Pick – Analysis
Texas Tech fought for its life against TCU last week, but unluckily came up short and gets to follow that up with another Game against a Top 5 team in Baylor. Whether the books expect a letdown or due to an injury to Tech’s QB, the Bears are a huge favorite in this Game at -17 points (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook), which is being played in AT&T Stadium.
Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury, but it’s unlikely he’ll miss this Game. And if he does, the line will probably get pounded even more in favor of Baylor (already jumped from -14 to -17 from Sunday to Tuesday). Mahomes injured his knee in the first quarter against TCU, yet still threw for 392 yards and ran for 36 more. It would be a big surprise if he missed this Game. Texas Tech has had a good start to the year offensively, but their defense has been the bigger question, allowing 45 points to Sam Houston State and then 55 to TCU last weekend.
Baylor hasn’t had a true test on the year, which makes this spread even more interesting. The Bears have three huge wins, but all against lesser opponents in SMU, LAmar and Rice. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some money on Texas Tech because of that reason alone.
There’s no doubt, this will be another high-scoring Big 12 matchup. In fact, the over has hit in five straight meetings between these teams with the total often pushing close to 100 points. Baylor has scored at least 48 points in Four straight Games, including a 48-46 win last season. It was so close because of a late comeback by Mahomes, who finished the Game with an incredible 598 yards and six touchdowns.
As long as Mahomes is playing expect loads of points from both teams. In Four Games, Mahomes already has 1,421 passing yards to go with 11 TDs and three interceptions. Familiar names such as Jakeem Grant (413 yards) and Devin LAuderdale (307 yards) are at the top of the receiving core. But maybe the biggest difference for the Red Raiders this year is the rushing Game that has seen success. The mobility of Mahomes helps (165 rushing yards), but DeAndre Washington (475 yards, 5 TDs) has been huge for this offense.
This will be Baylor’s first true test of the season, so it’ll be interesting to see how the defense performs. Offensively, Seth Russell (15 TDs, 4 INTs) has looked solid as the new quarterback, but again, the Bears haven’t seen much competition.
LUckily for the Baylor offense, Texas Tech still struggles on the defensive side. Russell should have a big Game throwing the ball, especially to Corey Coleman, who already has amassed 460 yards and eight touchdowns in just three Games. Their running Game looks solid again with Shock Linwood (363 yards, 4 TDs) leading the way.
Maybe the main question here is if Texas Tech can compete in two straight shootouts. This is a much-improved Red Raiders team from a year ago, but putting together three straight solid Games against top teams (including win at Arkansas) won’t be easy.
Once again, the over has hit in five straight Games in this matchup. Also, a funny stat is that the over is 14-2 in Baylor’s last 16 Games after they allowed less than 20 points in their previous Game. The Red Raiders are now 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven overall, but the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five Games in this matchup.
Our Pick – We know the Texas Tech defense leaves a lot to be desired. However, the Baylor “D” hasn’t exactly been a brick wall and that’s against questionable competition. Any time you can grab +17 points with a team like Texas Tech that can put points on the board it’s well worth it long term. Texas Tech +17