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PICKS FROM JOE’S...Week 4 of coronavirus gauntlet in Big 12

The positive in all of this? We’ve all learned to hold our breath until Friday’s test results come in.

Tulsa v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

There should really be no betting lines and over/unders until Saturday.

Let the teams trot out, we assess who got held out due to coronavirus testing and contact tracing, then while the teams warm up and eventually head back into the locker rooms Vegas can scramble to determine the lines based on the actual lineups and the gambling addicts can frantically place their wagers.

Baylor by 17 over Kansas? What if half of the Bears’ starting offensive lineup is held... OK, that is a bad example because my wife’s book club would beat the Jayhawks by 24, but you get my drift.

Seriously, how about the collective exhale when we find out the game is still being played? We need a postponement/reschedule tracker so we can follow as the teams run out of open dates to fill and championship games get pushed back a week in order to accommodate the chaos.

Assuming all the games take place, the Big 12 has a full conference slate this weekend (that’s also presuming you count anyone playing Kansas as an actual game), and the start times are spread out. TCU and Baylor will be playing their first games of the season. Let’s get on with it.

  • Kansas State at Oklahoma (Noon ET on FOX, OU -27.5, O/U 60.5)
KState gave up 35 to *checks notes* Arkansas State in a losing effort last week, so I would fully expect the next coming of QB Jesus and Offensive Playbook Satan to make it look like the Wildcats only have Willie on the field.

Seriously, take OU and the over. If the Sooners don't put 60+ on the board on their own I will be shocked.
  • Iowa State at TCU (12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Iowa State -2.5, O/U 44.5)
This is a complete head-scratcher for me.

Vegas obviously thinks the Cyclones are not nearly as bad as last week's loss to Louisiana and that the Horned Toads are, well, not good enough to defend home turf against a team that lost badly to Louisiana last week.

The home team usually gets a 3pt consideration on the line, so that would make the Fighting Campbells over a TD favorite if the game was in Ames. That being said I wouldn't touch this game with Phillip Slavin's money (mostly because he has two young kids and shouldn't be gambling). It's basically a toss-up and that O/U seems sneaky low.
  • Texas at Taco Tech (2:30 p.m. on FOX, Texas -18, O/U 70.5)
I'm all over the Longhorns on this one. The Taco Slingers dodged a deluxe burrito last week when they stopped a Houston Baptist two-point conversion attempt to tie the game. This was likely the Huskies' most competitive game of the season which says a LOT about the Red Raiders. HBU got hammered by UNT (57-31) last week and will probably get drilled by La Tech next week. The only other game they have scheduled right now is Eastern Kentucky who is so bad they probably can't beat Kansas. Also, in the spirit of former CRFF contributor Bryan King... "Are Tech players being tested every week for anything else?"

It's Texas -18 all day long, although the O/U doesn't feel so clear. I'm leaning under right now.

The most disappointing part of this however is that I recall a Texas player saying something about tacos this week but can't find it. I did gain some consolation when I googled for that and found a story from June 2019 about an aTm player arrested for fighting over some tacos.
  • Kansas at Baylor (6:30 p.m. on ESPNU, Baylor -17, O/U 62)
Another head-scratcher for me just because Baylor hasn't played yet. I don't have a problem with the line so much as the O/U. The Bears should easily cover but that high of an O/U feels iffy to me given we haven't seen Baylor in action yet.

The bigger question would be whether or not the game happens at all. Baylor has already canceled two non-conference games due to coronavirus testing issues for the Bears, so the game might not happen or at the least the Baylor lineup could be affected.

Also, what the hell are the sports networks doing? Two weeks ago it was Kansas at 10pm ET (ok, nobody would really stay up to watch that) and now the Jayhawks are being broadcast in Prime Time? It's almost like somebody said "Hey, are you tired of watching good football? Just jonesing for any football game you can get your hands on? Well have we got a game for you."
  • West Virginia at Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m. on ABC, OSU -7, O/U 51.5)
I wouldn't bet this game if you handed me money and said you would pay me back whatever I lost.

OSU could be starting a QB that is 70-80% Spencer Sanders, a juco transfer who is slower than me, or a true freshman who didn't practice for a couple of weeks because of coronavirus protocols, all behind an offensive line that was like pouring water through a strainer will really big holes. Everyone is singing the praises of the defense, so that means they'll give up at least 3-4 TDs this week. West Virginia lit up the aforementioned Eastern Kentucky last week which doesn't shed much light on their outlook, but we are assuming they will be better on both sides of the ball than Tulsa. Throw in the coronavirus testing unknowns and this is anyone's guess until we see the teams in action.

The Tape Doesn't Lie podcast team tried to convince us that the offensive line wasn't as bad as they looked, but my eyes are having a hard time with that. My confidence level this week is definitely hovering around 3 on a 1-10 scale (I think it's obvious which end indicates confidence). The only certainty is the throwback jersey in honor of Thurman Thomas being inducted into OSU's "Ring of Honor," so let us hope this is NOT most of us watching the game this weekend...

Everyone stay safe and enjoy some football!