The Baylor Bears have the best record in the Big 12, but find themselves sitting in second place in the conference standings. Texas has played six conference games with a 6-0 record while the Bears have played five. They will be seeking a tie for first in the conference with a win this week when they face the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Bears have an 8-0 record overall, and rank No. 5 in the country.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders come into this weeks matchup with a 7-3 overall record. Conference play has not been kind, with all three of their losses coming against Big 12 opponents. The last three weeks the Red Raiders have played Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, all of which resulted in losses. The Red Raiders are listed as the road ream, but this is a neutral field matchup so the Bears will not have home field advantage.
Kick-off takes place on Saturday at 7:00 PM ET with television coverage being provided by FOX. According to the oddsmakers Baylor should have no problem winning this game. The Bears are listed as 26.5-point favorites over the Red Raiders.
Why Texas Tech Covers
Texas Tech has seen no shortage of scoring this season. They are averaging 37.8 points per game overall, and 40.5 points per game when playing on the road. The offense is accumulating an average of 530 yards per game in the process. They are definitely a team that has a strong pass bias, averaging 32 running plays and 57 pass attempts of their 89 total offensive plays. On the ground they are gaining 122 yards per game, but the Bears stout front seven will ensure they don’t see a lot of success in that area. The Red Raiders ability to throw the ball is their biggest advantage in this game. The Bears have faced primarily run heavy teams. The Red Raiders complete 67.4% of their pass attempts on the road for 417 yards per game. They will be the first real test of the season for Baylor’s secondary.
The Red Raiders have responded well to a loss in the past. They are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a double-digit loss at home.
The defense is in for a workout this week, but they don’t have to play great for Texas Tech to cover this spread. The Red Raiders are receiving four touchdowns, which is a very large number when you consider the fact that they should be able to keep pace with the Bears offensively assuming they don’t turn the ball over. With the exception of last weeks game against Oklahoma, Baylor has faced a fairly soft schedule this season. I think the Bears defensive numbers may be a bit misleading, while the difficult schedule for Texas Tech means we can expect just what we have seen all season from the Red Raiders. If that holds up, there won’t be many scenarios where the Bears can cover such a large number unless they get a defensive or special teams touchdown.
Why Baylor Covers
There is no denying the fact that Texas Tech is a very strong team offensively. However, they do not even compare to this Baylor team that averages 61 points per game this season. The Red Raiders may put up 530 yards of offense, but they are still being out-gained by over 150 yards per game by the Bears. Baylor averages 284 rushing yards per game on six yards per carry. They face a Red Raiders defense that as allowed 171 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry against opponents that typically only average 147 rushing yards per game. That indicates the Red Raiders run defense is extremely soft, which means the nation’s top offense from Baylor will have a key matchup advantage in this game.
The Baylor Bears are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games against conference opponents.
The Bears defense has not been tested as often as Texas Tech, but if last weeks game over Oklahoma is any indication they should be up for the task this week. The Bears held a top ranked Oklahoma team to just 12 points on 87 rushing yards and 150 passing yards. The secondary has held opposing quarterbacks to a 44.1% completion percentage this season, giving up a mere 174 passing yards per game. I don’t know that they will match those phenomenal numbers this week against the Red Raiders, but they certainly won’t allow Texas Tech to match their statistical averages on the season. The Red Raider’s running game should also struggle against Baylor. The Bears have held opponents to 132 rushing yards per game on 44 carries. That is an average of just three yards per carry allowed, which speaks volumes about just how talented the Bears defense is this season.
Baylor is simply unstoppable offensively, and their defense is one of the most undervalued in college football this season. They should easily win this game by four touchdowns or more. Texas Tech was overrated coming into conference play, and we have seen just how mediocre the Red Raiders are over the past three weeks. Lay the points with the Bears in this game.
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