Even though the College Football odds aren't out yet for Saturday's clash in Lubbock between Texas and Texas Tech, this expert handicapper will share his free pick and prediciton.
Don't be surprised if you hear a lot of Texas Aggies -- myself included -- cheering for the Texas Longhorns this weekend. As intense as the rivalry between the schools was, and still is, the Maroon & White still have more dislike for the Texas Tech Red Raiders who are hosting the Longhorns on Saturday.
Kickoff in Lubbock will be broadcast by FOX Sports 1 (7:30 PM ET), and a key injury on the Tech side has oddsmakers in a holding pattern. SBR's live college football odds will have the spread along with the total just as soon as they come out.
Texas leads the rivalry by better than 3:1 with a 48-15 mark in a series that began in 1928 when Texas Tech was still in its gridiron infancy and known as the Matadors. The Longhorns have won the last five get-togethers, two of those taking place at Jones Stadium, and covered the most recent four clashes. The 'under' has been a winner four times in Texas' current win streak; the Longhorns are 3-5 O/U on the campaign while the Raiders are a level 4-4.
Swoopes, 'Horns Offense Take Step Back In Manhattan
Following the Texas offense this season might leave some fans and college football bettors a bit queasy with all of the ups and downs, and the past two weeks have been a great example. The Longhorns scored a season-high 48 in a win over Iowa State in Week 8, only to be shut out this past Saturday on the road at Kansas State in a 23-0 loss.
In their defense, sophomore Tyrone Swoopes and the Texas offense were playing one of the country's top defenses with the Wildcats 20th in total yards allowed (329 ypg) and 16th in points (19.3 ppg). Still, it was a very poor showing and continued a pattern of inconsistency and impotency for the unit, and marked the first time Texas had been blanked in a little more than 10 years, a streak that included 131 games and dated to a 12-0 loss to Oklahoma in October 2004.
Perhaps the best news for Strong and the 'Horns is they bring a healthy roster to Lubbock for this battle. The only name worth mentioning is freshman Jason Hall, 10th on the team with 31 tackles, and young DB is probable after twisting a knee against K-State.
Tech Back Home After Disastrous Trip To Cowtown
Everyone on the Red Raiders' sidelines last week suffered at least a bruised ego in the 82-27 setback against the Horned Frogs. Webb threw for 300 yards before injuring his ankle in the third quarter, but also fumbled twice and tossed his 13th interception of the campaign. If he's unable to go against the Longhorns, it means true freshman Patrick Mahomes will be making his first collegiate start.
Davis isn't the only player who might miss seeing action in this one for Texas Tech. Reserve wideout Jordan Davis is also questionable with a concussion that could keep him out a fourth consecutive contest. In addition, three players on the defensive side of the ball are questionable, led by linebacker Sam Eguavoen (leg). The senior out of Garland, Texas is joined on that list by linemen Demetrius Alston (ankle) and Anthony Smith (knee).
Mother Nature may not make it easy for whoever is under center for the Red Raiders, or Swoopes and the kickers as well. The current weather forecast is calling for a SE wind in the 20-25 mph range, along with cloudy skies and temps in the mid-60s at kickoff. Check for updates before making your wager.
With no NCAA football odds out, I'll have to wait to make my official free College Football picks just like everyone else. Texas should be favored whether Webb plays or not, and the Longhorns get my vote in what could be a lower-scoring game than the sports books suggest.
Free College Football Pick: No Line, Lean Texas
Season: 42-27-1 (+12.30)