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At the moment, both of these teams are tied for the lead in the Big 12, but both lost to Oklahoma State and need the Cowboys to lose to book a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. With a small sliver of hope, these teams will come ready to play. The Bears haven't covered in two straight games, yet are still -15 point favorites at home at sportsbook.com
Baylor hasn't looked like the same team lately that demolished Oklahoma a month ago. While they were road games, the Bears got handled by OK State and didn't look all that good in a 41-38 win at TCU last weekend. Now back at home, can they return to dominance? Even if the Cowboys win, Baylor still has an outside shot at a BCS bowl.
It's going to fall on the Baylor defense that hasn't done much lately allowing at least 34 points in three straight games. If they can't stop Texas, this will end up being a close game.
The same can be said about Baylor's offense that hasn't looked all that great in the last two games. Either they are in a funk, or defenses are figuring them out. After scoring just 17 points against OK State, quarterback Bryce Petty followed up the loss with his worst game of the year numbers wise at TCU. He completed 50 percent of his passes for 206 yards with two TDs and his second interception of the year. The ground game wasn't as dominant as usual either, as the team averaged only 3.2 yards per carry. Neither Lache Seastrunk nor Glasco Martin could get anything going. However, through it all the Bears still got the win. They'll need to play a lot better in this game to cover the two touchdown spread.
Texas is not a team to overlook and it showed in their 41-16 win against Texas Tech last weekend. While inconsistent throughout the year, the Longhorns have put up some impressive results including the 36-20 win over Oklahoma.
Obviously, their defense will have a hard time against Baylor, but don't expect the Bears to go for 70 points in this game. They have enough to quality to keep this game in the 30s.
The question will fall on the offense that has only hit the 40-point barrier twice this season in conference play. Case McCoy is in at quarterback and he's a handful for the fan base. You never know what you'll get from him. He broke a streak of five straight games with an interception last week, and that's the only good thing from him. He has 10 TDs to nine INTs on the year and only averages 6.59 yards per pass attempt, meaning he doesn't throw the ball downfield often. Expect the Longhorns to rush a healthy amount with Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. The two combined for 44 carries and 230 yards last week. If they can move the ball on the ground, that means less time for Baylor's offense to score.
This game was a shootout last year with Texas winning at home 56-50. Both teams rushed for 250 yards and passed for at least 270 yards in that game. This year will likely be lower scoring as both have improved defenses.
The Longhorns are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games vs. a team with a winning home record, but only 1-5 ATS in their last six games against Baylor. The Bears are 9-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and have covered in five straight at home. However, the Bears are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games against Texas.
We used Baylor as a Key Release last week and they let us down. We thought for sure that they would bounce back with a statement game win over TCU. They won, but it was far from a statement game. The Baylor defense that shut down the Sooners is nowhere to be found. Based on that defensive play the past two weeks, and taking a look at the Texas Tech/Texas final last week, we see no reason not to back the Longhorns here. This game has shootout written all over it. Last year it was 56-50 with Texas on top. Another score like that wouldn't surprise us and we could very easily see either team here end up on top with the "W".
Once again, we're going against our model, which predicts a Baylor blowout win. We don't see it that way. Texas +15
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