The Baylor Bears will look for their first win of the season when they host the Texas Longhorns. Kickoff is set for noon EST on Saturday, October 28 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The Longhorns are listed as 7.5-point favorites on the road. However, Texas opened at -10, so early betting has favored Baylor. The over/under for the game is 55.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.

Baylor vs Texas Point Spread Preview

Texas is undoubtedly the best 3-4 team in the country. Their losses include a 3-point overtime loss at USC, a 5-point loss to Oklahoma, and last week’s 3-point overtime loss against Oklahoma State. 

Nevertheless, the Longhorns need to win three of their last five games just to get to a bowl game. That schedule includes two games against ranked teams. To make matters worse, quarterback Sam Ehlinger is in concussion protocol and questionable to play against Baylor. If he can’t go, Shane Buechele will get the start on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Baylor is out of bowl contention after losing their first seven games of the season. Last week’s loss to West Virginia was their closest of the season. The Bears came roaring back in the 4th quarter but ended up a 2-point conversion shy of forcing overtime. 

For a while, Baylor had taken control of this rivalry. But the Longhorns have beat Baylor the past two seasons. Texas will now look to make it a three-game losing streak against the Bears and give their bowl hopes a boost at the same time.

Free Pick & Betting Predictions: Texas -7.5

The uncertainty surrounding Ehlinger is no doubt the biggest reason why public betting has favored the Bears. But that’s not enough for me to side with Baylor. The Longhorns are better than their record indicates. With the spread moving the other way, I’ll lean toward Texas to cover.

Even if Buechele starts against Baylor, the Longhorns will be in good hands. Remember, he started the team’s win over Iowa State, a win that looks good with the Cyclones now in the top 25. Obviously, the Texas defense was the star of that 17-7 win, but Buechele managed the game well and put the Longhorns in a good position to win the game.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

In that game, Buechele was facing a stout Iowa State defense, which won’t be the case against Baylor. The Bears are giving up nearly 40 points per game, making them one of the worst defensive teams in the country. Baylor has held a team under 30 points just once in seven games this year. Regardless of who starts at quarterback for Texas, I expect the Longhorns to have a good showing offensively.

At the same time, the Texas defense is also capable of shutting down Baylor’s offense. The Longhorns held the high-powered Oklahoma State offense to just 10 points in regulation last week. If they can do that against the Cowboys, the Baylor offense may have trouble doing much against the Longhorns. In his last three games, Baylor quarterback Zach Smith has just one touchdown pass and two interceptions. 

Even on the road, the Texas defense is capable of putting forth a strong effort and shutting down a team like Baylor that has little left to play for this season. I don’t see the Bears doing much offensively, and so even a modest performance from the Texas offense should be enough to cover a spread that’s barely a touchdown.