It’s getting down to crunch time for the Big 12 Conference. Most of the teams in the Big 12 have just two games before the Big 12 Championship Game. The two especially big games of the weekend are on Friday and Saturday, respectively. We’ll look at Week 13 college football betting and the NCAAF online betting odds for the biggest contests in the conference.
Iowa State Cyclones vs Texas Longhorns
Sportsbook Odds: Texas Longhorns -2
This is the big Friday game in the Big 12. If the Iowa State Cyclones win, they will clinch a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. This would be Iowa State’s first-ever appearance in the Big 12 title game, which began in 1996 but was then discontinued in 2011 before returning in 2017. It would be a tremendous accomplishment for the Cyclones, who have been part of one of college football’s less successful programs.
All week, they are going to be asked about the Big 12 Championship Game. They could buckle in the face of the pressure, but they have been the Big 12’s best team thus far this season. They defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, the second-best team in the conference, and they are coming off their best performance of the season in which they destroyed the Kansas State Wildcats, 45-0.
The Texas Longhorns’ offense has never truly clicked this season. Senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger was primed for a big season, but it simply hasn’t happened for him. Ehlinger has rescued Texas and created two overtime wins on the road this season, but in terms of consistent weekly performance, Ehlinger has fallen far short of expectations. He isn’t pushing the ball down the field. He hasn’t been especially accurate.
The Texas offense hasn’t been very potent; it barely got by West Virginia in a recent 17-13 win. The Texas offense of the past few years, 2018 in particular, would easily be good enough to handle Iowa State and give Texas a comfortable victory, but the 2020 Texas offense has been nowhere close to that standard. Texas is the brand name and the program with a lot of history and prestige, but Iowa State has been better all season long and should find a way to win this contest.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Oklahoma State Cowboys
Odds: Oklahoma State Cowboys -10.5
This is a must-win game for an Oklahoma State team which is reeling after a 41-13 loss to Oklahoma this past Saturday. Oklahoma State has lost a number of starting offensive linemen due to injury. The Cowboys’ offense simply hasn’t functioned well for much of the year. The Cowboys are one of the four teams in the mix for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game, along with Iowa State, Texas, and Oklahoma.
The problem for Oklahoma State is that it lacks tiebreaker advantages with both Texas and Oklahoma, since it lost to both teams. The Cowboys could still get to the Big 12 title game if Iowa State beats Texas and West Virginia upsets Oklahoma this weekend. So, Oklahoma State is still alive, but it needs help. It also needs to handle Texas Tech, which has struggled down the stretch in this 2020 season. The Cowboys probably have enough talent on hand, even with their injuries, to win this game. However, given how poorly they have been playing, they can take nothing for granted.
Kansas State Wildcats vs Baylor Bears
Online College Football Odds: Baylor Bears -5.5
This is a curious line. Baylor has been one of the worst teams in the Big 12 all year long. Only Kansas is clearly worse than the Bears. Yet, the betting line seems to be a reaction to Kansas State’s 45-0 loss this past Saturday against Iowa State. The Wildcats certainly have not done well ever since starting quarterback Skylar Thompson was lost for the season in early October with an injury. Backup quarterbacks have not been able to do much of anything for this wounded offense. Yet, Baylor’s offense is just as mediocre as Kansas State’s, if not more so.
The Wildcats might be on the receiving end of a harsh overreaction here. They aren’t a very good team right now, but neither is Baylor. This game figures to go down to the wire, but Kansas State probably has a slight edge. Baylor has none of the offensive weapons Iowa State possesses. This game should be played on even terms.
Oklahoma Sooners vs West Virginia Mountaineers
Odds: Oklahoma Sooners -11
This is the other especially big game in the Big 12 this week. Oklahoma plays a bad Baylor team in Week 14. So if the Sooners can take care of West Virginia on the road in Week 13, they are almost certain to make the Big 12 Championship Game for the fourth straight season and make a run at a sixth straight conference championship, which would increase the Big 12 record the Sooners established last season. The Oklahoma defense put the clamps on Oklahoma State last season, shutting out the Cowboys in the second half. Oklahoma’s pass rush in particular has improved over the course of the season.
In college football news, getting players back from injury and suspension has made the difference for the Sooners. They are no longer struggling to play defense in fourth quarters. However, this was their big problem in late September and early October. As long as Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler doesn’t commit turnovers, the Sooners should be in good shape against a West Virginia team. West Virginia has a sound defense but few weapons on offense.
TCU Horned Frogs vs Kansas Jayhawks
Week 13 College Football Betting Odds: TCU Horned Frogs -24.5
This is a game in which one shouldn’t assume anything. TCU, if you look at the recent history of its Big 12 series with Kansas, has often struggled in this matchup. TCU doesn’t have the reliable, steady offense which merits complete confidence and trust in this game. When TCU has a great offense, it is miles better than Kansas. But TCU’s whole problem as a program in recent years has been the ability to develop a strong offensive line. That and reliable quarterback play. TCU has not had either of those two ingredients this season, so Kansas – while unlikely to win outright – has a decent chance to make this game closer than many of the experts think.