BYU vs. Baylor College Football Week 7 Odds & Picks: Will Cougars Snap Losing Streak?

BYU vs. Baylor College Football Week 7 Odds & Picks: Will Cougars Snap Losing Streak? article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: BYU quarterback Jaren Hall #3.

BYU vs. Baylor Odds

BYU Odds +5 (-105)
Baylor Odds -5 (-115)
Moneyline +190 / -235
Over/Under 52 (-105 / -115)
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

We are in for a good one in Waco as the BYU Cougars travel to take on the Baylor Bears.

The Cougars are coming off of their first loss of the season. Turnovers plagued them against Boise State. Quarterback Jaren Hall summed up the loss in his postgame interview:

“I felt like we moved the ball pretty well, except for a couple of drives,” Hall said. “We just didn’t take care of the ball and did a lot of uncharacteristic things … and put our defense in a tough spot several times. That’s pretty much the story of the game for us.”

BYU could be in a good spot to bounce back as it had some positive takeaways but also recognized its downfalls.

Baylor enters this matchup off what was perhaps its best offensive performance of the season. It was highlighted by an outstanding performance by quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who said his play was the culmination of consistent improvement throughout the week in practice.

The Bears will look to build on their momentum, but can they cover against the Cougars?


BYU vs. Baylor Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPN

BYU Cougars

BYU Offense

Hall’s return to the field may not have provided a win for the Cougars, but it did give their offense the boost that it needed.

BYU outgained Boise State 413-312 in total yards and a big part of that was produced from the arm of Hall. He completed 60% of his passes for 302 yards.

The Cougars also had success on the ground as both backs and three different wide receivers contributed to their 111 yards on the ground.

Though fumbling was a big issue, especially for Lopini Katoa, he has proven to be an explosive change of pace back for the Cougars. It will be interesting to see if his workload remains the same after his inability to protect the ball.


BYU Defense

BYU is going to face a balanced but potent attack from Baylor.

The success of Bohanon’s passing prowess last week could lead to some major regression against these Cougars. BYU ranks 23rd in coverage and 10th in tackling, according to PFF.

Another major key for this unit is forcing turnovers. They have forced at least one turnover in every game except for their loss last week.

In that loss, they forced two fumbles but were unable to recover them. The only advantage BYU has in the advanced metrics defensively is Havoc and they will need to create more in this ball game.

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Baylor Bears

Baylor Offense

Baylor has been an offensive juggernaut this season and it showed just how potent it can be against West Virginia. The Bears put up 525 yards and much like BYU did last week, their quarterback put on a show.

Bohanon threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns. It was the best game of what has been a solid season for Bohanon. He has completed nearly 67 percent of his passes and has yet to throw an interception.

What cannot be overshadowed, though, is the Bears’ rushing attack. They run the ball at nearly a 60% rate and have done it with great success. The Bears are 16th in the country in rushing yards per game.

The ground game should have continued success in this matchup as the offense is still top-five in Rushing Success Rate and Line Yards which drastically outranks the Cougars’ defense.


Baylor Defense

The Bears’ defense has performed well as their peripheral numbers are solid.  For this matchup, we have to look back at the Bears’ loss, as they were ravaged on the ground against Oklahoma State.

Though pounding the rock consistently is not necessarily BYU’s style, the key is Hall’s rushing ability. Spencer Sanders had 76 yards rushing against Baylor and Hall presents a similar threat.

Now, with a week of game action in his bag after his injury, we should expect Hall to begin creating plays on the ground again. Prior to last week Hall had run the ball at least five times for an average of 55 yards. Many of his yards come on big runs.

The Bears will need to account for Hall in both facets if they want to avoid an upset in this one.


BYU vs. Baylor Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how BYU and Baylor match up statistically:

BYU Offense vs. Baylor Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 36 41
Line Yards 88 86
Pass Success 41 45
Pass Blocking** 1 60
Big Play 34 71
Havoc 102 31
Finishing Drives 75 80
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Baylor Offense vs. BYU Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 2 72
Line Yards 5 35
Pass Success 45 81
Pass Blocking** 3 99
Big Play 8 77
Havoc 63 51
Finishing Drives 21 58
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 10 83
Coverage 23 53
Middle 8 65 69
SP+ Special Teams 99 27
Plays per Minute 85 95
Rush Rate 53.6% (71) 59.9% (37)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


This is an interesting clash of programs as these two have only met twice with BYU being victorious in the last meeting in 1984.

BYU was turning heads early on as its victory against Arizona State certainly made a national statement. Hall’s return is vital for the Cougars’ success, but the Bears could keep him on the sidelines with their rushing attack.

The Bears are looking to earn some national respect as these next two games could make their presence felt in the top 25. What remains to be seen is whether Bohanon can maintain his form from last week and keep avoiding the turnover bug.


BYU vs. Baylor Betting Pick

This line has been heavily bet since its opening and has now reached a key number.

It is a bit of an overreaction to the Bears’ big performance combined with the Cougars’ loss last week. We have seen the Cougars play well on the road already and should be far more competitive than the number suggests.

This could also be a bit of a sandwich spot for Baylor as it is riding high from beating West Virginia and has Texas on tap next week.

Take the Cougars in what should highly competitive game.

Pick: BYU +6.5

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