The Big 12 already saw plenty of fireworks in conference openers. Texas lost another game due to special teams last week against Oklahoma State, and TCU won on a late-second touchdown pass against Texas Tech.

It should be another wild ride this year in the Big 12, and this week shouldn’t disappoint.

One item to watch again this year is the totals. Big 12 teams registered 63 oversĀ and 63 unders last season. The year before, Big 12 teams notched six more overs than unders during the season. This season, the conference has actually produced more unders at 17 than overs at 15.

Oddsmakers have adjusted to the conference’s inability to play much defense. Just look at this week’s Baylor vs. Texas Tech game. The over/under is 89.5 points. Through four weeks, there are 28 teams in college football that have yet to score more than 89 points all season.

Here are two games we’re keeping an eye on this season. Last week’s betting guide for all power-five college football conferences went 6-4, with a 1-1 record in the Big 12. For the season, the betting guide has been 3-5 in the Big 12.

The Kansas State Wildcats will attempt to exceed expectations against this season. Flickr/
The Kansas State Wildcats will attempt to exceed expectations against this season. Flickr/

Kansas State (+7.5) at Oklahoma State

Nobody’s been on the Oklahoma State bandwagon more than us this season. But oddsmakers are giving away more than a touchdown to an undefeated Kansas State team? And this is coming after Oklahoma State looked inept for several offensive possessions against a Texas defense that just a week earlier had given up 45 points at home.

It’s not all oddsmakers’ fault. The line opened at 3.5, so we can thank the betting public for pushing this line over the touchdown mark. The trend toward the Cowboys is likely the result of the Wildcats needing three overtimes to beat Louisiana Tech two weeks ago.

Sure that’s concerning, but the Wildcats are coming off a bye, which has been a recipe for success in the past few years. Since 2010, the Wildcats are 10-5 against the spread after a bye.

We like Kansas State’s ability to shut down a Cowboys offense that is still sputtering through the season. This game will be close throughout and the Wildcats should cover the 7.5-point spread. — Go against the chalk with Kansas State

The Texas Longhorns will have to reach over 6.5 wins. Flickr/ Roeder
The Texas Longhorns will have to reach over 6.5 wins. Flickr/ Roeder

Texas at TCU (-15)

We haven’t been sold on TCU this season. The Horned Frogs are a tipped pass away from entering this week’s game with a big “1” in the loss column. But TCU won last week against Texas Tech and is now moving on against a Texas team that gave Oklahoma State everything it could handle last week.

The Horned Frogs have struggled thus far this season, and we’re wondering if oddsmakers are making the same mistake as it did with Florida State last year. Last year, the Seminoles were awful against the spread, based on the perception it would win by the same margin as it did the previous year.

TCU is having that same perception problem this season, and this spread seems large.

But it isn’t.

Texas’ defense isn’t the unit that played well against Oklahoma State. That had more to do with the Cowboys issues on offense rather than the Longhorns stepping it up on defense. When the Cowboys did do well on offense, it was as if the Longhorns were playing with less people.

This game feels like a blowout, with TCU scoring far too many points for Texas to keep up for the long haul. The Horned Frogs should make a few stops, giving enough room to spare for the offense to cover the 15-point spread. — Go chalk with TCU

Other Big 12 games

Spreads provided by Oddsshark

West Virginia at Oklahoma (-7)

Kansas at Iowa State (-16)

Baylor (-17) vs. Texas Tech in Dallas

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