Big 12 Easy Pick'ems: Weekend Of November 17

Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

It’s that time of week again, when The Jug breaks down the upcoming match ups and lays figurative money on the line in telling you how each team will perform against spread (sometimes it’s even correct!). The Wildcats have a game in Waco that could easily be a shoot out or a blow out, KU suddenly seems like a tolerable bet to earn a victory and end its 19 game Big 12 losing streak, and Oklahoma travels to West Virginia with the conference championship on the line. Oh wait – that last one’s just something ESPN told us would happen, while the reality is Kansas State beat both foes on the road and has all but won the conference championship on its way to a number one ranking. But come on – did you really believe November’s top ranked BCS team would reside in Manhattan, Kansas? Honestly? So did we! On to the picks!

#23 Texas Tech at #24 Oklahoma State (-10)
As Big 12 teams continue to beat each other up, the loser of this match up will drop from the polls and transform the conference from a league that once boasted 70 percent of its teams in the AP poll to a league sporting only four. And while Oklahoma State could easily win this game by ten or more points, the same could be said for Texas Tech. The big difference is momentum. In the past three games, Tech has lost two by double digits (Kansas State and Texas), and needed double overtime to dispatch the 1-9 Jayhawks. While Oklahoma State enjoys a similar record, the Cowboys took their lumps early and have now won four of their past five while leading the Big 12 in points per game. As Oklahoma State continues sorting out its quarterback situation, it continues scoring points. However, Seth Doege of Texas Tech is capable of scoring a couple touchdowns himself. Give the nod to the hometeam, but securing a margin of more than ten may be a bit much to ask. Prediction: Oklahoma State 43, Texas Tech 34

#1 Kansas State (-13) at Baylor
The combination of Baylor’s defense and Collin Klein could mean Kansas State hangs 60 this weekend, and the silver fox known as Bill Snyder may just do so to remind voters that Oregon isn’t the only team in the country with a potent offense. The big question isn’t whether K-State’s offense will score at will (it will), but whether Baylor’s offense can keep pace and turn the game into a shootout. That this is a real consideration isn’t an affront to K-State’s defense but a nod to a Baylor team that leads the league in yards per game. Baylor has the offensive firepower to match some of Kansas State’s scores, but not all of them. Vegas predicts the Wildcats win by two touchdowns, but three is a more likely outcome. Prediction: Kansas State 53, Baylor 27

Iowa State (-5.5) at Kansas
Big X factor in this game: KU’s student population. Will Lawrence show up and support the Jayhawks after a six point loss to Texas followed by a double overtime defeat against Texas Tech, brimming with the hope of witnessing KU finally defeat a DI opponent? Or will they choose to stay home, having already abandoned hope after suffering nine straight losses following their season opener against South Dakota State. Weather favors the home team, as temperatures are expected to reach an inviting low 60s on Saturday afternoon. The crowd will (hopefully) give the Jayhawks a boost, and the running game that confounded the Longhorns and Red Raiders finally breaks through against Iowa State. Additionally, A.J. Klein is still struggling in his transition to weakside linebacker following the loss of All-Big 12 defender Jake Knott. James Sims has another spectacular outing against a depleted linebacking corps. Prediction: Kansas 26, Iowa State 24

And now, for your Easy Pick’em of the week, where The Jug identifies the Vegas line that’s just too easy to call:

#12 Oklahoma (-11) at West Virginia
A couple of reasons this point spread is mildly excusable: West Virginia’s offense is healthier now than at the beginning of conference play, and Oklahoma has to fly all the way to Morgantown after playing an exhausting game against Baylor last week that was decided by eight points. However, the number of reasons Oklahoma will beat the Mountaineers by more than 11 are too numerous to list due to print space concerns (though Jug of Snyder fails to provide a product worthy of actual print press, WordPress has informed The Jug its servers can’t handle the data). Suffice to say, Oklahoma remains the second best team in the Big 12. Additionally, the Sooners particularly excel at pass defense (not so much against the rush). West Virginia has been good at exploiting inferior secondaries but hasn’t demonstrated the ability to generate a consistent ground game. So what happens when Oklahoma’s secondary shuts down Geno Smith’s wide receivers? West Virginia drops to 2-5 in conference play while receiving another painful reminder that the Big 12 is not the Big East. Easy Prediction: Oklahoma 42, WestVirginia 27

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