Barking Dog: Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns Pick
Baylor Bears (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Texas Longhorns (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS)
When: Friday, November 25, at Noon
Where: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
Point Spread: BAY +8.5/TEX -8.5 (Reduced Juice: Read about it, embrace it, get it, LOVE it! Best thing since sliced bread!)
Total: O/U 55.5
After putting together a complete performance against Kansas last week, Texas still hopes to play for a Big 12 title and get another shot at TCU. But to do that, they’ll first have to take care of business against Baylor and then hope that Kansas can rebound from getting flattened last week and upset Kansas State. Given that the Jayhawks are 1-15 in Manhattan since 1990, that doesn’t seem particularly likely, but Texas can still claim third place in the Big 12 with a win here, even if it doesn’t get the help it needs from the Jayhawks.
Whether the Longhorns are able to do that depends on how well Baylor responds to last week’s disappointment. The Bears could have put themselves in a position to finish third and ended TCU’s national championship hopes, but the Horned Frogs knocked Baylor off with a walk-off field goal, leaving Baylor on the wrong end of a 29-28 score. The Bears already have a bowl locked up, so there’s not a ton to play for on the surface. But this might be Baylor’s final trip to Austin with Texas’ pending move to the SEC, so there won’t be any shortage of motivation for Baylor to ruin Texas’ chances and put K-State in the Big 12 title game before the Wildcats even kick off Saturday.
How the Public is Betting the Baylor/Texas Game
The public thinks that the line is too high as it is, but the sharps are riding with the Longhorns. Despite 62% of tickets coming in on the Bears, the spread has jumped from -7.5 to -8.5, with the total dipping from 56 to 55.5.
Wide receiver Gavin Holmes (leg) is probable. Tight end Drake Dabney (leg) and running back Taye McWilliams (undisclosed) are out.
Running back Roschon Johnson (undisclosed) is questionable. Wide receiver Jaden Alexis (knee), tight end Brayden Liebrock (shoulder), wide receiver Isaiah Neyor (knee), and offensive lineman Junior Angilau (knee) are out.
When Baylor Has the Ball
If the ground game looks like it did against TCU, Baylor’s got a good shot to pull this one out. If it’s closer to how it looked against Kansas State, this isn’t going to go well at all. The Bears hung with TCU largely because Craig Williams ripped off 5.9 yards per carry and rushed for 112 yards against the Frogs. The rest of the Bears were no slouches either, as the team averaged five yards per carry and kept possession for 34 minutes of action.
Against Kansas State, that didn’t happen. The Wildcats shut down the Bears’ ground game and only allowed Baylor 22:23 of possession, forcing the game into Blake Shapen’s hands. That didn’t work out, as Shapen tossed a pair of interceptions, and the Wildcats crushed Baylor by a 31-3 count. Texas defends both the run and the pass reasonably well, and the Longhorns limited Kansas to just 3.5 yards per carry in their win a week ago. The Jayhawks are far more run-dependent than Baylor, but the Bears cannot afford to only scratch out so few yards per carry. If they aren’t finding holes, they’re in big trouble here.
When Texas Has the Ball
The less Quinn Ewers has to do, the better. Running back Bijan Robinson has rushed for just 213 yards fewer than Ewers has passing yards, as Texas really only puts the ball in the air when the ground attack gets stifled. Against Kansas, the Longhorns really never had to go away from the ground, as Kansas allowed 7.5 yards per carry and surrendered 55 points. TCU proved much tougher, holding Texas to just 10 points and allowing a mere 1.3 yards per carry for the game. Needless to say, Ewers couldn’t pick up the slack, even with Jordan Whittington catching six balls for 78 yards.
The Bears are a lot like Texas on defense: good against the run, weak against the pass. Baylor only gives up 131.2 yards per game on the ground and held Kendre Miller in check for the entire game against TCU. Baylor likely understands that it has no shot of beating Texas if it can’t get the Longhorns off the field, so look for the Bears to play a defense-heavy game, which fits well with this rivalry.More Picks: Get the money with Loot’s Ducks vs. Beavers Week 13 projected spread winner
If you like offense, you’ve come to the wrong place. These teams know how to stop each other and do it well, as the under has cashed in nine consecutive meetings. The Bears also aren’t intimidated by the idea of playing in Austin, as they’ve covered in five of their past seven trips to Texas. Playing on Friday, however, might bother Baylor; the Bears are 1-5 ATS on the weekday in their past six.
Of course, Texas isn’t very good on Friday either, covering a mere two of nine contests played on Fridays. But the Longhorns do play well at home, covering in five of seven in Austin.
Wind could be an issue here, as winds of 12 miles per hour to the northwest will be sustained throughout the game. Temperatures won’t be; it’s expected to sit at 60 degrees at kickoff.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Baylor has a lot to play for here, even without the carrot of a Big 12 championship game appearance. The Bears want to ruin Texas’ hopes of playing in the Big 12 title game, especially given the hurt feelings that came with the Longhorns’ decision to leave for the SEC. With Baylor getting only one more chance to play Texas next year, this game matters.
As such, I expect a tight contest that doesn’t get decided by more than one score. The Bears aren’t quite as talented as the Longhorns, but they’re better coached, and they should be able to keep this interesting. Give me Baylor and the points. Bet your Week 13 NCAA football predictions for FREE by scoring a 100% real cash bonus up to $300 by entering bonus promo code PREDICT100 at MyBookie Sportsbook!
Doc’s Pac-12 Friday Night Lights
Strong side play selection on Friday night in the PAC-12 Championship Game in Las Vegas. It comes from the Utah – USC game. Jump on board now and start off the weekend with money in your pocket.