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Week 5 Big 12 picks: Will Kansas protect home field, cover 6.5-point spread vs. TTU?

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Here are my week 5 Big 12 football picks for this weekend's slate of games.

The results, so far, for this season's picks:

Season, straight up: 24-6
Season, vs. spread: 13-11

Picking against the spread isn't easy. Someone on the blog last week asked if I take these picks to the bank. Not exactly. The picks are just for fun. I might be broke by now if I actually took these picks to the bank.

Let's move on to this weekend's Big 12 slate:

Saturday

Texas Tech at Kansas, 11 a.m.
Line: Texas Tech by 6.5
Pick: vs. line: Texas Tech; straight up: Texas Tech
One-line reason: Both teams are somewhat of an enigma (Texas Tech has only looked good against an 0-4 New Mexico team, while Kansas showed promise against Northern Illinois, but then was routed at Georgia Tech). The guess here is the home field will keep the Jayhawks competitive, but the image of Red Raiders quarterback Seth Doege throwing at will all over the field (he's averaged 316 yards, more than three touchdown passes per game and has completed 76.3 percent of his passes, all without an interception) can't escape the mind. Most of that reasoning stems from KU ranking dead last in the country in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense.

No. 14 Texas A&M vs. No. 18 Arkansas (Arlington, Texas), 11 a.m.
Line: Texas A&M by 3
Pick: vs. line: Texas A&M; straight up: Texas A&M
One-line reason: For the sake of this pick, here's hoping the Aggies clean up their four turnovers last week against Oklahoma State, a game they still led, 20-3, at halftime. Should that happen, I like their chances to cover here.

No. 15 Baylor at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m.
Line: Baylor by 3.5
Pick: vs. line: Baylor; straight up: Baylor
One-line reason: It may be a bold prediction, but I don't see K-State, which currently flaunts the Big 12's top-ranked scoring defense and total defense, holding onto that distinction after running into Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin. The junior QB is a legitimate Heisman contender who's thrown for 13 touchdowns versus only 12 incompletions and zero interceptions in three games.

Ball State at No. 2 Oklahoma, 6 p.m.
Line: Oklahoma by 37.5
Pick: vs. line: Oklahoma; straight up: Oklahoma

One-line reason: Perhaps the Sooners, who fell from No. 1 to No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll without losing a game, approach this battle with the mind-set of putting up some style points for the voters. If that happens, they should win by 40 at bare minimum.

No. 17 Texas at Iowa State, 6 p.m.
Line: Texas by 9.5
Pick: vs. line: Iowa State; straight up: Texas
One-line reason: Paul Rhoads and the Cyclones, who stunned Texas (28-21) last year in Austin, are off to an improbable 3-0 start. I'm looking for the Longhorns to reverse that fortune, but 9.5 is a big spread. I'll take the points against the line.

That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.

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