NCAAF Week 9 Predictions - Baylor Bears vs Texas Longhorns

Quarterback Shane Buechele #7 of the Texas Longhorns

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 9:19 PM GMT

A tough second half of the season begins on the road for Baylor as the Bears head to Austin as favorites on the NCAA football odds to take on the slumping Texas Longhorns.

Season: 16-18-2 (-3.10)

When things cranked up in early September, the Big 12 was supposed to be a battle between Oklahoma and TCU. Instead, it's the Baylor Bears who have risen to the top of the heap as they head into the toughest part of their schedule.

Baylor takes its perfect mark and top-10 ranking on the road Saturday in Austin against the Texas Longhorns (3:30 PM ET). A packed house is expected at Memorial Stadium on what is shaping up to be a warm, muggy afternoon in the Texas capital, and it's the Bears laying the points, 5Dimes sending Baylor out -3.

Scoreboard players are currently looking at 69 points, the total bouncing between 68½ and 70 during the wagering proceedings.


'Horns Hoping For Some Home Cooking

A season that began in so much turmoil has settled into a fine campaign for Baylor (6-0 straight up, 2-4 against the spread). The Bears have been favored in all six games, lined as 33 point chalk or more in four of them, and while they have had trouble covering those numbers, Jim Grobe's guys have really only had one close call, that coming earlier this month in Ames where they rallied for a 45-42 win over Iowa State, not near enough to cover -17 on the NCAA football odds.

Chris Callahan kicked the field goal to beat the Cyclones, and he is the biggest question mark Baylor has coming into this game. The junior is questionable because of a suspension, meaning freshman Connor Martin would step in if Grobe makes Callahan sit this one out.

We keep expecting Charlie Strong and Texas (3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS) to take a step forward, and it still isn't happening. Now in their third year under Strong, the Longhorns appear headed for their 3rd-straight losing season unless things turn around the next month or so. If there's any hope for Texas this weekend, it can be found in the home/away column; the 'Horns are 3-0 in Austin, covering the number in each victory, with all four defeats coming away from home.


Visitors Have Been Returning The Cash In Rivalry

So, Texas owns this rivalry, which really wasn't much of one for nearly 110 years, but it's Baylor coming on recently to turn it the matchup into some good theater. The Longhorns are up 75-26-4 overall, dominating the series with long winning streaks, while the Bears check in with victories in four of the last six, 2-1 in by good Austin.

That is how this series has gone for college football bettors lately, road teams covering six of the last eight. There's a 3-year run for the 'under' in this clash, totals ranging from 58-71 in that span, and short bettors on totals are 25-11 in Texas' last 36 Big 12 collisions.

I mentioned earlier the Austin forecast calls for warm temps, the thermometer climbing into the upper-80s and probably 90º or higher down on the field, so we'll see if that leads to frequent substitution on both sides of the ball.

Baylor's offense, which ranks ninth in scoring (43.7 ppg) and fourth in yards (549.2 ppg), could really wear the Texas defense down, that Longhorns stop unit ranking 98th and 94th in the same two columns. I do like the Bears but will stick with the 'under' trends for my free college football pick.

Free College Football Pick: Under 69

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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