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Big 12 Football Pick
Let's face it, Iowa State probably screwed you last week. A ridiculous amount of bettors were on them and they put up a dud offensively against Oklahoma State in a 31-10 loss. They are now 3-3-1 ATS for the season and come into this game as small favorites. Baylor might have the worst defense in the Big 12, but they are still 3-3 against the spread. The Bears have been in some crazy games this year. While they score 48 points per game, they are 0-3 in conference play because their defense has allowed over 58 points per game in those three contests. That is a lot. The Cyclones are just 1-3 in the Big 12, but their defense has only allowed 26 points per game in conference play. It's their offense that is causing them problems.
There's been a revolving door at QB this year for the Cyclones with Jared Barnett the current starter. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes last week and only managed one TD with one INT. Former starter, Steele Jantz, came into the game late against Oklahoma State. It's anyone's best guess on who will start this game as the head coach isn't saying much on the subject. What we do know is that Shontrelle Johnson is the starting running back. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much as he hasn't had more than 10 carries since the second week. Johnson only has 270 yards and one TD this season. WR Aaron Horne has gotten a ton of looks lately with 15 receptions in the last two games, but he still only has two TDs for the year. They have a diverse group of receivers without a stand out.
Luckily for the Cyclones, Baylor has no defense. The key for them will be stopping the passing duo of Nick Florence and Terrance Williams. No one has been able to do that, even in Baylor's losses. If they can, it will be even harder for the Bears to put points on the board.
Florence is a regular gunslinger with huge potential as seen in his 2,226 yards and 20 touchdowns. The problem lies in his interception rate. He's thrown ten on the year and at least one in his last five games. Without a solid running game, defenses know they can force Florence into turnovers. As mentioned before, Williams has at least 131 yards in five of his six games. He has 1,013 yards and nine TDs through just six games of work averaging 21.6 yards per catch. He's putting up Randy Moss-esque numbers at the moment. Baylor's running game is led by a Jarred Salubi and Glasco Martin. Even with all of those passing numbers, they have actually run the ball more times than passed it this year. Salubi and Martin have combined for 155 carries for 686 yards and eight touchdowns.
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Baylor solved the Cylcones defense last year, but that was with the help of RGIII. They won that game 49-26 covering a 15-point spread. This game should turn out a little different unless Baylor can step up on the defensive end. Because of that defense, the over has hit a ridiculous amount of times for them lately. In their last 26 games, the over is 22-3-1. Wow. On the opposite end of that, the under is 6-1 in the Cyclones last seven home games and 27-11 in their last 38 games overall.
The Bears are a solid 5-1 ATS in their last six conference games while Iowa State is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games. The home team is 8-1 ATS in their last nine meetings.
We tend to stay away from games that have the potential to be shootouts. They are the most risky games to wager on. Shootouts are always going to be decided by the unpredictable. Mistakes. The only time we'd get involved with a game like that, is if we're taking significant points with the underdog.
With that in mind, we'll simply offer an opinion here. Iowa State let us down last week. However, they have done a decent job this year keeping strong offensive teams in check. They held Kansas State to 27 in a close game, which is saying something as the only other team able to do that was Oklahoma.
Our model predicts a 9 point Iowa State home win and our numbers suggest the difference here will be the Iowa State defense combined with Baylor's lack of defense. As mentioned, we won't get involved here for real, but our opinion here is Iowa State -2.5
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