Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 6:15 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
Baylor @ Iowa State -2½
Jack Trice Stadium – Ames, IA
12:00 PM EST. Rinse, wash, repeat. When we see a ranked team taking back a tag against a non-ranked side, it catches our attention. When we toss in the fact that Baylor is the defending Big 12 Champion with a four-game cover streak against the Cyclones, it resonates with us that ISU is the chalk here, especially when Baylor was priced as an underdog in all four games in its four-game cover streak against the Cyclones. Furthermore, Baylor has two outright victories over that span, including last year in their unprecedented run to the Big 12 chip. As we head into this week, Baylor is ranked #17 while Iowa St remains unranked.
When one looks at the dossiers between both teams, one will note that Baylor is 2-1 while the Cyclones are 3-0. However, if you listen to the talking heads and or follow the money, Baylor’s 2-1 record is more convincing than Iowa State’s 3-0. We’ll dive deeper into this. We have to disagree with that hypothesis.
Baylor and Iowa State both own two wins against cupcakes. Baylor’s assailed includes Albany (69-10) as a 42½-point choice and Texas State (42-7) as a 29½-point favorite. Iowa State defeated Ohio 43-10 as a 19½-point choice and did not cover against Southeastern Missouri State in its opener as a 33-point choice when it won 42-10 in Ames. Perhaps Baylor’s ability to scoff down cupcakes better from an Against the Spread (ATS) results angle is influencing market perception, but it is unlikely to be solely that. Baylor is getting credit for its overtime loss at BYU while Iowa State’s 10-7 victory at Iowa is being chalked up to Iowa’s ineptitude offensively.
Make no mistake that we do not base our wagers on wins and losses by both sides. Those can be misleading among other things. Baylor’s overtime loss to BYU was not one to marvel in, as BYU gave the Bears every opportunity to steal a win and the Bears did not cash in. Contrarily, Iowa State defeating Iowa in Iowa City was a supreme test no matter how one likes to slice it, as their skipper never defeated their arch rival. Furthermore, arch rivalry games like The Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy throw all metrics and stats out the window. So style points or score lines are irrelevant, as it’s very simply a brawl and to the delight of Iowa State, a mountain it finally scaled after years of disappointment. But enough about that. The Cyclones are the favorite here for a reason despite Baylor’s ranking and nomination as the defending Big 12 Champion. The linesmakers are not giving away a bargain on a team like Baylor who has been getting a lot of attention recently. As such, we’ll play it accordingly.
Iowa State -2½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)