Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas Longhorns Prediction 11/29/19
Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-7 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Texas Longhorns (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS)
When: Friday, November 29, Noon EST
Where: Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
Point Spread: TTU +10/TEX -10 (Best Bonus)
Total: O/U 63.5
Outlook For Week 14
Lone Star Showdown, you are not. The Big 12 keeps trying to make this rivalry happen ever since Texas A&M bailed on it for the SEC and left Texas without a real rival. Texas Tech has done its part to try to make this a real rivalry by beating the Longhorns in each of its past two trips to Austin, but it’s just not the same. A sign of how minor this rivalry is compared to Texas vs. Texas A&M: I didn’t even know there was a trophy attached to this game until I started researching it. Apparently, the teams play for the Chancellor’s Spurs.
The Spurs have gone to the road team in each of the past four meetings, and if Texas can’t pull itself out of this funk it’s been in since the Oklahoma game, there’s a decent chance that Tech can make it five straight. Then again, the Red Raiders enter with no bowl hopes after losing back-to-back games in Lubbock by a combined five points to TCU and Kansas State, and they also represent Kansas’ only victim in Big 12 play. That said, the Longhorns don’t have any room to brag, considering they were a missed field goal away from losing to the Jayhawks at home and are kind of fortunate even to be bowl eligible at this point.
In short: these are two teams who are heading in the wrong direction as the holiday season approaches.
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How the Public is Betting the Texas Tech/Texas Game
Even though Texas is coming off a two-touchdown loss at Baylor, the public still thinks the Longhorns can get it turned around for Texas Tech, giving Texas an extra point from the minus-9 the line started at. The over/under has dropped, however, falling from 65 to 63.5.
Wide receiver Dalton Rigdon missed the loss to Kansas State with concussion-like symptoms and is questionable against Texas.
Wide receiver Devin Duvernay is questionable with an unspecified injury. Running back Keaontay Ingram sprained his ankle against Baylor and is questionable, while linebacker Juwan Mitchell is out with a hamstring issue.
When Texas Tech Has the Ball
Boy, could this season have turned out so differently for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have managed to lose four games by three or less, as its offense has been forced into far too many shootouts by a defense that continues to be well below average. Jett Duffey wasn’t supposed to be the man directing the air raid this season, but he’s done a solid job of it in relief of Alan Bowman, throwing 11 touchdowns against three interceptions in his past five games. The interceptions bit the Red Raiders badly last week against K-State, but otherwise, Duffey has done a nice job of not losing games for Texas Tech.
As is usually the case for Texas Tech, that’s without the help of a solid ground game. SaRodorick Thompson has been decent carrying the ball, gaining 679 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns, but he is very much the second or even a later option for the Red Raider offense. Duffey actually utilizes several weapons in his attack, as six Red Raiders— including Thompson — have snagged at least 25 passes in 2019.
When Texas Has the Ball
Sorry, Sam Ehlinger, but no, Texas isn’t back. The Longhorns got off to a fantastic start to 2019 by winning two warmup games and losing to an LSU squad that might be the best in the nation, but since getting into Big 12 play, Texas has played to the level of its competition. Until last week’s loss to Baylor, every game the Longhorns had played inside the league has been decided by 11 points or less, which might work well when it comes to excitement, but isn’t really a great way to return Texas to dominance.
That said, outside of the TCU loss where he threw four interceptions, it’s hard to blame Ehlinger for what has gone wrong. He’s thrown three times as many touchdowns as he has picks this season, and he’s close to beating last season’s total in yardage. However, he hasn’t played quite as well in the past three weeks. He did toss three touchdowns at Iowa State, but it was the second of three straight games where he had under 300 yards passing, and his completion percentage was a rather subpar 55 percent. In fact, there’s been a direct trend with Ehlinger’s completions and the Longhorns’ results. When Ehlinger completes at least 70 percent of his passes, Texas is 5-0. When he doesn’t, the Longhorns are 1-5, and the one win was over a very mediocre West Virginia squad.
Unlike Texas Tech, the Longhorns don’t really spread the ball around. If he plays, look for Devin Duvernay to be the main target for Ehlinger, as he has caught 97 passes this year for 1,095 yards. No other Longhorn has more than 35 catches, which could really stymie Texas if Duvernay can’t go.
Covering at home hasn’t been something the Longhorns do lately. Nor has covering in November. Texas is just 1-4 ATS in its past five in Austin, and the Longhorns are 4-9-1 ATS in their previous 14 November games. However, they’ve got the right opponent for turning those trends around, as the Red Raiders are just 2-5 ATS away from Lubbock.
Historically, though, this matchup greatly favors Texas Tech, as the road team has covered in each of the past five meetings. On the other side of the coin, however, Tech’s success against Texas is very recent, as the Longhorns had covered six straight against the Red Raiders until Texas Tech finally broke through in 2015 in Austin.
When betting the points, Texas Tech has tended to hit the over, but that trend hasn’t applied when facing Texas. The Red Raiders pushed or went over the number in seven of eight games this year, but against Texas, the under has hit in five of the past seven meetings.
Black Friday will be cloudy and warm in the Texas state capital, with temperatures projected to hit 79 degrees.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
With two teams going in the wrong direction, I really don’t want to give 10 points. I especially don’t want to give 10 points with Texas, which has won just three games by double digits this year: Louisiana Tech, Rice, and West Virginia. Louisiana Tech is a decent mid-major, Rice is not, and West Virginia would probably be in the Big 12 basement if it had played Kansas in November instead of September.
Contrast that with Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have lost five of six, but all but Iowa State was decided by three or less, and the loss to the Cyclones was by exactly 10 points. The only Big 12 team to blow out Tech was Oklahoma, and there is nothing that suggests to me that Texas can do what the Sooners did.
Tech will probably end the year with another aggravating loss because that’s just what the Red Raiders do, but they’re going to go down fighting. This contest feels like a battle to the final play, so give me the 10 points with the Red Raiders.