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Bears 2023 Schedule & Betting Odds
Baylor Bears 2023 Season Preview
The Baylor Bears are gearing up for the 2023 season, aiming to bounce back from their underwhelming 6-7 performance in the previous year. Coach Dave Aranda's strategic adjustments to the coaching staff indicate a strong determination to rejuvenate both sides of the ball.
Junior QB Blake Shapen has won the starting role after Spring Practice, and will be charged with leading the Bears offensive attack. Baylor's offense ranked 51st in PPG, averaging 29.1 points. Baylor has bolstered its offensive line by bringing in a pair of brothers from the transfer portal in Cambpell and Clark Barrington. Sophomore RB Richard Reese looks to build off a strong Freshman season as the featured back to open the passing game for the receiving corps, led by Monaray Baldwin.
Defensively, coordinator Matt Powledge's focus lies in amplifying the team's presence at the line of scrimmage. The Bears are expected to utilize talent such as S Devin Lemear and CB Isaiah Dunson to implement more of a press coverage strategy on defense. Baylor condeded 28.3 points per game in 2022, so making defensive adjustments will be a priority for the coming season.
The Bears' schedule provides the team with a significant boost in 2023. Eight of their 12 games will be at home. Homefield advantage may be enough to propel Baylor to a few more wins as the team rounds into form for a Big 12 title push come November.
Betting on the Baylor Bears
With a 7-6 record against the spread (ATS) in 2022, the Baylor Bears were basically 50/50 bet last season. The spread is a staple of football betting, a wager on the margin of victory of a given game.
Let’s use an example of a hypothetical Baylor point spread:
- Kansas Jayhawks (+4.5)
- Baylor Bears (-4.5)
In the above example, the Bears are noted as favorites with the minus sign (-) and the Jayhawks as the underdogs with a plus sign (+). As 4.5-point favorites, Baylor would cover the spread only with a win of five points or more; meanwhile, a Jayhawks victory, or a loss between 1-4 points, would see Kansas bettors cash their tickets.
Many new bettors perceive point spread bets to be unreliable — it’s too risky to lay points with the favorite, and the payout isn’t worth backing the underdog. This is where the moneyline comes in, which is a wager on simply which team will win the game straight-up, no margin of error factored in. Just as with point spread bets, the favored team is tagged with a minus sign (-) and the underdog a plus sign (+).
Let’s revisit our earlier example to understand the moneyline better:
- Kansas Jayhawks +155
- Baylor Bears -190
In the above example, the odds are written in American format, which can be read as an expression of $100. For the favored Bears, -190 odds indicate that it would take a bet of $190 to win $100; with the Jayhawks as +155 underdogs, a wager of $100 would win $155 in the case of a Kansas victory.
To finish off the holy trinity of standard football wagers, we have the over/under, also known as a total. This is a bet not on the winner of the game, but the total (get it?) number of points the two teams playing will combine to score.
In Big 12 football these totals tend to be higher than normal, given the quick pace and air-it-out style of offense played. For our hypothetical Kansas-Baylor game, let’s set a total of 56 points. Bettors would be able to wager either side of this number, taking the “over” or the “under.” If the two teams were to combine for 57 points or more, over bettors would win; 55 or fewer points would see under bettors cash their tickets. If the two teams combined for exactly 56 points, that would be considered a “push,” and all wagers would be refunded.
Bettors aren’t limited to betting just on aspects of the final score, whether it's on the total score or the margin of victory. Prop bets cover a vast array of miscellaneous bets, from wagers on a player’s stat line to specific events that may or may not happen throughout the game.
Many props are player props, or bets on an individual performance during a game. Popular player props include betting an over/under for a player’s yardage total (passing, rushing or receiving, for example), or betting a player to score a touchdown during the game.
Other props deal with more distinct events not tied to the game’s outcome, like which quarter will be the highest scoring or which team will win the coin toss. Prop bets vary from book to book, so make sure to read the Action Network’s sportsbooks reviews to find the shop best for you.
Futures are exactly what they say they are: bets on events that won’t be settled until sometime in the future. These bets are most often made before the season begins, but many books offer futures throughout the season.
Classic examples of futures would be betting Baylor to go over or under its season win total, its odds to win the Big 12, its likelihood to qualify for the College Football Playoff, or even its chances of winning the national title. Futures can also be bets on individuals, such as betting that the winner of the Baylor QB competition will win the Heisman.