Undefeated Baylor to Cover vs. Texas for College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Thursday, October 2, 2014 1:54 PM GMT

Texas once owned the rivalry with Baylor, but the Bears have taken three of the last four meetings. Baylor is a two-touchdown favorite over the Longhorns for 103rd meeting in this series, Saturday in Austin.

The Betting Odds
The college football odds on this game has fluctuated; most books opened Baylor at around -13, bumped the Bears to upwards of -17, but have since dropped that spread down to 15, which is where it sat as of Thursday morning. The total was being proffered at around 57.

Those who think the 'Horns might pull the upset here can get a price of +475 at 5Dimes.

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Bears-'Horns Game Set-Up
Baylor is 4-0 both SU and ATS this season, beating up on a weak schedule. The Bears opened with a 45-0 victory over SMU, covering at -31; they then bounced Northwestern State 70-6, covering at -47; they then won at Buffalo 63-21, covering at -33 on the road; and last week Baylor won at Iowa State 49-28, squeaking out the cover as a 20-point road favorite.

The Bears had the spread covered last week by midway through the second quarter, and eventually outgained the Cyclones 601-339.

Baylor leads all of FBS in total yardage at 641 yards per game and in scoring at 57 points per game, but of course those numbers have been helped by playing that very weak schedule.

Texas is 2-2 SU, and somewhat surprisingly 3-1 ATS. The Longhorns opened the Coach Strong era with a 38-7 victory over North Texas, covering as 20-point favorites, but they then lost at home to BYU 41-7, whiffing on the spread as one-point favorites. Texas then lost to the UCLA Bruins in Arlington 20-17, covering as eight-point underdogs, but the Bruins were without their starting quarterback. And last week the 'Horns opened Big 12 play with a 23-0 victory at lowly Kansas, covering at -10.

Texas outgained the Jayhawks, but only by a 329-313 margin, and got outrushed 173-111. The 'Horns were helped along by four interceptions from Kansas Quarterback Montell Cozart.

Texas got outgained by BYU 433-258, and by UCLA 443-322.

 

Bears-Longhorns Recent History
Texas had beaten Baylor 16 out of 17 meetings up through 2009, but the Bears have won three of the last four meetings, including a 30-10 victory last year that clinched the Big 12 title.

Last year's game was tied at 3-3 at halftime, but Baylor broke loose, scoring the next 17 points, then scored the last 10 to cover the spread as 16-point favorites. The Bears outgained the Longhorns that day 508-217.

 

Bears-Longhorns Betting Trends
Texas is 0-4 ATS in its last four games as home dogs.

The Bears are 3-1 on the totals this season.

Texas is 1-3 on the totals this season.

 

Injury Update
Texas lost senior QB David Ash to concussion(s), so sophomore Tyrone Swoopes has stepped in and performed admirably, completing 64 percent of his throws, with five TD passes and just one interception. The Longhorns are also down two starting offensive linemen, not to mention all the kids Coach Strong has kicked off the team.

 

Bears-'Horns Free College Football Picks
Baylor is shooting for a conference championship, and perhaps a berth in the college football playoffs, while Texas is a work in progress. The 'Horns are also banged-up and thin. And style points still count, regardless of what some say, so Coach Briles, if given the chance, might run the score up on this one. So we'll give the points and go with the Bears for our free college football pick in this spot.