College Football Odds & Pick For Baylor vs. Texas Tech: Betting Value Sits With Bears
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Baylor wide receiver Gavin Holmes.
- Off to a shaky start under first-year coach Dave Aranda, Baylor goes for win No. 2 of 2020.
- Texas Tech has struggled offensively this year, a rarity for the Red Raiders.
- BJ Cunningham is backing underdog Baylor and explains why with a full breakdown beloe.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Odds
|Baylor Odds||-1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Texas Tech Odds||+1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||55 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
Baylor makes the short trip across The Lone Star State on Saturday to battle Texas Tech. Both teams are near the bottom of the Big 12 standings and need a win to get their respective seasons back on track.
After having three games postponed due to the COVID-19 situation, the Bears have lost four consecutive games. This is a season of transition for Baylor, with a new coaching staff and many new players on both sides of the ball.
Suffice it to say, a win Saturday could give Dave Aranda’s squad a much-needed boost in its attempt to finish the season on a strong note.
On the other side, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
That has been the story of Texas Tech’s defense, as it’s given up 30-plus points in five of its first six Big 12 games. The offense hasn’t done the Red Raiders many favors, either, as the days of the Air Raid offense with Patrick Mahomes, Kliff Kingsbury and Graham Harrell are long gone.
Matt Wells will need to have his squad ready to avoid a sixth loss in Big 12 play.
The biggest piece of the Bears’ offense returned for the 2020 season, with Charlie Brewer heading back to lead the way. So far, though, Brewer has struggled with efficiency, throwing for only 6.4 yards per attempt, which has led to a ranking of 99th in passing success.
Brewer has struggled for two reasons: poor offensive line play and inconsistency from his receivers. Baylor returned three starters on the offensive line and has allowed 15 sacks so far this season. The Bears don’t have a stable receiving core to throw to at the moment, with R.J. Sneed serving as the only Baylor player with more than 20 catches on the season.
The backfield lost its big-play threat in Craig Williams to a knee injury last week, which means John Lovett and Trestan Ebner will carry the load. The Bears have struggled to run the ball behind a weak offensive line, as they only average 2.8 yards per carry.
However, Saturday should be the Bears’ best opportunity to break out offensively since they faced Kansas. Texas Tech ranks 100th in Defensive Rushing Success and 87th in Defensive Passing Success, so Brewer and the Bears’ offense should be able to move the ball all day long.
Aranda has a major rebuilding project on defense. The Bears lost 73% of their defensive production from last year and had to replace starters at just about every position. So far, though, they’ve been solid against the run and pass. Baylor’s allowing only 6.5 yards per pass attempt and 4.2 yards per carry.
Baylor’s secondary was a major concern heading into the season, but so far, it has been one of the Big 12’s best units. The Bears rank 32nd in Defensive Passing Success and 33rd in defensive passing explosiveness. That will come in handy against the Red Raiders’ Air Raid passing attack.
Although the Bears lost a lot of talent up front, they are still effectively stopping the run. They rank in the top half of college football in Defensive Rushing Success and explosiveness.
The key for Bears will be shutting down the Red Raiders’ aerial attack. Texas Tech is throwing the ball almost 60% of the time, so shutting down the offense should give Baylor a great chance to win as a short underdog.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Despite throwing the ball 59% of the time, Texas Tech’s passing attack has been incredibly inefficient. Henry Colombi and the Red Raiders are mustering a paltry 6.2 yards per pass attempt.
In fact, Colombi has failed to eclipse the 300-yard passing mark in his past five games, which is inexcusable for an Air Raid offense in the Big 12, especially since Texas Tech is loaded at the receiver position with talented guys like T.J. Vasher and Erik Ezukanma.
SaRodorick Thompson has been a bright spot in the running game, carrying the ball for 5.4 yards per attempt. That begs the question: why is offensive coordinator David Yost featuring the run game more often?
Texas Tech has a solid offensive line, led by one of the Big 12’s best guards in Jack Anderson. For the Red Raiders’ offense to be successful, it is going to have to run the ball since Baylor’s strength is in its secondary.
It’s a tale as old as time that Texas Tech can’t stop the pass. That trend has continued into 2020, as the Red Raiders — despite adding talent in their secondary — are still near the bottom of the Big 12 in Defensive Passing Success. They have also been prone to giving up big plays, ranking 65th in defensive passing explosiveness.
Although Baylor hasn’t been great in the passing game, Brewer is talented enough to throw all over the Red Raiders’ secondary.
Things haven’t been much better for the Red Raiders when trying to stop the run. Texas Tech is allowing 4.8 yards per attempt and has given up almost 500 yards rushing in its last two games. Although Baylor hasn’t run the ball effectively this year, it should be able to establish a balanced attack since Texas Tech has shown no sign of stopping either the run or the pass.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Baylor’s offense might not be what it used to, but it should be able to move the ball effectively against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders’ offense is too focused on trying to throw the ball, which could be its undoing against Aranda’s defense.
I have Baylor projected as -2.52 favorites on the road, so I think there’s some value in backing it at +1.5. However, I wouldn’t play the Bears any lower than that number.
Pick: Baylor +1.5