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SBR Staff

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:26 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 8:26 PM GMT

The Baylor Bears host the Rice Owls this Saturday in what we expect to be a high scoring matchup. Let's review the betting odds & serve a free college football pick for this matchup.

Baylor Offense is a Recipe for Betting Success
Since head coach Art Briles took over Baylor in 2007, the Bears have concocted perhaps the perfect blend of pace and efficiency on offense, the betting market finding it difficult to keep up when projecting game totals. During this time, the OVER is 38-14 when Baylor closes as a game favorite, 22-8 at home.

In 2014, Baylor was the most up-tempo offense in college football (FBS), running a play every 18 seconds. They aren't beating teams with their defense—that's a given. Significant here is the fact that offense more so than defense determines the pace of play in football, and when Baylor is favored in a contest, the speed and effectiveness of its unit is going to dictate the over-under outcome more so than their opponents.

In 2014, the Bears scored .514 points per play, 11th best nationally. Couple this efficiency with the team's lightning pace, and you get a team that averaged 48.2 points as College Football Odds betting favorites last season, slightly more than the 46.4 they put up for the year. Also important here is that Baylor's up-tempo offense typically forces opposing teams to speed up as well, allowing them to score more points than expected in the totals' market. Since 2007, the underdog has scored more than their projected team total 60 percent of the time against the Bears; in 2014, opponents were 8-4 surpassing the mark, despite Briles having his most efficient defensive unit ever in Waco, giving up 14.6 points to opponents per play.

 

Rice vs. Baylor
Baylor hosts Rice this weekend, one of the nation's slowest in pace of play last season with an average of 27.2 seconds per snap. The Bears are 35-point favorites, and early offshore totals are offered at an eye-popping 76 points. The Owls lead the nation in time of possession coming into the contest, as they like to control the clock. They are young and inexperienced, but have shown the ability to score points behind senior quarterback Driphus Jackson. In 2015, the Owls rank 34th in passing yards per attempt (7.9). The total has gone OVER is each of their three games this season.

Baylor scores 58.7 points per game when double-digit home favorites during Briles' tenure. Expect the Bears to put up a similar number on Saturday against an Owls defense that is allowing 9.6 yards per pass attempt so far in 2015, 118th worst in the FBS. Not considering Rice's first game in which it blew out the lowly Wagner Seahawks 56-16, the defense has gone up against some less-than-prolific passing offenses to boot—North Texas ranked 111th (6.0) and Texas 102nd (6.2) in passing yards per attempt in 2014. Last year, Baylor ranked 8th in the nation in yards per pass attempt with 8.8, and enters this matchup 2nd in the nation with 13.2.

 

College Football Pick
I'll be leaning the Bears 'Over'  all season when favored in the NFL betting market. This weekend is no exception. Baylor is coming off a bye week, and will be sharp. The 'Over', in fact, is 11-2 when Briles' Bears enter the game with more rest than their opponent, 7-0 as a favorite. Until Baylor's offense slows down or shows ineffectiveness over an extended period of time, one should reap the rewards and add this betting line to Saturday's College Football Picks.

 

Projected Final Score: 62-21

College Football Pick: Over 76 at BetOnline

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