2019 Baylor Bears College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 7-6
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Matt Rhule was a revelation in his second season in Waco. After suffering through a disastrous 1-11 first year, he turned things around, getting the Bears to seven wins and a bowl game. It was one of the best turnarounds in the country and has Bears backers excited about what is to come as the team seeks out a ninth bowl game in 10 years.
They key for this season may be the continued growth of quarterback Charlie Brewer. The junior took over the job full time last season and threw for 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns. While those numbers are a bit modest by Big 12 standards, Brewer was solid in Rhule's more conservative attack.
Brewer does lose leading receiver Jalen Hurd. But Baylor has six of its top seven wideouts back, and the team also welcomes back its top three rushers. Defensively, seven of the top eight tacklers return to the fold.
Baylor has 15 total starters back and 12 senior starters. They are one of the more experienced squads in the Big 12, and they are set on the offensive and defensive lines. Now they just need more production out of the trenches. The offensive line surrendered 39 sacks while the defensive line managed just 25. That won't cut it in Rhule's blue-collar system.
Now they just need to get more efficient on both sides of the ball. They were No. 91 in the country on offensive in finishing drives (points per trip inside the 40), and they were No. 82 on defense.
SFA, UTSA and at Rice to start. They should be at least 5-1 when they head to Oklahoma State (either lose at home to Iowa State or at Kansas State). They should get 7 wins, and more if they can pull an upset over at OSU, at TCU Oklahoma or Texas (who they host in b2b weeks).
The opening of league play may be a season-defining stretch for the Bears. They host Iowa State and Texas Tech around a trip to Kansas State. They should be favored in at least two of those games and if they can win a couple (with one loss) they should be at least 5-1 when they head to Oklahoma State on Oct. 19.
After another bye, they host rebuilding West Virginia on a Thursday night. That should get them to six wins. A season-ending game at Kansas should be win No. 7. That means that to get to eight wins the Bears need to spring an upset at Oklahoma State, at TCU or at home against Oklahoma and Texas, whom they play in back-to-back weeks in November.
I think that they can do it. This year's team should be better than last year's, which went 7-6 despite being -9 in turnover differential. I have them at 8-4 in the regular season, and I would play this one 'over'.
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