Free College Football Picks: Baylor vs. Texas Tech Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 11/13/2013
Two explosive passing offenses meet up for a Texas-sized showdown at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It should be more than a little fun to watch.
Baylor certainly made a statement last time out. Despite their impressive 7-0 start, their critics were quick to point out that the teams they had dismantled were far from an impressive group — when West Virginia is the best team you have beaten, you haven’t really beaten anyone. Oklahoma was their first chance to prove that they were legitimate, and their 29-point win made it harder to be disrespectful of this team. The fun has just begun, though. With Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas looming over the last month of the season, Baylor has no shortage of remaining tests, and they can’t afford to falter even a little bit if they want to keep their dim BCS Championship Game hopes alive.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, is looking to recapture some of their early magic. They won their first seven games — an improbable start by any measure — but have since dropped three straight. They lost at Oklahoma then at home to Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Following this game they have a Saturday off and then a Thursday night date in Austin to finish off their year, so they have only two chances to end the first year of the Kingsbury era on a high note. Winning this game would certainly make a statement.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Betting Storylines
One of the biggest stories here is the quarterback matchup. Neither side has a wealth of experience at the position, but the two teams have had varying success under center recently. Baylor’s Bryce Petty is a junior, but he had just thrown 14 passes over his career heading into the season. He certainly hasn’t looked raw. In fact, his stats are stunning — 21 touchdowns with just one pick while completing over two-thirds of his passes and an incredible 13.15 yards per passing attempt. He’s a quarterback in a zone, and he currently sits fourth in Heisman futures betting at 12/1 behind only Winston, McCarron and Manziel.
Texas Tech may win a Heisman at some point under Kliff Kingsbury, but it sure won’t be this year. They have started two freshmen quarterbacks and have yet to name a starter this week as I write this. Baker Mayfield has some success early, but he missed four games with a knee injury. Davis Webb took over for him and started last week before being replaced by a healthy Mayfield. Both guys have talent but look increasingly like the freshmen they are. They have combined to throw three more touchdowns than Petty, but they have also thrown 15 more interceptions. Under Kingsbury’s system they throw a whole lot, and the rewards come with obvious risks.
Despite their inexperience, though, Texas Tech has the top passing game in the country with 408.2 yards per game — proof that they don’t let mistakes or setbacks interrupt their game plan. Baylor is not far behind at 390.6 yards per game, which is good enough for third in the country. Needless to say, we are going to see some fireworks in this one. The biggest difference, though, is that Texas Tech has no choice but to throw, while Baylor has the luxury of balance — Baylor is ninth in the country with 295 rushing yards per game, while Texas Tech averages more than 170 yards per game less on the ground and ranks just 105th.
Petty is going to be missing a favorite target in this one. Receiver Tevin Reese dislocated his wrist in the last game and is out at least for the rest of the regular season. Reese was second on the team in receptions but tops with an impressive 25 yards per reception. He’ll certainly be missed. However, while he had 33 receptions on the year, five other receivers have at least 13, so Petty shouldn’t face a receiver shortage. This story has received a lot of coverage in the last week, so it would be easy to overcompensate for the loss.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech College Football Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Baylor favored by four touchdowns at home. More than 70 percent of bets have come in on the Bears, yet the line has dropped slightly to 27 points — a sign that early sharp money was on the underdog. The total opened at 84.5 points and has, not surprisingly, climbed slightly to 85 points.
Texas Tech has gone “over” the total in each of their last six games. The over is 5-2-1 for Baylor this year. Baylor is 7-1 ATS on the year, and they have faced, and covered, spreads bigger than this one six times already. Texas Tech is just 1-4 ATS in their last five, and they are just 1-2 ATS as underdogs — though they have never been given more than seven points this year.
Free College Football Picks: Baylor vs. Texas Tech Predictions
This is a whole lot of points to give up. Baylor has shown time and again, though, that they are up to the challenge. Texas Tech is a program I respect, but they are getting worn down, and the realities of a young quarterback and a lot of changes under a new coaching regime are starting to hit home. There is some concern that Baylor could take a step backwards and suffer a letdown after their big Oklahoma win. Art Briles has this team fired up, though, and they are very talented. I don’t like giving up four touchdowns, but I have no choice here. Baylor is the better team by far, and they are the pick.
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