Buy or sell: Week 12 best bets

Cameron Parker

After a perfect showing last week, I’m proud to announce that, just like Texas, I am back. Shout out to the Big 12 referees for doing everything possible to ensure Kansas State covered, Joe Burrow for picking apart the Alabama defense, Baylor for not blowing it and Will Muschamp for continuing to make us question why he’s still a head coach. And as a reminder, I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just a college student who watches too much college football and places bets he can’t afford — like most of y’all. This weekly column is where I will give you my best bets for the week in college football. I am not responsible for any money lost, so don’t request money from me on Venmo. 

Last Week: 4–0

Overall: 19–8

No. 19 Texas at Iowa State(-7)

The way the College Football Playoff committee and Las Vegas value Texas could not be more different. The Longhorns were unranked yet favored by seven points last week over then-No. 16 Kansas State. Although they have now vaulted to No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings, they are seven point underdogs to 5–4 Iowa State. Yes, the Cyclones were one play away from upsetting Oklahoma last week, but let’s pump the brakes. Iowa State has lost twice at home this year, including a 34-27 loss to Oklahoma State where Brock Purdy tossed three interceptions. The Longhorns should have senior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch back alongside sophomore defensive back DeMarvion Overshown, junior defensive back Chris Brown and maybe freshman running back Jordan Whittington, all of whom did not play in last week’s victory over the Wildcats. Tom Herman is 2–0 against the Cyclones in his short tenure at Texas, so have a little confidence in the burnt orange this weekend.

Pick: Texas(+7)

Marquee Matchup of the Week

No. 10 Oklahoma(-10) at No. 13 Baylor

It’s taken until Week 12, but we will finally find out how good of a team Baylor really is. The College Football Playoff committee believes they’re overrated, ranking them at No. 13, while Vegas has them opening as a 10-point underdog to the Sooners. It would not shock me if the Bears get absolutely dismantled by Oklahoma on Saturday, but let’s not forget that Lincoln Riley’s squad has not looked good since its win over Texas. In fact, the Sooners are 1–4 against the spread in their last five games. Coming off their upset loss to Kansas State, I thought Oklahoma would respond with a blowout victory. It looked like that was the case until the Cyclones came storming back and almost won. Yes, Baylor is most likely overrated, and although Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma have played on the national stage while Charlie Brewer and the Bears have not, I still like them covering.

Pick: Baylor(+10)

Lock of the Week

No. 17 Cincinnati(-9.5) at South Florida

*sniffles* We may be nearing the end of the Charlie Strong era — again. Cincinnati is arguably the best Group of Five team in the nation. South Florida has only been a double-digit underdog twice this season, and is 0–2 against the spread. Last week’s loss against Temple felt like the beginning of the end for Strong, and with Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF left on the schedule, I don’t see him winning another game.

Pick: Cincinnati(-9.5)

Degenerate Gambler Pick of the Week

Louisiana Tech(-2.5) at Marshall

You know who the hottest team in the country is? It’s not LSU, Clemson or even Minnesota. It’s the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the beloved blue and red Bulldogs have had eight straight wins since their opening loss to the Longhorns. Marshall is sneakily good too, but with the way Louisiana Tech is playing I like them this week. I’m also biased because they played Texas early in the season.

Pick: Louisiana Tech(-2.5)