Albany vs. Baylor Odds & Picks: Back the Bears in a Blowout (Sept. 3)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) Pictured: Blake Shapen.
- The Albany Great Danes and Baylor Bears meet for a Week 1 college football matchup in Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
- The Bears enter as gigantic favorites, and there's still value on them, according to CJ Vogel.
- Check out Vogel's top bet for Saturday's Albany vs. Baylor game below.
Albany vs. Baylor Odds
Football is back. The long wait has concluded and the best Saturday of the year is finally upon us.
Before you flip your television to the Ohio State and Notre Dame game, feel free to catch a quarter of Baylor and Albany as a nice little appetizer to the main course.
The reigning Big 12 Champions will host the Great Danes of Albany with great expectations on the horizon, despite having new faces littered throughout the offense.
Without question, this game should result in the Baylor Bears earning a victory, but will the Bears improve their record against the spread?
Albany’s 2021 campaign was anything but inspiring as it won just two games, both in the final three weeks of the season.
Albany’s most important offensive piece from last season, running back Karl Mofor, departed for the NFL. Mofor was a 1,000-yard rusher and found the end zone 12 times. For an offense that did not score many points, that is a lot of production to replace.
The offensive line returns three starters from last year, but all three allowed 17 or more pressures in 2021. To make matters worse, none of the defensive lines Albany faced in 2021 have the speed and talent that Dave Aranda’s team will deploy this year.
Defensively, Albany will be without leading pass rusher Jared Verse (transferred to Florida State), and will be looking to replace 36 pressures and seven sacks.
To make matters worse, Albany finished 246th in the country against the run last season, and Baylor’s entire offensive approach is predicated off of establishing the run and owning the line of scrimmage.
Albany went 0–6 on the road last year. The offense ranked 202nd in the country in red zone efficiency, 240th in sacks allowed and 256th in turnover rate.
Not often do you see a team win its conference and make an immediate change at quarterback for the upcoming season. But that is exactly what Baylor did when it named Blake Shapen its starter over Gerry Bohanon this spring.
Aranda’s squad impressed a lot of people en route to lifting the Big 12 Championship trophy in December. The ultra-physical defense and a dominant rushing attack will once again be staples in 2022.
Let’s start with the quarterback change. Baylor was rather limited with Bohanon’s ability to distribute the football downfield in 2021. The change to Shapen allows the playbook to open up more vertically. In three starts, Shapen threw for five touchdowns and completed 71.1% of his attempts.
Again, the Baylor offense is very run-heavy, but the Shapen certainly increases the overall ceiling. Baylor has two All Big 12 Preseason offensive linemen in Connor Galvin and Jacob Gall, plus an All Big 12 Preseason tight end in Ben Sims.
Additionally, four starters from last year’s offensive line return. The running game has the bodies and talent up front to build from its 219.3 yards per game last year, which ranked 10th nationally.
Baylor will be running all over the Albany defensive line Saturday night.
Albany vs. Baylor Betting Pick
The pick is clear. Baylor is just too big, strong, fast and tough for Albany. The Great Danes do not do well on the road, and it should not be a close game.
Aranda’s squad will roll … easily.
Most importantly, they cover.