Big 12 College Football Betting Picks: Texas Longhorns at #12 Baylor Bears

Texas Longhorns at #12 Baylor Bears
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
McLane Stadium – Waco, Texas
Opening Line: Baylor -20
Current Line: Baylor -20 1/2
Opening Total: 68 1/2
Current Total: 67 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -1333 / Texas +875
Current Money Line: Baylor -1400 / Texas +925

Baylor is a 20.5 point favorite against Texas Saturday.
Baylor is a 20.5 point favorite against Texas Saturday.

Although the Oklahoma Sooners have already wrapped up the outright Big 12 title, there is still a lot at stake as the Baylor Bears host the Texas Longhorns Saturday. Baylor is 9-2 overall and looks to improve to 7-2 in the Big 12. The Bears would tie Oklahoma State and TCU for second in the conference and Baylor would also likely clinch a spot in the Sugar Bowl as the highest ranked non-playoff Big 12 team. While Texas is 4-7 and in seventh place in the Big 12 at 3-5, the Longhorns would have an outside shot at a bowl with an upset over Baylor. As many as five 5-7 teams could make bowls because there aren’t enough 6-6 teams to fill all of the slots.

Texas leads the series 74-26-4 against Baylor, including 29-16-2 in Waco. The series dates back to 1901. Baylor has won four of the last five games in the series including 28-7 last year in Austin.

Texas is coached by Charlie Strong. The Longhorns have home wins over Rice 42-28, Kansas State 23-9 and Kansas 59-20, plus a neutral site win over rival Oklahoma 24-17 in Dallas. The Longhorns have narrow home losses to California 45-44, Oklahoma State 30-27 and Texas Tech 48-45 on Thanksgiving. Texas has road losses at Notre Dame 38-3, TCU 50-7, Iowa State 24-0 and West Virginia 38-20. Texas has lost three of the last four games.

Texas was a one point favorite against Texas Tech and the total was 70.5. Neither team scored in the first quarter, but the Red raiders would lead 17-10 at halftime. Texas Tech would lead 27-24 going into the fourth. Texas would take a 38-34 lead midway through the fourth, but Texas Tech scored 14 straight points to lead by 10. Texas scored with 2:06 left to pull within 48-45, but were unable to recover the onside kick. Texas Tech ran out the clock for the win. Texas Tech had 665 total yards and Texas had 467 total yards. The two teams combined for six turnovers, including four by the Red Raiders. Texas is 4-7 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.

Baylor is coached by Art Briles. The Bears have road wins over SMU 56-21, Kansas 66-7, Kansas State 31-24 and Oklahoma State 45-35. Baylor has home wins over Lamar 66-31, Rice 70-17, West Virginia 62-38 and Iowa State 45-27 along with a neutral site win against Texas Tech 63-35 in Arlington, TX. Baylor has a home loss to Oklahoma 44-34 and a road loss last Friday at TCU 28-21 in double overtime.

Baylor was a 2 point favorite against TCU and the total was 74.5. The game was played in heavy freezing rain and neither team could do much on offense. Baylor took a 14-7 lead into the second quarter. TCU tied it up on a 56 yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the second. Neither teams would score again until overtime. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime. TCU scored in their second overtime possession, but Baylor was unable to get past the 16 in their possession. TCU held on for the win, ending Baylor’s hopes of sharing the Big 12 title. Baylor had 335 total yards to 302 for TCU. The bears had 5 turnovers to 2 for the Horned Frogs. Baylor is 5-5 ATS and the total is 7-4 this season.

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Texas is being outscored 32-27 this season. Texas is #83 or worse in both categories nationally. The Longhorns average 377 yards per game on offense including 146 passing and 231 rushing yards. Texas is #118 in passing offense out of 128 teams, and #17 in rushing. On defense, Texas is allowing 450 yards per game including 247 passing and 203 rushing yards. The Longhorns are #92 or worse in all defensive categories.  Texas has forced 21 turnovers and has 11 of their own. The Longhorns average 59 penalty yards per game and opponents average 47. Texas is 64/172 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 87/186. The Longhorns have forced 36 sacks and allowed 31. Texas is 27/31 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns. Opponents are 44/48 with 33 touchdowns. Texas has a punt return for a touchdown plus 3 defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Jerrod Heard has thrown for 1,214 yards with 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and rushed for 556 yards on 136 carries and 3 touchdowns. He suffered a concussion early against Texas Tech and is questionable this week. Tyrone Swoopes has thrown for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns and an interception, and has also rushed for 399 yards on 64 carries with 11 touchdowns.

Running back D’onta Foreman has 95 carries for 685 yards with 5 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 64 yards. He is out with a wrist injury and missed last week as well. Johnathan Gray has 123 carries for 489 yards with 3 touchdowns, plus 6 catches for 84 yards. He is probable with a foot injury after missing last week. Chris Warren III has 43 carries for 364 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 4 catches. He had a huge game against Texas Tech without Foreman and Gray, rushing for 276 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Receiver Daje Johnson has 34 catches for 364 yards and a touchdown. John Burt has 24 catches for 436 yards and 2 touchdowns. Armanti Foreman has 11 catches for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Marcus Johnson has 12 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Four defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Baylor is outscoring teams 51-28 this season. The Bears lead the nation in scoring. Baylor is averaging 616 yards per game on offense including 325 passing and 292 rushing yards. The Bears lead the nation in total offense, are #4 in rushing and are #13 in passing. Baylor is allowing 397 total yards per game on defense including 240 passing and 156 rushing yards. The Bears have forced 24 turnovers and have 21 of their own. The Bears average 79 penalty yards per game and opponents average 67. Baylor is 99/190 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 71/196. The Bears have forced 27 sacks and allowed 14 this season.  Baylor is 53/60 scoring in the red zone with 46 touchdowns and opponents are 30/33 with 25 touchdowns. The Bears have a defensive touchdown this season and have allowed a kick return and a fumble return for  touchdowns.

Baylor has used three quarterbacks this season. Seth Russell began the season as the starter but is out for the season with a neck injury. Jarrett Stidham took over for Russell but suffered a broken ankle against Oklahoma State and is out for the season as well. Chris Johnson played the rest of the OSU game and started last week. Russell has completed 59.5% of his passes for 2,104 yards with 29 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and has rushed for 402 yards on 49 carries with 6 touchdowns. Stidham has thrown for 1,265 yards with 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and also has 2 rushing touchdowns. Johnson has 200 passing yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and has 21 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Shock Linwood has 189 carries for 1,298 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 9 catches and a touchdown. Terence Williams has 61 carries for 417 yards and a touchdown. Johnny Jefferson has 90 carries for 543 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 3 catches. Devin Chafin has 88 carries for 384 yards and 8 touchdowns, plus a receiving touchdown.

Receiver Corey Coleman has 67 catches for 1,314 yards and 20 touchdowns. Jay Lee has 35 catches for 721 yards and 8 touchdowns. K.D. Cannon has 42 catches for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out.

Texas is 7-3 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 4-9 overall, 2-5 after a straight up loss, and against teams with winning records, 2-7 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 1-4 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and in December, 1-6 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 1-9 after scoring more than 40 points, 0-4 in road games and 0-5 on grass. The road team is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.

Baylor is 6-0 ATS in December, 9-2 against teams with losing road records, 4-1 after a straight up loss, 17-5 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 26-8 at home, 9-3 after passing for less than 170 yards, 20-8-1 against teams with losing records, 21-9 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 1-4 in Big 12 games and overall. The Bears have covered the last five games in this series.

Texas has been outscored by an average of 38-8 in four road games this season. Even though Baylor is down to their third string quarterback, they are simply a better team than Texas. I like Baylor to win a high scoring game at home by a wide margin.

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