinator (hired in this position after Herman left Ohio State) and Todd Orlando as Defensive Coordinator (very successful at Houston the last two years).

  • Texas returns 17 starters, including 10 from a defense that had a terrible 2016 season, the second-worst in school history. Getting 13 of the top 15 tacklers back helps.

  • There’s a quarterback battle in camp, but Shane Buechele will most likely start week one behind an OL with four returning starters, highlighted by All-American left tackle Connor Williams.

  • There are major questions at tight end since Andrew Beck is out 6-8 weeks with a broken foot.

  • Michael Dickson is one of the best punters in FBS (47-yard average in 2016).

  • Texas is dealing with fall camp injuries to keep an eye on, especially at running back with Kyle Porter (shoulder) and Chris Warren (just had a concussion), who will be tasked with replacing D’Onta Foreman, now with the Texans.

X-Factor

  • Malik Jefferson (LB) – The junior leads a defense that returns almost every top tackler from 2016. Jefferson was responsible for 62 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 3 quarterback hits. The defense led the nation in adjusted sack rate, but needs to improve drastically against the run, particularly in stuff rate (outside top 100).

Useless Trend

  • The under is 7-1 the last eight games Texas has been a road favorite.

Betting Recap

  • Texas Win Total Over 7.5 is the play, but shop for the best price as always. The Longhorns only leave the state of Texas three times in 2017. They have the talent to win any game on their schedule (although a win at USC is highly improbable). The conference home slate of Kansas State and Oklahoma State complement road travel to rebuilding teams like Iowa State and West Virginia.

  • Take Texas -27 or better with revenge against Kansas. Texas players are reminded daily of their 2016 loss to the Jayhawks. I suspect they won’t be caught off guard in 2017.

  • Don’t sleep on what defensive coordinator Todd Orlando can do for this defense. Texas has the personnel for him to implement his attacking 3-3-5 and 3-4-4 schemes. Keep in mind that his Houston defense held Baker Mayfield and OU to 23 points last season.

  • Texas plays three of the best QBs in FBS (Mayfield, Darnold, Randolph) within their first seven games, so keep an eye on the secondary – production, injuries, etc.

HookEm


Kansas State Wildcats

Opening Power Rating:          58.5
Home Field Advantage:         3.2

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 C. Arkansas Kansas St. KSU -28.5
Sep 9 Charlotte Kansas St. KSU -29
Sep 16 Kansas St. Vanderbilt VAN +3
Sep 30 Baylor Kansas St. KSU -5
Oct 7 Kansas St. Texas TEX -5
Oct 14 TCU Kansas St. KSU -5
Oct 21 Oklahoma Kansas St. KSU +5.5
Oct 28 Kansas St. Kansas KU +17.5
Nov 4 Kansas St. Texas Tech TTU +4.5
Nov 11 West Virginia Kansas St. KSU -13.5
Nov 18 Kansas St. Oklahoma St. OKST -5.5
Nov 25 Iowa St. Kansas St. KSU -12
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      7.1
CW Projected B12 Wins:       4.6
Posted Total Wins:             O 8 -145

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 36th Overall (Offense 24th, Defense 77th)

  • Bill Snyder is back again, and co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel takes over sole duties.

  • Jesse Ertz, leading passer and rusher in 2016, returns at quarterback after offseason shoulder surgery, which is something to keep an eye on.

  • The Wildcats did lose running back Charles Jones, but they had outstanding depth at the position in 2016 and will again this season behind an excellent offensive line that returns four starters, led by All-Big 12 right tackle Dalton Risner.

  • The defense only returns six starters and will sorely miss the pash rush of third-round draft pick, defensive end Jordan Willis (Bengals). The defensive line will still be solid with Will Geary and Reggie Walker, but there are major questions at linebacker.

  • The secondary was torched in 2016 and must replace their best safety, Dante Barnett (Broncos), but the talent is there at Cornerback with D.J. Reed and Duke Shelley.

X-Factor

  • Trent Tanking (LB) – The Wildcats lost their top three linebackers from a season ago. Tanking enters his senior year after recording just 19 tackles and one interception in 2016. Defensive coordinator Tom Hayes runs a 4-2-5 scheme, which gives opponents fits, but look for offenses to exploit the middle of the field unless Tanking steps up.

Useless Trend

  • Kansas State is 12-1 ATS following a bye week since 2012. This applies to the Wildcats’ matchup with Baylor on September 30th. Bill Snyder, ladies and gentlemen.

Betting Outlook

  • Kansas State at is currently +1025 to win the Big 12 (+285 to make the Conference Title), and you have to at least consider Bill Snyder at that price.

  • The Wildcats have a very favorable schedule with five of nine Big 12 games at home, in addition to getting Kansas as one of their four road games. They only travel out of state in conference for Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Also, Oklahoma and Iowa State will be on the back end of consecutive road trips when they come to Manhattan, and Kansas State will have a bye before its home game against Baylor.

Snyder


TCU Horned Frogs

Opening Power Rating:          56.5
Home Field Advantage:         3.1

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 Jackson St. TCU TCU -63
Sep 9 TCU Arkansas ARK 0
Sep 16 SMU TCU TCU -18
Sep 23 TCU Oklahoma St. OKST -7.5
Oct 7 West Virginia TCU TCU -11.5
Oct 14 TCU Kansas St. KSU -5
Oct 21 Kansas TCU TCU -20.5
Oct 28 TCU Iowa St. ISU +5
Nov 4 Texas TCU TCU +1.5
Nov 11 TCU Oklahoma OKLA -14
Nov 18 TCU Texas Tech TTU +2.5
Nov 25 Baylor TCU TCU -3
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      7.5
CW Projected B12 Wins:       5.0
Posted Total Wins:             O 7.5 -165

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 2nd Overall (Offense 5th, Defense 23rd)

  • Sonny Dykes joins as an offensive analyst after being removed as Cal head coach.

  • Kenny "Trill" Hill is back at QB behind a very experienced offensive line that features four Seniors, led by the best center in the Big 12, Austin Schlottmann.

  • TCU also returns its top nine wide receivers (who must limit the drops) and top three running backs, including 1,000-yard rusher Kyle Hicks, who also led the Horned Frogs in receptions in 2016.

  • On defense, the linebackers should be solid with Travin Howard and Ty Summers, but the defensive line loses almost everybody and is a major issue. The secondary was not good last season, but they return a plethora of experience and depth.

  • KaVontae Turpin, now healthy, is one of the most electrifying punt/kick returners in the country and will also contribute at wide receiver.

X-Factor

  • Nick Orr (S) – The senior returns as a second-team All-Big 12 safety. He led the team in interceptions (four) and was third in tackles with 86. The secondary must improve in the areas of explosiveness and yards per completion, as they finished outside of the top 100 in both categories last season. Orr is expected to lead this unit that returns all two-deep personnel.

Useless Trend

  • TCU is 12-3 as an away underdog since 2009.

Betting Outlook

  • TCU finished 6-7 last season, but two of their seven losses were in double OT at home. They will have a chance to get revenge for both of those in 2017 on the road against Texas Tech and Arkansas.

  • I’m falling right back into the trap this year with TCU -3 or better when visiting Arkansas in week two in one of those revenge spots. Both teams play FCS schools in week one, so they shouldn’t show much schematically. I expect TCU’s defense to wreak havoc on the Arkansas offensive line, forcing Austin Allen to scramble for his life. If TCU (mainly Kenny Hill) avoids two-plus gift turnovers, the Horned Frogs should run all over this soft Hogs defense.

TCUArk


West Virginia Mountaineers

Opening Power Rating:          48
Home Field Advantage:         2.3

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 3 Virginia Tech West Virginia WVU +13
Sep 9 East Carolina West Virginia WVU -12.5
Sep 16 Delaware St. West Virginia WVU -66
Sep 23 West Virginia Kansas KU +7
Oct 7 West Virginia TCU TCU -11.5
Oct 14 Texas Tech West Virginia WVU +0.5
Oct 21 West Virginia Baylor BAY -11.5
Oct 28 Oklahoma St. West Virginia WVU +10
Nov 4 Iowa St. West Virginia WVU -1
Nov 11 West Virginia Kansas St. KSU -13.5
Nov 18 Texas West Virginia WVU +10.5
Nov 25 West Virginia Oklahoma OKLA -22.5
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      4.6
CW Projected B12 Wins:       2.6
Posted Total Wins:             O 7 +100

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 128th Overall (Offense 123rd, Defense 127th)

  • West Virginia loses more production on both sides of the ball than any team in the country. They return only nine starters, including only three on defense.

  • Jake Spavinal takes over at offensive coordinator (ex-Cal offensive coordinator) for Joe Wickline, who has moved to offensive line coach.

  • QB Skyler Howard is out. Florida transfer quarterback Will Grier (who was suspended after failing a PED test) is in behind an offensive line with a lot of question marks outside of guard Kyle Bosch.

  • RB Justin Crawford returns and should be electric once again, but the Mountaineers lost their top two wide receivers to the NFL (Shelton Gibson and Daikel Shorts) in addition to their fourth-leading receiver, Jovon Durante, who transferred. Ka’Raun White should put up big numbers, but he doesn’t appear to have much help.

  • The defense has questions all over with the exception of maybe safety, but even there Dravon Henry-Askew is returning from a torn ACL.

X-Factor

  • Al-Rasheed Benton (LB) – The senior middle linebacker is only one of three returning starters on a defense in rebuilding mode in 2017. His leadership will be paramount for the development of the inexperienced players on defense in what should be a very long season in Morgantown.

Useless Trend

  • West Virginia is 2-10 ATS off a bye week since 2012.

Betting Outlook

  • I took West Virginia total season wins under 7 upon release at Cantor Gaming back in May, as I am very low on this team. It is still one of my favorite season win total bets. They have a tough round-robin conference schedule with only four home games and end the season with Kansas State, Texas and OU, which I think ultimately prevents them from even getting to bowl eligibility. My projections have the Mountaineers winning less than five games. Based on my projections, West Virginia would have to win three games as a double-digit underdog (with zero bad losses) in order to get to eight wins!

WVU


Baylor Bears

Opening Power Rating:          56.5
Home Field Advantage:         3.0

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 Liberty Baylor BAY -42
Sep 9 UTSA Baylor BAY -16
Sep 16 Baylor Duke DUKE +4
Sep 23 Oklahoma Baylor BAY +7.5
Sep 30 Baylor Kansas St. KSU -5
Oct 14 Baylor Oklahoma St. OKST -7.5
Oct 21 West Virginia Baylor BAY -11.5
Oct 28 Texas Baylor BAY +1.5
Nov 4 Baylor Kansas KU +15.5
Nov 11 Texas Tech Baylor BAY -5.5
Nov 18 Iowa St. Baylor BAY -10
Nov 25 Baylor TCU TCU -3
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      6.6
CW Projected B12 Wins:       4.2
Posted Total Wins:             O 7.5 +135

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 93rd Overall (Offense 104th, Defense 62nd)

  • Matt Rhule, hired from Temple, brings his entire staff and new schemes to Waco.

  • Arizona QB transfer Anu Solomon is competing in a very intriguing QB competition with returning starter Zach Smith and freshman Charlie Brewer.

  • Baylor must replace their top two wide receivers, Ishmael Zamora and KD Cannon.

  • There are plenty of questions on the offensive line. The departure of center Kyle Fuller, drafted by the Texans, will really hurt. This unit took another major hit when projected starting tackle Dom Desouza decided to retire in the offseason.

  • The defense is undergoing a scheme change under the former Temple staff. The front seven should be solid, but a very raw secondary could be lost in the Big 12.

  • You know all about the recent turmoil at Baylor. The scandal ultimately led to a number of departures which will really hurt their depth in 2017. Ruhle said that as many as eight walk-ons could play in 2017. They really can’t afford any injuries.

X-Factor

  • JaMycal Hasty (RB) – Baylor’s all-time leading rusher, Shock Linwood, is gone. Now, Baylor must also replace their leading rusher from 2016 for at least the first three games (and maybe more), as Terence Williams (1,085 yards, 11 TDs and 5.7 yards per rush in 2016) will be sidelined with a shoulder injury. In his absence, Hasty will take over as the feature back with almost no depth at the position.

Useless Trend

  • Baylor is 10-2 ATS as an underdog since 2012.

Betting Outlook

  • I previously mentioned the lottery tickets I have on Baylor to win the Big 12. Do I think they are going to have an easy transition in year one of Matt Rhule? Absolutely not, but they were being priced as low as Iowa State and Kansas with a roster of upper-tier Big 12 talent. Baylor’s schedule is also favorable within conference as OU, Texas and WVU all visit Waco; also, the Bears play Oklahoma State after their bye.

  • Baylor should start 2-0 after easy out-of-conference games against Liberty and UTSA. They need to be careful for their last out-of-conference game at Duke, which comes the week before the start of conference play at home against Oklahoma. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones should be able to throw all over the Bears’ secondary, so the offense can’t be caught looking ahead to the Sooners.

Bears


Texas Tech Red Raiders

Opening Power Rating:          51
Home Field Advantage:         2.8

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 E. Washington Texas Tech TTU -15
Sep 16 Arizona St. Texas Tech TTU -2.5
Sep 23 Texas Tech Houston HOU -4
Sep 30 Oklahoma St. Texas Tech TTU +6.5
Oct 7 Texas Tech Kansas KU +10
Oct 14 Texas Tech West Virginia WVU +0.5
Oct 21 Iowa St. Texas Tech TTU -4.5
Oct 28 Texas Tech Oklahoma OKLA -19.5
Nov 4 Kansas St. Texas Tech TTU +4.5
Nov 11 Texas Tech Baylor BAY -5.5
Nov 18 TCU Texas Tech TTU +2.5
Nov 25 Texas Tech Texas TEX -12.5
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      5.9
CW Projected B12 Wins:       3.7
Posted Total Wins:             O 5 -115

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 74th Overall (Offense 69th, Defense 82nd)

  • Nic Shimonek, a 2014 transfer from Iowa, takes over at QB for first-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes. He will look for protection from a questionable offensive line.

  • Top wide receiver Jonathan Giles transferred to LSU, which hurts, but Texas Tech returns their other top three wide receivers. Points shouldn’t be an issue again within their system. Same story, different year.

  • In 2016, Texas Tech had the worst statistical defense in the country, a theme under Kingsbury. At least they can’t get any worse in 2017!

  • Kicker Clayton Hatfield has one of the most reliable legs in FBS.

X-Factor

  • Dakota Allen (LB) – If you watched "Last Chance U," this name should ring a bell. Allen was eventually allowed back on campus and will now join Jordyn Brooks to make up a pretty decent linebacker group, the only strength of this horrifying defense.

Useless Trend

  • Texas Tech is 7-1-1 ATS as a home favorite since 2014.

Betting Outlook

  • I only considered the Texas Tech season win total under 5, as their potential fifth and sixth wins would need to come against Kansas State and TCU. Both are traveling to Lubbock for the second of consecutive road games so I ultimately stayed away.

  • Look out for an FCS upset week one, as Eastern Washington +15.5 should score enough to keep this within two touchdowns, and may be worth a shot on the ML. EWU, an FCS stronghold, returns **All-American QB Gage Gubrud **, who should light up a Texas Tech Defense that ranked almost dead last in explosiveness and passing in 2016. Also, if a total is released on this game, anything shy of triple digits may have value on the over.

TTU


Iowa State Cyclones

Opening Power Rating:          49.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.2

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 N. Iowa Iowa St. ISU -6.5
Sep 9 Iowa Iowa St. ISU +1
Sep 16 Iowa St. Akron AKR +9
Sep 30 Texas Iowa St. ISU +9.5
Oct 7 Iowa St. Oklahoma OKLA -21
Oct 14 Kansas Iowa St. ISU -12.5
Oct 21 Iowa St. Texas Tech TTU -4.5
Oct 28 TCU Iowa St. ISU +5
Nov 4 Iowa St. West Virginia WVU -1
Nov 11 Oklahoma St. Iowa St. ISU +9
Nov 18 Iowa St. Baylor BAY -10
Nov 25 Iowa St. Kansas St. KSU -12
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      5.4
CW Projected B12 Wins:       3.0
Posted Total Wins:             O 5.5 +140

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 21st Overall (Offense 13th, Defense 66nd)

  • QB David Park returns to lead a potentially electrifying passing game if the Cyclones can find a way to field an adequate offensive line that lost four starters.

  • Five of the top six wide receivers return, including Allen Lazard, who may be the most underrated player at his position in FBS. Running backs David Montgomery and Mike Warren, both more than capable in the passing game, return to lead a dynamic rushing attack.

  • The front seven is a major question mark for a defense that couldn’t stop anybody on the ground last season. They will be relying on a group of highly-touted JUCO transfers to step in immediately on the defensive line in addition to a converted quarterback, Joel Lanning, to start at middle linebacker. The talent is now there, but a lot has to go right for it to all come together.

X-Factor

  • Kamari Cotton-Moya (S) – The secondary returns four starters and should be the strength of the defense. Cotton-Moya will be one of the best safeties in the Big 12.

Useless Trend

  • The over is 9-0-1 following a straight up Iowa State win.

Betting Outlook

  • Take Iowa State +10 or better against Kansas State. Kansas State has defeated the Cyclones by a total of 12 points over the past three seasons. Iowa State may play the role of spoiler here, especially if Kansas State is staring at a potential Big 12 Championship Game bid.

  • Iowa State will have a chance at in-state redemption right out of the gate. They began last season with a home loss to FCS school Northern Iowa and followed that up with a 42-3 beating at Iowa. They will start 2017 with the same two teams, but get both in Ames this year.

  • The 2016 Cyclones were much more competitive in the Big 12 than their record indicated, as losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Baylor were all by less than 10 points.

clones


Kansas Jayhawks

Opening Power Rating:          39
Home Field Advantage:         1.8

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 SE Missouri Kansas KU -23
Sep 9 C. Michigan Kansas KU +0
Sep 16 Kansas Ohio OHIO -7.5
Sep 23 West Virginia Kansas KU +7
Oct 7 Texas Tech Kansas KU +10
Oct 14 Kansas Iowa St. ISU -12.5
Oct 21 Kansas TCU TCU -20.5
Oct 28 Kansas St. Kansas KU +17.5
Nov 4 Baylor Kansas KU +15.5
Nov 11 Kansas Texas TEX -24.5
Nov 18 Oklahoma Kansas KU +26
Nov 25 Kansas Oklahoma St. OKST -25
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:      2.6
CW Projected B12 Wins:       0.8
Posted Total Wins:             O 3 +100

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 83rd Overall (Offense 31st, Defense 122nd)

  • Doug Meacham was brought in from TCU as the new offensive coordinator. He will implement his "Air Raid" system.

  • The starting QB is still unknown as Carter Stanley, who finished 2016 as the starter, is currently battling JUCO transfer Peyton Bender. Whoever wins the job will at least have a strong group of Receivers, led by Steven Sims. However, this group took a hit when LaQuvionte Gonzalez was kicked off the team this summer.

  • Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise form a surprisingly strong Jayhawk defensive line, but I’m not sure what else you can expect from the rest of the defense especially in the secondary, where Kansas will need to replace four starters.

  • Kansas had seven total punt returns for -10 yards in 2016.

X-Factor

  • Joe Dineen (LB) – Joe Dineen, who returns from a 2016 injury, is back as the leader of this Jayhawks Defense. His mere presence should help the entire roster.

Useless Trend

  • RockChalk is 1-8 ATS after a bye week since 2009.

Betting Outlook

  • I’m not sure how or why, but I assume Kansas +17 or better will cash against TCU. They have covered (and almost won outright) against TCU each of the past five years.

KU


Ready for more?

For more articles, start with the College Football Betting Preview for 2017. It provides a quick look at betting style and playoff predictions.

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