It has been a wild and unpredictable start to 2020 college football, for reasons that extend beyond the football field. Even so, there has been no shortage of the on-field chaos that makes Saturdays in the fall such a treat each and every year. When it comes to this season’s wacky games and college football picks, Big 12 football has been at the forefront of the headlines.
After suffering a trio of upset defeats to Sun Belt Conference opponents in Week 3 of the season, the Big 12 was the site of more underdog lore last week when it began conference play. Following No. 3 Oklahoma’s home loss to unranked Kansas State, the question is no longer if there will be more Big 12 chaos this season, but instead when it will happen?
Here are three moneyline underdogs on the Big 12 football’s Week 5 slate who have a real shot at an outright victory.
Week 5 Big 12 Football | College Football Picks
All odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Texas Tech (+115) at Kansas State
Ah, the old letdown spot. Kansas State shocked the College Football world last week when they took down third-ranked Oklahoma on the road. This just two weeks after they shocked us all by losing outright at home to Arkansas State. The Wildcats, like the entire Big 12 Conference, have been unpredictable, to say the least. Coming off such a huge win, they are ripe for another upset loss, this one courtesy of a much shorter underdog in Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders should come into this game highly motivated after letting a top-10 upset opportunity of their own slip through the cracks against Texas last week. Alan Bowman outdueled Sam Ehlinger for the majority of last week’s game. Add in the rushing threat of SaRodorick Thompson and Texas Tech should have no trouble scoring points. If Bowman can avoid throwing costly interceptions, I don’t see Skylar Thompson and the K-State offense doing enough on offense to keep pace.
Texas Tech is currently only catching 2.5 on the point spread. It is worth noting that this game opened with a spread of Kansas State -4. The Red Raiders have taken enough sharp money to move below the key number of 3, arguably making this a pick’em game. After letting their own upset win get away from them last week, look for Tech to come out with a vengeance in Manhattan.
Baylor at West Virginia (+125)
After dealing with COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements, Baylor was finally able to begin its 2020 season last week. They throttled Kansas and now head to Morgantown for a matchup against a much-improved West Virginia team. The feeling is that there is still work to be done and growth to be made in the transition from Matt Rhule to Dave Aranda. While it was an ideal warmup game, Kansas can’t be viewed as a true first test for the Bears.
The key for the Mountaineers will be the offensive line. Baylor’s defense doesn’t figure to be what it was a season ago, given the turnover, but the Bears dominated the line of scrimmage against Kansas last week. If quarterback Jarret Doege is afforded time to throw, West Virginia should be able to take advantage of positive matchups down the field. If the Mountaineers can do this as well as hold up better in their defense against the run, this feels like a tremendous spot for an outright win at home.
The spread currently sits at an even field goal at most shops, making that a terrific play for Mountaineers backers in this spot. With that said, I’m confident that WVU will do more than just cover the three points on Saturday. The game opened at Baylor -4 and there are a few 2.5’s starting to pop up throughout Las Vegas. Sharp money says West Virginia is the way to go, and the short spread would seem to indicate that they are very much a live dog at home. Don’t overlook this college football pick.
Oklahoma at Iowa State (+225)
Coming off of last week’s second half collapse and ultimate loss at home to Kansas State, 18th-ranked Oklahoma is looking to get back to their winning ways in Week 5. That could be a lot easier said than done as the Sooners make the trip up to Ames, Iowa, to battle Iowa State. The Cyclones have already seen their name pop up amongst the Big 12 chaos themselves this season, losing at home to Sun Belt foe Louisiana two weeks ago. ISU managed to bounce back with a narrow road win over TCU last week and will look for a better home showing on Saturday.
In hindsight, sloppy play spelled the downfall of Oklahoma last week. The Sooners had a -4 turnover margin against Kansas State, something that will lead to losing outcomes regardless of who you’re playing. Otherwise, it was a strong showing. The defense was stout against the run and new quarterback Spencer Rattler threw for nearly 400 yards and had four touchdown passes. If he cuts down on his 3 interceptions, the outlook will be much better for OU. Iowa State’s win over TCU was very workmanlike in style, despite the high score. Brock Purdy played a clean game, and Breece Hall piled up 154 yards and 3 scores on the ground.
Iowa State was on the wrong end of so many close games a season ago, including a 1-point loss at Oklahoma. A 7-6 campaign could have very easily been 9-4. The betting market has backed the Cyclones heavily in this game, betting the opening number of 12 down all the way to the current single touchdown spread. Instinct would tell you Oklahoma will rebound after last week’s defeat. With the way Big 12 football has been going so far in 2020, don’t count out the home underdog Cyclones as a college football pick.