Iowa State Cyclones @ Iowa Hawkeyes (4:00 ET)
Favorite: Iowa -3.5
There's no team I trust less to cover a spread than the Hawkeyes. Spencer Petras is still their quarterback even with just 1 touchdown pass and 8 interceptions over his last 7 games. To make matters worse, in that span he's usurped 200 passing yards just once. In week 1, the Hawkeyes managed to win 7-3 against South Dakota State by not scoring a touchdown. 2 safeties and a field goal got them the win, and if they're offense is this bad again I don't know how you can trust them to cover 3 points plus the hook.
The Cyclones have to replenish a ton of stars on both sides of the ball. Most notably Breece Hall to the NFL, they only return 5 players to their offense and 3 to what was a veteran defense. Returning the fewest starters in the Big 12 and going up against a brilliant defense in Iowa is not a recipe for success, and we might see another horrid dog fight in Iowa.
Pick: u40 -110 (1u)
Baylor Bears @ BYU Cougars (10:15 ET)
Favorite: BYU -3
It's no secret that I'm high on the Bears, picking their season win total to go over and fancying them to compete for the Big 12 Championship. We knew that their offensive line would be good this year after returning 4 starters, but we weren't sure how Blake Shapen at QB would look in the offense. Honestly, we still aren't given their first opponent was Albany, but he looked great behind that O-Line and utilizing 4 RBs well. If they can establish the running game against a decent Cougars front, they should be able to dictate the pace of the game and wear down the Cougars. To some's surprise, the BYU defense didn't grade all that well against South Florida last week allowing 21 points before the 4th Quarter, though one did come on a Kickoff Return for TD. Their offense, was much the opposite, throwing and running for 250+ yards and turning the ball over just once.
We should have a very evenly matched game between 2 teams that can run the ball extremely well behind great offensive lines. The clock should stay running because of that and I give the lean to the Bears behind their experience and talent in key positions defensively with Siaki Ika at DT and Dillon Doyle at LB. I think we'll have a much lower scoring game than either of these teams got into last week and the Bears edge it out.
Pick: Bears ML +130 (1u) & u54 -110 (1u)
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports