Big 12 Football Odds, Picks: 4 NCAAF Betting Previews for Week 9
Ryan Collinsworth/Action Network.
- The Big 12 doesn't sleep, as No. 7 TCU travels to Morgantown and Oklahoma State travels to Manhattan.
- And don't forget about Oklahoma at Iowa State and Baylor at Texas Tech.
- We're previewing and making betting predictions for each battle below.
Big 12 Football Betting Previews for Week 9
The team logos in the table below represent each of four Big 12 Conference matchups that the Action Network NCAAF staff is betting on Saturday, Oct. 29. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to jump to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
No. 7 TCU vs. West Virginia
TCU looks to stay undefeated and take another step closer to the Big 12 Championship Game when it heads to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.
For the second straight week, TCU came back from a double-digit deficit to win at home. This time it was against Kansas State, and a lot of that had to do with Kansas State starting quarterback Adrian Martinez getting knocked out of the game.
TCU still has a date with Texas in Austin on the horizon, but it needs to focus on getting past a pesky West Virginia team first.
West Virginia played its worst game of the season last Saturday, getting blown out by Texas Tech in Lubbock, 48-10. It's been an interesting season for the Mountaineers, who are currently sitting at 3-4 and still have three ranked teams on the schedule.
As a result, it looks like Neal Brown's squad will need to pull off a few upsets if it wants to make it to a bowl game.
Horned Frogs Offense
The reason the Horned Frogs are currently undefeated and sitting in the top 10 is because of their offense. The Horned Frogs are averaging a whopping 7.0 yards per play (fifth in FBS) and rank third in Explosiveness and fifth in Success Rate.
Max Duggan is having an incredible season under Sonny Dykes. Duggan is averaging 9.1 yards per attempt and has 19 touchdowns compared to just one interception.
He is somewhat reliant on explosive plays, as the Horned Frogs are only 50th in Passing Success Rate. But on throws over 20+ yards, Duggan has a 91.3 PFF Passing Grade.
Max Duggan ➡️ Quentin Johnston
TCU has now scored 21 unanswered to take the lead 🐸pic.twitter.com/F3jkLJhAPk
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 23, 2022
That will be huge against West Virginia's secondary that is 72nd in Passing Explosiveness Allowed.
It also helps that Duggan has an outstanding offensive line that has done a great job of protecting him. TCU's offensive line is 13th in Pass Blocking Grade and Havoc Allowed. The Horned Frogs have also been getting a good push up front in the run game, as they are 36th in Offensive Line Yards.
The TCU rushing attack has also been absolutely humming behind lead back Kendre Miller. Miller is averaging 6.1 yards per attempt, has an 82.4 PFF rushing grade and has 21 runs over 10+ yards.
That has TCU ranked 17th in Rushing Explosiveness and 15th in EPA/Rush.
Horned Frogs Defense
While the TCU offense has been playing at an incredibly high level, the defense has been a different story. The Horned Frogs are allowing 5.5 yards per play (76th in FBS) and rank 84th in EPA/Play Allowed and 108th in Finishing Drives Allowed.
The main reason for those terrible numbers is because the Frogs are incredibly susceptible to giving up explosive plays. TCU ranks 126th in Explosiveness Allowed and 130th in Passing Explosiveness Allowed.
The secondary has not had to face an elite quarterback for a full game, and allowing 7.5 yards per attempt is concerning when going up against JT Daniels.
The front seven hasn't been much better, as TCU ranks 69th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 66th in Defensive Line Yards and 71st in EPA/Rush.
Kansas State just ran for 5.3 yards per carry last weekend and Kansas went for 5.0 yards per carry two weeks before that. I have a hard time seeing how they're going to slow down West Virginia's rushing attack.
Daniels has been pretty average for West Virginia this season. He's only averaging 6.6 yards per attempt and has a 73.5 PFF Passing Grade with nine Big Time Throws and 10 Turnover Worthy Plays.
That has West Virginia ranked 35th in Passing Success Rate, but Daniels has been unable to get the ball down the field for some explosive plays in the passing game.
West Virginia currently ranks 103rd in Explosive Passing. Daniels has a 75.6 PFF Passing Grade on throws over 20+ yards, is only averaging 11.7 yards per attempt and has five Turnover Worthy Plays.
The West Virginia rushing attack has been pretty steady all season long, ranking 37th in Rushing Success Rate, 31st in Offensive Line Yards and 28th in EPA/Rush. The Mountaineers are using a three-running-back system, but all of them are averaging over 4.5 yards per carry.
West Virginia's defense has been terrible this season and it culminated last weekend in Lubbock by giving up 48 points and 594 yards of offense.
For the season, West Virginia ranks 104th in Success Rate Allowed and 113th in EPA/Play Allowed.
The front seven that was thought to be the strength of the defense has seen teams run all over it the past few weeks. Texas Tech ran for 239 yards and 4.4 yards per carry last weekend, while Baylor went for 4.8 yards per carry the week before.
The biggest concern is the Mountaineers are giving up way too many big plays on the ground, as they rank 106th in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed. This is not good news when you're going up against a top-20 explosive rushing attack.
The secondary, however, has been the Achilles heel of the defense. The Mountaineers are allowing a whopping 9.1 yards per pass attempt (120th in FBS), rank 119th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and are 124th in Coverage Grade.
Duggan should be able to throw all over this secondary.
TCU vs. West Virginia Pick
Duggan and the TCU offense should do whatever they want against this West Virginia defense, and more specifically the Mountaineers secondary, which is one of the worst in the Power Five.
On the flip side, there are a lot of concerns with TCU's defense giving up explosive plays, seemingly at will.
It's a little scary laying over a touchdown with the Horned Frogs right now.
Consequently, I think it makes sense to take the TCU Team Total Over 38.5 points, as I have 45.4 points projected for the Horned Frogs in Morgantown.
Pick: TCU Team Total Over 38.5
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
By Doug Ziefel
Coming into the season, the Big 12 looked to be a very deep conference with a lot of potential parity between the programs. However, these two programs have been roughed up in conference play thus far.
The Oklahoma Sooners were a top-ranked team. Transfer Dillon Gabriel has given the team a ton of explosiveness on offense, but the defense has not done him any favors.
The Sooners have allowed 31 points per game this season and have allowed every Power Five opponent — aside from Nebraska –to score over 40 points.
As for the Cyclones, they are on a downward spiral, as it's been the offense that has let them down in conference play thus far. They enter this matchup having lost four straight, and they were all by one possession.
They have been so close to having a much different season. Perhaps their luck will turn in this matchup.
Let's dive in to find out.
As I alluded to in the open, Oklahoma was a highly-touted team in the preseason, as the offense was projected to be very high-powered and explosive.
Thus far, the Sooners have lived up to that billing, as Gabriel has been dynamite when he's been fully healthy.
So far, he's averaging 9.2 yards per completion and has a 13-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has also been a solid contributor on the ground, as he's racked up 163 rushing yards and scored three times.
Although, when it comes to the ground game, that has been all Eric Gray. The senior running back has had a monster season, averaging 7.2 yards per carry and scoring five times.
Much of his success has been a result of the outstanding play by the Sooners' offensive line. They come into this matchup fifth in Offensive Line Yards and should have the edge in the trenches once again.
However, running the ball against this Iowa State front has been no easy task. The Cyclones enter this matchup ranked 10th in yards per rush allowed. They have proven they can stifle rushing attacks, which has shut down their opposition in plus territory.
Their opponents are unable to run the ball on them as they get closer to the end zone, and that is why Iowa State is ranked third in Defensive Finishing Drives.
For the Cyclones, the month formerly known as Brocktober has not been great.
The Cyclones are built to play through their solid defense, so you would expect them to be able to run the ball and control the clock. However, that has not been the case. They have averaged just 2.9 yards per carry and rank 119th in Offensive Line Yards.
However, their rushing output could look very different in this matchup.
The Sooners' defense has been shredded on the ground this season. They enter ranked 106th in yards per rush allowed and 119th in rushing yards per game allowed.
In addition, they are 123rd in Defensive Finishing Drives. So if the Cyclones get into plus territory, you can count on points going up on the board.
Iowa State's success in this matchup won't end there, as it has been a pass-heavy offense this year. Hunter Dekkers may not lead an explosive passing attack, but it has been very effective nonetheless.
He ranks 21st in completion percentage and 19th in passing attempts per game. That amount of success and volume is trouble for this Oklahoma secondary.
The Sooners rank 89th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and are 107th in Coverage, per PFF. Whether they opt to throw or keep the ball on the ground, the Cyclones should have their best offensive output of the season.
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State Pick
This line opened with Oklahoma being the slight favorite on the road here, but we have since seen some Iowa State action make it a pick at some spots.
That movement is well justified. The Cyclones should move the ball consistently while stifling the Sooners' ground game on the other side of the ball.
That's why I'm backing the Cyclones to come out on top in this one.
No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 22 Kansas State
Oklahoma State looks to finish its gauntlet of an October schedule on a high note as it heads to Manhattan to face a Kansas State team chasing a similar dream.
The Cowboys will play their fifth game of October on Saturday, boasting an impressive 3-1 record against the Big 12's top teams with their only loss coming at the hands of undefeated TCU.
Kansas State, meanwhile, enjoyed a bye week before suffering the same fate against the Horned Frogs.
The Wildcats are now looking to bounce back at home, which may be easier said than done against one of the most experienced teams in the conference and injury concerns to boot.
So far, both teams are 3-1 in conference play and hoping to find their way back to a rematch against TCU in the Big 12 Championship. Neither faces a particularly favorable schedule the rest of the way, but a win here would separate one as the clear second-place team in the conference.
Will the previous rest be enough for Kansas State to get the job done at home?
Senior quarterback Spencer Sanders has the Cowboys back among the best in the nation regarding offense production. The Pokes rank fourth in the country when it comes to points per game, averaging 44.7 points per contest.
And while Sanders may lead the conference in passing yards and yards per game, no quarterback has been worse in terms of completion percentage. He's thrown only four interceptions on the season despite his inaccuracy, but I'm not sure how much longer that will hold up.
The Pokes defense appears to have the edge over the Wildcats on paper, as they rank 42nd in Defensive Success Rate and 22nd in Standard Down EPA/Play Allowed.
But there are some concerns for Oklahoma State that can't be ignored.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, their passing defense — their biggest weakness that ranks 127th out of 131 teams — shouldn't come into play very often against a Wildcats offense that rushes the ball on 63.3% of plays.
Only 10 teams in the country run the ball more than the Wildcats, and that number could be even lower after this week.
Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez, who has had a comeback season in his fifth year after transferring from Nebraska, is currently questionable for the Oklahoma State game with an injury.
That leaves the door open for backup Will Howard, who performed decently against TCU, posting 225 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception on a 65% completion rate.
Losing the starting quarterback is never ideal, but it becomes far less problematic when that team has one of the nation's best rushers in the backfield.
Deuce Vaughn ranks second in the Big 12 with 744 yards and four scores on the ground while adding 112 yards on 19 receptions through the air.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats are more than equipped to face the second-best passing offense in the Big 12. Kansas State ranks third in the conference in passing defense, holding opponents to only 230 yards per game and a completion percentage of just 55.9%.
They've also pulled down five interceptions so far this season.
The Cats' red-zone defense has been an issue, as they've allowed opponents to score on 87.5% of trips inside the 20. But the Pokes have been even worse in that area, giving up a score on 88.5% of opportunities.
Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State Pick
Oklahoma State's loss to TCU came from its inability to stop the run. Last week, Texas also ran the ball at will against the Pokes, but the Cowboys dug deep and pulled off the comeback win.
The Wildcats boast the best rushing offense in the Big 12, averaging 232 yards per game. Moreover, they have the second-best rusher in the conference in Vaughn. Therefore, the status of Martinez at quarterback doesn't concern me much.
Kansas State has seen how successful the run can be against the Pokes, and I expect it to lean heavily into that game plan.
Yes, Sanders is excellent. The Cowboys are an experienced team, but the clock strikes midnight every day, and regression comes for everyone at one point or another.
Kansas State boasts a top-three passing defense in the Big 12, and while its ability to stop the run is lacking, the Pokes' run game averages only 153.7 yards per outing and doesn't present much of a threat.
I would prefer that a missed PAT doesn't decide the outcome of this wager, so I'll be on the Kansas State moneyline as high as -125.
The moneyline bet is also due to the fact that after opening as a 3-point underdog, the Wildcats have moved to as high as a 1.5-point favorite at some books.
Make sure to shop around to get the best number possible, but I would only bet the Wildcats as high as -2.5 (-115).
Baylor vs. Texas Tech
This game might not be getting a ton of buzz nationally, but it is a huge weekend in Lubbock. Patrick Mahomes will be returning to his alma mater to be inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
Enter the Baylor Bears, fresh off of a win against Kansas and looking to continue to build some momentum of their own after a slow start to the season.
Both of these teams enter this game at 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big 12, so this is a little bit of an elimination game from a conference standpoint. It would be possible to make it to Arlington with two losses in league play, but it's much more far-fetched with three.
Oddsmakers think this will be a tight one, with Tech currently sitting as a two-point home favorite. Who has the edge? Let's discuss.
It's been an up and down year for Baylor, but the Bears are probably better than their 4-3 record indicates.
If you take a closer look at their three losses, two of them came down to the final play on the road against BYU and West Virginia, and the advanced numbers show the Oklahoma State game was closer than what the final score suggests.
As a result, there are many that believe the Bears can still make a run at defending their Big 12 title, but a win this week is paramount to keeping that hope alive.
One thing that has held the Bears back is the play of their defense. Dave Aranda is known for his defensive prowess, and he has had plenty of success on that side of the ball early on in his tenure.
Baylor lost several key contributors to the NFL from last season, and the growing pains as a result of that roster turnover are on display.
Another area highlighting some contrast in offensive and defensive production comes in the red zone. Baylor ranks 23rd nationally in Offensive Finishing Drives, compared to 98th defensively.
It's safe to expect plenty of points to be scored in this matchup against Tech, so finishing off drives with touchdowns will be critical, as will stiffening in the red zone when Tech's offense approaches.
Blake Shapen has been efficient for Baylor overall, but has had some lapses in a handful of games. He will need to take good care of the ball against a Red Raiders defense that can generate some havoc.
It appears that Joey McGuire has found his quarterback of the future in redshirt freshman Behren Morton. Last week against West Virginia, Morton threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns and did not turn the ball over.
The youngster has a strong arm and also moves pretty well in the pocket and on the run.
Out of the backfield, the Red Raiders have a formidable two-man rushing attack featuring Sarodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks both capable of breaking loose at any moment.
Baylor's defense has been pretty good at stopping opposing rushing attacks to this point in the year, but it hasn't faced a ground game like Tech's. Whoever wins in the trenches in that matchup could go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
Tech's defense also took a step forward last week against the Mountaineers. The Red Raiders intercepted JT Daniels three times and recovered a fumble.
TTU ranks inside the top-30 nationally in both Defensive Rush and Pass Success, so there is good balance on all levels of the defense.
Shapen has thrown five interceptions on the season, so there is a formula there for the Red Raiders to generate more Havoc this week.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Pick
McGuire is building something in Lubbock, and I think the Red Raiders take the next step on Saturday afternoon.
Baylor's defense is nowhere near what it was a year ago, which should allow Tech to put up plenty of points on the board.
Meanwhile, Shapen has been accurate when given time, but when he is under pressure his efficiency dips significantly. Look for Tech to dial up plenty of pressure and make things uncomfortable for the Baylor offense behind a raucous crowd.
I'm backing the Red Raiders to find a way to win this one, covering the short number in the process. Guns Up.