Baylor vs. BYU Betting Odds & Picks: Back Cougars to Cover at Home
Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaren Hall and the BYU Cougars.
- Baylor travels to Provo to take on BYU in one of the more intriguing games on the slate.
- The Bears have struggled on the road in years past, but can they upset the Cougars?
- Collin Wilson previews this matchup and shares his best bet below.
Baylor vs. BYU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Another round of the Jeff Grimes Bowl is set to take place when Baylor travels to Provo to take on BYU.
As a former offensive coordinator for the Cougars, Grimes departed Kalani Sitake’s staff after the 2020 pandemic season to take the same role under Dave Aranda in Waco. Grimes was essential in the maturation of Zach Wilson and now leads an offense that won the Big 12 last season.
These two teams are quite familiar with each other after a 38-24 Bears victory last October.
Both teams entered Week 1 with plenty of questions on the offensive side of the ball. Baylor lost every contributor at the receiver and running back position, but those hurdles were not visible in a route of Albany in Week 1.
For BYU, injury concerns to a number of key contributors prefaced a trip to South Florida. The Cougars routed the Bulls in the Florida humidity, scoring a touchdown on the first three offensive drives.
Baylor has lost just one game since it last played BYU, making this the spotlight game during the Week 2 nightcap.
Aranda and Grimes were littered with questions revolving around playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
Baylor may have answered those with a 69-point output against Albany. The Bears scored a touchdown on the first five possessions in the second half.
Quarterback Blake Shapen ended the scrimmage by completing 17-of-20 passes. Wide receiver Seth Jones and tight end Ben Sims served as the main targets at five apiece, but the most explosive plays were made by Monaray Baldwin out of the slot.
Former Greywolve now Bear Monaray Baldwin with the TD !!!!#Hometownproud@Monaray2x@SHSCoachForeman@AthleticsKISD@KDHsportspic.twitter.com/FUCi9s1j97
— I14Sports/knctsports (@KNCT_SPORTS) September 4, 2022
Shapen was deadly in play-action passing, completing all four attempts and accumulating two touchdowns.
Setting up play-action was a solid running game led by Richard Reese and Qualan Jones. Both backs combined for seven missed tackles, as Jones averaged 4.8 yards after contact.
Aranda’s multiple personnel did not disappoint against Albany, as tackle TJ Franklin provided four pressures and five different players recorded a pass breakup.
Cornerback Al Walcott was targeted the most, allowing just eight yards after the catch on five receptions allowed.
Albany won just two games last season, but Baylor curtailed all of the questions heading into the season.
Before this season, BYU had gone 1-8 all-time in games played in the state of Florida, but that was not apparent in Week 1.
Despite injury concerns to some of their top talent, the Cougars dominated a South Florida team that was projected for improvement this season.
Christopher Brooks led the ground attack with 135 yards on 13 attempts, creating seven missed tackles with an average of 9.5 yards after contact.
Quarterback Jaren Hall continued excellent play under center with the only blemish coming from a red-zone interception after a 12-play drive.
Hall targeted 12 different players, although a lack of explosiveness existed among the top two pass-catchers in Kody Epps and Brayden Cosper. This is still one of the most methodical offenses in college football, racking up 27 first downs in 34 minutes of possession.
If there’s concern for the Cougars, look no further than a Havoc-less defense. BYU posted a single sack and just two tackles for loss against the South Florida offensive line.
Bulls quarterback Gerry Bohanon has the ability to scoot out of the pocket but saw a grand total of five pressures in 31 dropbacks.
The Cougars defense struggled to end drives without points, as three Bulls possessions crossed the 40-yard line and resulted in 4.7 points per trip.
Baylor vs. BYU Betting Pick
The question with BYU is how much of the offense and defense was left off of tape in preparation for Baylor.
Wide receiver Gunner Romney was held out of play, while fellow receiver Puka Nacua received just one target against the Bulls. Both Nacua and Romney are listed on the depth chart for Baylor and would add an even more explosive element than what was on display against South Florida.
No new update on #BYU WR Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney from OC Aaron Roderick.
Game time decisions for Saturday against Baylor.#BYUFootball@kslsportspic.twitter.com/NsF7nSikbd
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) September 7, 2022
Walcott replaces star linebacker and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jalen Pitre. Albany had the most offensive success targeting Walcott in passing attempts, and BYU and Hall are expected to follow the same plan.
BYU’s defense also played coy in the opener, playing a non-aggressive base that allowed defenders to react after South Florida exposed the play. Although Grimes knows the BYU defense inside and out, expect Sitake to have held a few wrinkles of blitz and coverage schemes off of film.
This is a BYU team that traveled to Florida and endured multiple hours of lightning delays before routing the home team.
Now back at home with elevation as an advantage, Baylor must leave the state of Texas. The Bears struggled in Big 12 games away from Waco, suffering two losses and minimal offense in a victory over Kansas State.
Baylor lost most of the back seven heading into this season, returning less than 50% of pass breakups. Look for BYU to avoid Baylor’s defensive line and aim straight for the back seven in a preview of a future Big 12 conference matchup.
Pick: BYU -4 or Better · Under 53.5 or Better
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