Baylor vs Texas Tech Odds, Prediction: Put Faith in Red Raiders?
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Behren Morton (Texas Tech)
Baylor vs Texas Tech Odds
This game might not be getting a ton of buzz nationally, but it is a huge weekend in Lubbock. Patrick Mahomes will be returning to his alma mater to be inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
Enter the Baylor Bears, fresh off of a win against Kansas and looking to continue to build some momentum of their own after a slow start to the season.
Both of these teams enter this game at 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big 12, so this is a little bit of an elimination game from a conference standpoint. It would be possible to make it to Arlington with two losses in league play, but it's much more far-fetched with three.
Oddsmakers think this will be a tight one, with Tech currently sitting as a two-point home favorite. Who has the edge? Let's discuss.
It's been an up and down year for Baylor, but the Bears are probably better than their 4-3 record indicates.
If you take a closer look at their three losses, two of them came down to the final play on the road against BYU and West Virginia, and the advanced numbers show the Oklahoma State game was closer than what the final score suggests.
As a result, there are many that believe the Bears can still make a run at defending their Big 12 title, but a win this week is paramount to keeping that hope alive.
One thing that has held the Bears back is the play of their defense. Dave Aranda is known for his defensive prowess, and he has had plenty of success on that side of the ball early on in his tenure.
Baylor lost several key contributors to the NFL from last season, and the growing pains as a result of that roster turnover are on display.
Another area highlighting some contrast in offensive and defensive production comes in the red zone. Baylor ranks 23rd nationally in Offensive Finishing Drives, compared to 98th defensively.
It's safe to expect plenty of points to be scored in this matchup against Tech, so finishing off drives with touchdowns will be critical, as will stiffening in the red zone when Tech's offense approaches.
Blake Shapen has been efficient for Baylor overall, but has had some lapses in a handful of games. He will need to take good care of the ball against a Red Raiders defense that can generate some havoc.
It appears that Joey McGuire has found his quarterback of the future in redshirt freshman Behren Morton. Last week against West Virginia, Morton threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns and did not turn the ball over.
The youngster has a strong arm and also moves pretty well in the pocket and on the run.
Out of the backfield, the Red Raiders have a formidable two-man rushing attack featuring Sarodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks both capable of breaking loose at any moment.
Baylor's defense has been pretty good at stopping opposing rushing attacks to this point in the year, but it hasn't faced a ground game like Tech's. Whoever wins in the trenches in that matchup could go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
Tech's defense also took a step forward last week against the Mountaineers. The Red Raiders intercepted JT Daniels three times and recovered a fumble.
TTU ranks inside the top-30 nationally in both Defensive Rush and Pass Success, so there is good balance on all levels of the defense.
Shapen has thrown five interceptions on the season, so there is a formula there for the Red Raiders to generate more Havoc this week.
Baylor vs Texas Tech Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Baylor and Texas Tech match up statistically:
Baylor Offense vs. Texas Tech Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Texas Tech Offense vs. Baylor Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||67||85|
|Seconds per Play||26.8 (76)||21.0 (5)|
|Rush Rate||58.1% (34)||43.5% (120)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Baylor vs Texas Tech Betting Pick
McGuire is building something in Lubbock, and I think the Red Raiders take the next step on Saturday afternoon.
Baylor's defense is nowhere near what it was a year ago, which should allow Tech to put up plenty of points on the board.
Meanwhile, Shapen has been accurate when given time, but when he is under pressure his efficiency dips significantly. Look for Tech to dial up plenty of pressure and make things uncomfortable for the Baylor offense behind a raucous crowd.
I'm backing the Red Raiders to find a way to win this one, covering the short number in the process. Guns Up.