College Football BIG 12 Picks & Expert Best Bets: Week 1

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Alex Alarcon


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Content Manager for The home of free sports picks and experts best bets.

The time has come once again where college football fans all over the globe are ready to kick off another season – Welcome to the beginning of a new BIG 12 campaign. On Saturday, August 31st the first week of BIG 12 college football picks will begin as Pickswise, the home of free College Football BIG 12 Picks will dive into each game.

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Against The Spread Pick

The Iowa State Cyclones will take on the Northern Iowa Panthers for the third time since Matt Campbell took over the program, and each of the teams has won one of the games. Northern Iowa is usually a solid FCS school and last year they did enough to make it into the playoffs. They did play Iowa last year but it was ugly loss which resulted in a final score of 38-14. This Panthers team is going to need to figure out how to replace their quarterback and top rusher from last year. The Cyclones will send out sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy and after a strong freshman year, they have high expectations for this season. Purdy’s play will be the difference in this game, and that will lead to a Cyclone cover of the spread.

Over Under Pick

The total is pretty low in this game and that is not surprising because of the Cyclones defense. While most of the rest of the Big 12 is airing it out and playing in shootouts, the Cyclones are still trying to put emphasis on the defense. With the Panthers breaking in a new quarterback, I think they are going to have some trouble scoring. I do think the Cyclones are going to score a good amount of points, but it’s going to be one-sided and that won’t be enough to push this one over. This is only a lean but the play is with the under.

Indiana State Sycamores vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Against The Spread Pick

It’s the start of the Les Miles era with the Kansas Jayhawks and there is a lot of optimism that this team is going to finally stop being the laughing stock of college football. This Jayhawks team still has a lot of questions but there is one guy who isn’t, running back Pooka Williams. Williams is one of the best running backs in the Big 12 but is suspended for this game. They also haven’t named a quarterback yet, and I think there are just too many question marks surrounding this team. I actually think Indiana State will win this game, but take the points to be safe. Back the Sycamores to cover the spread.

Over Under Pick

I think the Jayhawks are going to struggle to move the ball and that will keep the score low. Last season the Jayhawks were good with forcing turnovers, and it kept them in games. Indiana State doesn’t turn the ball over, which means the Jayhawks are going to have to go on long drives. This isn’t a super strong play because I am a little worried the Indiana State offense could have success, but I think the Jayhawks defense will do just enough to keep the scoring down. Back the under in this one.

James Madison Dukes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Against The Spread Pick

The West Virginia Mountaineers and the James Madison Dukes face off in the opening game and both of these teams have new head coaches. The Dukes are a year in and year out one of the best teams in the FCS and that should be the case again this year. The Mountaineers are starting a new quarterback in Austin Kendall and there is a lot of buzz about what he is going to be able to do this year. There are many who believe the Mountaineers are on upset alert in this game, but I just don’t see it. I think Kendall is going to be too much and the offense is going to be elite. Back the Mountaineers to win this game and cover the spread.

Over Under Pick

I think the new Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown is going to prove a point in this game and I would expect the Mountaineers are going to run up the score. The Duke’s offense isn’t that bad either, and they should be able to put up at least 20 points in this game. This number is continuing to move down, which makes it even juicier. This is only a lean, but back the over in this game.

Montana State Bobcats vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Against The Spread Pick

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are going to be running a different offense this year, but this is still a team that should be running up the score, especially in this game. Quarterback Alan Bowman is healthy and he is an elite quarterback. Last season threw for 2,638 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, and that wasn’t even a full season. The Bobcats do have a good running game, but I don’t think that running game is going to be enough to keep them in this game. This is a big number to cover but I expect the Red Raiders to pull away in the second half. Back the Red Raiders to win this game with ease and cover the spread.

Over Under Pick

The Red Raiders are going to have no issue scoring their points, so this total is going to come down to how many points the Bobcats can score. Even though I don’t see the Bobcats scoring enough points to keep this game close, I think their running game is going to do enough to score a couple of touchdowns. If you like offense, make sure to tune into this game, because it’s going to be a shootout. Back the over to get the job done.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Baylor Bears

Against The Spread Pick

The Baylor Bears come into Saturday’s matchup against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks as big favorites, and I think for good reason. These two teams have played four times before and the Bears have outscored the Lumberjacks 201-0 in those games. Now I am not so sure they will be able to shut down the Lumberjacks in this game, but the Bears should still be able to blow them out. Last year quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for  3,019 yards and19 touchdowns and the hope is this year he can be even better and maybe be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. The Lumberjacks offense doesn’t have much to offer, so the Bears defense doesn’t need to be worried about that. Back the Bears to cover the big spread in this one.

Over Under Pick

Even though I think the Bears are going to score a ton of points, I don’t think the Lumberjacks are going to be scoring many points. I think the Lumberjacks will get a field goal or two, but that will be the end of their scoring. 57.5 is a lot of points for one team to score, and the Bears won’t be able to get it done. These are both strong plays and I wouldn’t be afraid to throw this into a parlay. Back the under to cash, and put some extra money in your back pocket.

Nicholls Colonels vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Against The Spread Pick

The Kansas State Wildcats have a lot of question marks heading into the season with new head coach Chris Klieman and this isn’t going to be a Nicholls team that is going to roll over and give them an easy win in this game. The Wildcats are led by quarterback Skyler Thompson and this is his team, but I am not so sure that is a great thing. Last season he lacked confidence, and even against Nicholls, I think he could struggle. This is a Nicholls team that beat Kansas last year and is ranked in the top 25 of the FCS this year. I think their defense will do enough to keep them in this game and cover the spread. Back Nicholls plus the 23.5 points.

Over Under Pick

For Nicholls to stay in this game the defense is going to need to be good, and I think they are going to make life tough on Thompson. Even though at times the Wildcats defense wasn’t great last year, Klieman prides himself on a tough defense. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game finished with a final score of 17-10 and it probably won’t make the Wildcats fans very happy. The play in this game is with the under.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Against The Spread Pick

The TCU Horned Frogs are the much better team in this game the one thing that does concern me is that they are playing the Purdue Boilermakers in their next game. The Horned Frogs also really haven’t figured out what exactly what they are doing at quarterback. Alex Delton has been announced as the starter but true freshman Max Duggan is also expected to play early in the game. I think switching quarterbacks will hurt some of their offensive flow and that will allow the Golden Lions to do enough to cover the spread.

Over Under Pick

This is a total I would stay away from because it’s hard to predict what pace the Horned Frogs will play with when they switch quarterbacks. I do think the Golden Lions are going to have problems scoring which makes it a lean to the under, but I would stay away from this bet, and honestly would bet this entire game very lightly.


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