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The final stretch in Baylor's quest of an undefeated season is starting to take form. They'll face the free-falling Red Raiders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington next. Oddly enough Baylor still has four games to play, while Texas Tech only has two. Maybe it's best for Texas Tech after they started the season 7-0. Behind the best scoring offense in the country, the Bears are -27 point favorites at home at 5 dimes sportsbook.
Many said Baylor was getting its first real test last week against Oklahoma, but it turned into another beat down. The Bears beat the previously No. 10 ranked Sooners 41-12. Due to its high-scoring offense, Baylor is 7-1 ATS on the year, never favorites by less than 17 points.
It hasn't been the same for Texas Tech, who may have been a little overrated after winning their first seven games against bottom-level competition. Now with three straight losses and non-covers, the Red Raiders don't have an answer for anyone. They lost at home to Kansas State last weekend 49-26 and their defense is getting shredded by any quality offense. That means more trouble in this game.
Baylor is No. 5 in the BCS right now with a chance to move up playing against a couple ranked teams to close out the season. Bryce Petty has thrown himself into Heisman talk with 21 passing TDs, one interception and eight more rushing TDs. He only completed 50 percent of his passes against Oklahoma, but still had five total touchdowns. The guy is carving up defenses and this game likely won't be any different. That said, the Bears are also a top 10 rushing team in the country with Lache Seastrunk and Shock Linwood providing a one-two punch, both averaging more than eight yards per carry to go with 18 TDs.
Kansas State rushed for 291 yards on the Red Raiders last Saturday, and Oklahoma State had 281 the previous week, so it's likely Baylor will run all over them in this game.
The Red Raiders lead the country with 408 passing yards per game, but only score 38 points per game. Since they won't be able to stop Baylor from scoring, it's going to fall on their offense to keep up and score 30-40 points in this game to cover.
The only problem for the top passing offense is that they don't know who their quarterback is at the moment. Baker Mayfield returned from injury against KSU, but Davis Webb still got the start. Mayfield came in for Webb in the second quarter and stayed in. The two actually have nearly identical quarterback ratings. That's kind of what happens in pass-heavy offenses like this that run a lot of short routes. The two QBs have combined for 25 touchdowns, but also 16 interceptions. While the Red Raiders have 18 rushing TDs as a team, they only average 3.8 yards per carry and will likely abandon the run early against Baylor. Receivers Jace Amaro and Eric Ward should be set for another target-heavy day.
What no one is talking about is Baylor's defense. They gave up 12 points to Oklahoma and have allowed just 15.4 points per game on the year. That's much different than we've seen in recent years for Baylor, who gave up 45 points to Texas Tech in 2012 and 42 points in 2011, although they still won both due to 118 combined points. Still, it's going to fall on the defense to cover this game for the Bears.
The Bears are 13-1 ATS in their last 14 games and are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Red Raiders.
Guess who the public likes here? Correct you are! A whopping 98% of the action at the world largest sportsbook, sportsbook.com, has come in on Baylor. Expect this line to continue to rise.
Even though our college football model has Baylor winning this game by 40 points, laying 4 touchdowns in a college football game is simply not something we're ever willing to do. Especially against a team like Texas Tech that can put points on the board in buckets. Nothing strong here but we'll take a shot with the points and hope for a Baylor letdown. Texas Tech +28
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