The Big 12 has some exciting matchups on tap this weekend with the including some nonconference instate rivalries that should up the ante in terms of intensity.
There's plenty of juicy action for college football betting fans to jump in on and four games in particular that have our attention starting tonight, so here are our picks against the spread as well as outright in those contests.
The game of the year comes next week for the Horned Frogs as they host an Urban Meyer-less Ohio State. They won’t be looking too far ahead, however, as TCU first must focus on keeping the Iron Skillet in Fort Worth for a seventh consecutive season.
The first game of the weekend kicks off Friday night as a TCU team that’s been one of the Big 12’s most consistent recent programs will look to continue getting into a good rhythm against the Mustangs.
If the North Texas Mean Green were too much for SMU, TCU will likely blow the roof off Gerald J. Ford Stadium where they’re favored by over three touchdowns. “Rivalry” or not, SMU allowed their first opponent to run 94 plays against them and they’ll likely be in for an even longer night against Gary Patterson’s squad.
Spread Pick: TCU (-22.5) -110 at 888Sport.
Outright: TCU (-22.5) -110 at 888Sport.
The spread here is a little confounding considering last weekend’s final results. Kansas State does have homefield advantage and are a consistently respectable Big 12 program, but 18th ranked Mississippi State is expected to be a top SEC team this season.
The Bulldogs didn’t do much to subdue those expectations in a 63-6 drubbing of Stephen F. Austin, so it’s baffling to see them given only eight points against the Wildcats. Kansas State was barely able to eek out a win over FCS side South Dakota and clearly has some issues to work out.
That’s not the best way to go into a marquee matchup in Manhattan. We expect the Bulldogs to continue prepping for what’s going to be a tough SEC West schedule with a nice nonconference victory.
Spread Pick: Mississippi State (-8) -110 at 888Sport.
Outright: Mississippi State -335 at 888Sport.
The hope is that Chip Kelly takes the point spread for this game and writes it in heavy marker on the whiteboard in the UCLA locker room. That’s a big disparity (30 points) for a Power Five team playing another Power Five team.
Yes, Florida Atlantic was a competent team last season under Lane Kiffin and the Sooners waxed the Owls last week, obliterating the 20.5-point spread. Yes, the Bruins dropped a disheartening 26-17 home opener to Cincinnati, a middle-of-the-road AAC side, to open the Kelly era.
Oklahoma is going to win this game, and there’s little doubt about that. But with a spread that’s normally reserved for cupcake weeks, UCLA should come out with a little extra fire and it should be closer than many are anticipating.
Whether that means a 7-point loss for the Bruins or a 28-point loss, we’ll see.
Spread Pick: UCLA +30 at -110 at 888Sport.
Like Nebraska, Iowa State has yet to play a full game and will officially open its season in a battle for the Cy-Hawk trophy. The in-state rivalry has been won by the Hawkeyes the last three seasons including a 44-41 OT thriller last year.
This season, Iowa had the opportunity to work out the early kinks and cruise to a 33-7 win over Northern Illinois. The victory was coach Kirk Ferentz’s 144th win making him the program’s all-time leader in wins passing Hayden Fry.
Iowa State knocked off both Oklahoma and TCU last season and won its bowl game against a very talented Memphis team. The Cyclones are certainly strong upset picks any given Saturday, though their rivals know them and have played them consistently well, as the Hawkeyes are 7-3 against Iowa State since 2008.
Iowa should use that recent success and bounce back week from quarterback Nathan Stanley to cover a slim spread at Kinnick Stadium and keep the Cy-Hawk in Iowa City for a fourth year in a row.
Spread Pick: Iowa -4 at -110 at 888Sport.
Outright: Iowa -200 at 888Sport.