College Football Betting: Baylor/TCU Game Injury Update & Free Pick

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 5:29 PM GMT

Our college football analyst provides us with an injury update pertaining to tonight's game between Baylor & TCU. Go inside to read his informative betting preview followed by his free pick.

Friday 11/27 Injury Updates
Jarrett Stidham (broken ankle) has been officially ruled out for the season. That means will see sophomore Chris Johnson at quarterback for Baylor on Friday. This will be Johnson’s first career start. Johnson was terrific in last Saturday’s win over previously unbeaten Oklahoma State. He had 138 yards passing, threw for two touchdowns, and ran for a touchdown after entering in the second half. The Bears also may be without junior running back Shock Linwood (knee/angle) who’s run for 1240 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Linwood is listed as questionable, and in all likelihood will be a game time decision.

TCU star quarterback Trevone Boykin is now probable for tonight’s game.  Boykin was sidelined by an ankle injury during first quarter action against Kansas two weeks ago, and missed last Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma. Despite missing the last 7 quarters of action, Boykin has amassed 3426 yards passing, thrown for 29 touchdowns, rushed for 596 yards, and ran for 6 more touchdowns this season. The Horned Frogs offense is unequivocally better with Boykin running the show.

Final Thoughts and Pick
It seems whomever Art Briles plugs in at quarterback the Baylor offense doesn’t miss a beat. I fully expect that to be the case on Friday with Johnson under center. TCU will surely be given a huge boost due to Boykin’s return. However, I have very little faith in the Horned Frogs defense. My lean here goes to the road team for one of my college football picks.

College Football Pick: Play on Baylor +1.5 at Bookmaker

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Friday Night Lights Shine Brightly in BIG-12
TCU (9-2) will host Baylor (9-1) on Friday night in a battle of two elite BIG-12 teams. The opening kickoff at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas is slated for 7:30 PM ET. The game will be aired nationally by ESPN. At the time of this writing, college football odds board had Baylor as a 1.5 point favorite at 5Dimes, and there was no posted total to be found at any of the major sportsbooks. Baylor handed TCU their only loss last season, overcoming a 21 point fourth quarter deficit, and coming away with a scintillating 61-58 win. That loss ultimately cost TCU a spot in the college football playoff.

 

Quarterback Injuries and Uncertainties
There’s a good reason why a lot of the sportsbooks didn’t opt to put out an early line in this game. There’s a lot of uncertainty pertaining to key players availability, and specifically so at the all important quarterback position. The Horned Frogs starting signal caller Trevone Boykin has missed the last 7 quarters of action with ankle injury, and is listed as questionable for Friday’s game. In his absence, TCU struggled as a 46.0 point favorite against Kansas, and narrowly escaped with a 20-14 win. Then last week they showed a lot of character as a double digit underdog at Oklahoma, nearly erasing a 30-13 fourth quarter deficit, before falling short in a 30-29 loss. TCU opted to attempt a two point conversion and failed, following a 14 yard touchdown pass with just 0:51 left to play in the game. Boykin has completed 65.7% of his pass attempts this season for 3426 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions. Boykin has also run for 596 yards and 8 touchdowns as well.  The Horned Frogs will also be without leading wide receiver Josh Doctson who was lost to a season ending injury. Doctson was in the midst of a massive year with 78 receptions for 1328 yards, and 14 touchdowns.

Baylor lost their starting quarterback Seth Russell to a neck injury earlier this season. At the time of his injury, Russell had thrown 29 touchdown passes against just 6 picks while engineering Baylor’s high octane offensive attack. Backup Jarrett Stidham was doing a marvelous job of filling in, and then he was injured in the second half of last Saturday’s 45-35 win over then unbeaten Oklahoma State. Third string sophomore quarterback Chris Johnson came in and did a tremendous job, throwing for two scores, and running for another. If I didn’t know any better, it appeared to be a reincarnation of Robert Griffin III at quarterback for Baylor. With Russell being out for the year and Stidham listed as questionable with an ankle injury, we very well may see Johnson under center for the Bears on Friday.

 

Final Thoughts
This is a game I’m not going to be jumping on too early. I’m not so concerned with who will be at quarterback for Baylor, because I think Stidham or Johnson is equally capable of doing a more than respectable job. However, the status of Boykin for TCU is a whole other story. The Horned Frogs offense is unequivocally better with Boykin running the show. At this juncture, my small lean would be on Baylor, but I’m not ready to firmly commit to them as being one of my college football picks as of yet.