Texas Tech vs. Houston Baptist Betting Odds & Pick: Will the Red Raiders Go For 60 Points? (Saturday, Sept. 12)
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: SaRodorick Thompson (28).
- Let's not bury the lead here: Texas Tech vs. Houston Baptist projects to be the slate's highest-scoring matchup, and there is overwhelming evidence to support a play on the over.
- Both teams feature stud QBs prominently in Alan Bowman and Bailey Zappe respectively, neither team boasts a strong secondary, and each primary play-caller prefers to play at a high tempo.
- Read on for Mike Calabrese's full game betting preview, and join us in max-betting props and alternative lines for this juicy Saturday night matchup.
Texas Tech vs. Houston Baptist Odds
|Texas Tech Odds||-38.5 [BET NOW]|
|Houston Baptist Odds||+38.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-10000/+2500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||N/A [BET NOW]|
|Time||8:00 p.m. ET|
|TV||BIG 12 | ESPN+|
A handful of football-loving FCS programs have agreed to fill in the scheduling gaps for FBS teams impacted by COVID-19 this fall. Houston Baptist is one of those vagabond squads, content to fill three non-conference slots after the Southland Conference postponed its season altogether.
Last week, the Huskies traveled to Denton, Texas to face a Mean Green team that was breaking in a new starting quarterback and six first-time offensive starters.
The Huskies defense surrendered 721 total yards and 57 points. That staggeringly poor performance could have been even worse, as North Texas ran out the final 5:36 and let the clock expire in the Huskies red zone.
Will the Houston Baptist defense take a step forward in Week 2, or will the Huskies continue to be an over-bettor’s dream?
Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Houston Baptist has the rare distinction of fielding a team whose offensive and defensive efficiency metrics are diametrically opposed. The Huskies finished 121st in total defense at the FCS level in 2019 and gave up more than 360 yards through the air and on the ground to North Texas on Saturday.
Somehow this unit regressed, which opens up the possibility of Texas Tech scoring north of 60 points on Saturday. But it takes two strong offensive performances to clear a total this high, and luckily Houston Baptist has a tremendous passing game to pair with its anemic defense.
Bailey Zappe, a dark horse Walter Payton Award candidate, led all of FCS football in touchdown passes last season (35) and absolutely shredded North Texas in a losing effort, completing 39 of 62 pass attempts for 480 yards and three touchdowns.
Because Houston Baptist is so severely outmatched, it will likely abandon the run altogether by the second quarter, which is fine because there are yards and points to be had attacking the Red Raiders secondary. Texas Tech ranked last in the Big XII in total defense last season and was one of three FBS programs to surrender over 300 passing yards per game.
The leaky Red Raiders defense can’t rely on havoc either. Matt Wells’ team has struggled to create negative plays, ranking 80th in sack rate and only forcing six fumbles all season in 2019.
The final piece of this high-scoring puzzle is Texas Tech’s offensive unit. Last season, with Alan Bowman at the helm, the Red Raiders averaged 509 total yards and 84 plays per game. That second stat is significant, because it provides some insight into what this unit will look like with Bowman back from injury.
The fact that four starting skill position players return (three wide receivers and one running back) should give Wells and his offensive coordinator David Yost the confidence to hit the ground running and push the tempo.
Yost worked his magic with three different quarterbacks in 2019, and cobbled together these impressive stats:
- 474.3 yards per game (11th nationally)
- 64.4% completion rate (24th nationally)
- Five receivers with at least 34 receptions
Given the circumstances, Texas Tech was lucky to stay afloat during a challenging 2019 mired with injuries and bad luck. Matt Wells’ maiden voyage with the Red Raiders ended with just four victories against eight losses, but four of those defeats were by three points or less.
Wells is an excellent coach and a two-time Mountain West Coach of the Year award recipient. Given Texas Tech’s returning talent on offense and the health of quarterback Alan Bowman, I think they’re poised for a positive regression.
The Red Raiders’ bounce-back campaign will start on Saturday in Lubbock. A perfect weather forecast with very little wind should translate to a gangbuster offensive performance for TTU.
One final trend to give over-bettors’ confidence has been HBU’s non-conference tilts. The Huskies’ past five non-conference games have averaged a total of 86.4 points. Houston Baptist has also hit the over on its team total in all five of those games.
I’ll be playing the over in this game — and Texas Tech’s team total over as well.
Picks: Game Total over 74.5; Texas Tech team total over 56.5.