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TCU vs. Baylor Football Pick with Analysis

9/2/11

Baylor hosts TCU on Friday in the opener for each team. Oddsmakers opened TCU as a  -6.5 point favorite and the betting public has come in on the side of Baylor dropping that number to as low as -4 at some shops. The total is 56.

Why the lover affair with Baylor? Well, the Baylor Bears figure to be a team on the rise. They won 7 games last year and even beat Texas. They return just about their entire offense and a good number on the defense as well. So, hopes are high. They face a TCU team that lost quite a few players from last years Rose Bowl Champion team. The betting public sees a team on the rise vs. a team on the decline, hence the early line move.

But we're not sold on Baylor in this spot. We prefer to see proof first. Because let's face it, while they won 7 games last year, they still weren't very good. They were plastered by every ranked team they faced including TCU, who beat them 45-10. They were able to put points on the board to the tune of 31 points per game, however the defense gave up as much as the offense got, 31 points per game.

Baylor is a team that has not won more than 5 games in any given year over the last decade with the exception of last year. On the other hand, TCU, in that same time frame has four 11 win seasons, a twelve win season and last year, 13-0. Now granted, Baylor, in the Big 12, has played a much tougher schedule than TCU. However, Baylor has rarely been competitive against the upper class while TCU has not only been competitive, they have beaten them. BYU, Air Force, Utah, Clemson and Wisconsin have all been on the TCU hit list over the last few years.

You have to ask yourself, has Baylor improved that much, and has TCU fallen that far, in one year, to change that 45-10 margin of a year ago? We don't expect another 45-10 game, but were also not so sure that Baylor has closed the gap to just 4 points. They still have their work cut out for them while TCU recruits well and seems to fill the holes just fine. This isn't the first year over the last decade that TCU has lost key starters at key skill positions.

The line move puts  that value on the side of the Horned Frogs here. For now, we'll put this out there as a strong opinion on TCU -4 but if the number continues to drop we may bite for real. TCU -4

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