Big 12 College Football Betting Preview: #8 Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns

#8 Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns
Royal Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Opening Line: Baylor -2 1/2
Current Line: Baylor -3 1/2 (-115)
Opening Total: 70
Current Total: 73 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -170 / Texas +150
Current Money Line: Baylor -175 / Texas +155

Baylor looks to remain undefeated as they travel to Texas.
Baylor looks to remain undefeated as they travel to Texas.

The 6-0 Baylor Bears travel to the 3-4 Texas Longhorns in a key Big 12 contest. Baylor is 3-0 in the conference, tied with West Virginia. Both teams are behind 4-0 Oklahoma in the standings. Texas is 1-3 and tied for seventh with Texas Tech.

Texas leads the series 75-26-4 against Baylor, including 45-10-2 in Austin. The Longhorns won last year in Waco 23-17 when Baylor was down to fourth string quarterback receiver Lynx Hawthorne.

Jim Grobe is the interim coach for Baylor. The Bears have home wins over Northwestern State 55-7, SMU 40-13, Oklahoma State 35-24, and Kansas 49-7 two weeks ago, plus road wins at Rice 38-10 and Iowa State 45-42. Baylor is 2-4 ATS and the total is 1-5. The Bears were 33.5 favorites against Kansas and the total was 65.

Texas is coached by Charlie Strong. The Longhorns have home wins over Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime, UTEP 41-7 and Iowa State 27-6. Texas lost at California 50-43, Oklahoma State 49-31 and Kansas State 24-21 last money, plus a neutral site loss to Oklahoma 45-40. The Longhorns were -1 point favorites  against Kansas State  and the total was 54. Texas is 4-3 ATS and the total is 4-3.

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Baylor is outscoring teams 44-17 this season. The Bears are #9 in scoring and #11 in points allowed nationally. Baylor is averaging 549 yards per game on offense including 266 passing and 283 rushing yards. The Bears are in the top ten nationally in total and rushing offense. On defense, Baylor is allowing 320 yards per game including 161 passing and 160 rushing yards. The Bears are in the top 15 nationally in total and pass defense. Baylor is +6 in turnovers with 14 takeaways. The Bears average 78 penalty yards per game and opponents average 41 per game. Baylor is 56/115 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/107. The Bears have forced 15 sacks and allowed 4 this season. Baylor is 27/35 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns and opponents are 15/20 with 11 touchdowns. The Bears have not allowed a point in the fourth quarter this season.

Quarterback Seth Russell has thrown for 1,470 yards with 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 52 carries for 302 yards and 5 touchdowns. Zach Smith has thrown for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Running back  Shock Linwood has 77 carries for 500 yards and 2 touchdowns. Terence Williams has 79 carries for 443 yards and 7 touchdowns. JaMycal Hasty has 46 carries for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 26 yards. Running back Johnny Jefferson is out for the season for personal reasons.

Receiver K.D. Cannon has 30 catches for 445 yards and 5 touchdowns. Blake Lynch has 18 catches for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Platt has 16 catches for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ishmael Zamora has 14 catches for 227 and 3 touchdowns. Three defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Texas is outscoring teams 36-33 this season. Texas is #29 in scoring but #100 in points allowed nationally. The Longhorns average 479 yards per game on offense including 255 passing and 224 rushing yards. Texas is #45 or better in all three categories. On defense, the Longhorns allow 440 yards per game including 263 passing and 176 rushing yards per game. Texas is #97 in total offense and #103 against the pass. Texas is -2 in turnovers with 11 giveaways. The Longhorns average 70 penalty yards and opponents average 68 per game. Texas is 51/119 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 47/113. The Longhorns have forced 25 sacks and allowed 14 this season. Texas is 26/31 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns, and opponents are 22/26 with 15 touchdowns.

Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele has completed 64.5% of his passes for 1,722 yards and 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 55 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. Tyrone Swoopes comes in for a few snaps in the big 18-Wheeler package. He has thrown for 66 yards and an interception, but has 37 carries for 135 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.

Running back D’onta Foreman has 145 carries for 855 yards and 8 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 44 yards. Chris Warren III has 62 carries for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Kyle Porter has 29 carries for 117 yards. Running backs Kirk Johnson and Roderick Bernard are also out indefinitely with knee injuries.

Receiver Devin Duvernay has 10 catches for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dorian Leonard has 14 catches for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Burt has 16 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Jacorey Warrick has 19 catches for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. Former quarterback Jerrod Heard has 18 catches for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns. Armanti Foreman has 23 catches for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jake Oliver has 18 catches for 186 yards.

Baylor is 5-1 ATS after allowing less than 275 total yards, 8-2 after gaining 450 total yards or more, 22-6 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 19-7 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 5-2-1 against teams with losing home records, 27-11 after allowing less than 20 points, 24-10 on fieldturf, 18-8-1 after a straight up win by 20 points or more, 4-9 overall, 3-7 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 2-7 after a straight up win, 1-4 in road games, 1-5 after scoring more than 40 points and against teams with losing records. The road team is 6-2 ATS in this series recently. The Bears are 5-1 ATS against the Longhorns and have covered their last four trips to Austin.

It is no surprise that the two teams that play some semblance of defense in the Big 12 are the only two undefeated teams, Baylor and West Virginia. Baylor hasn’t really played anyone yet except for Oklahoma State, so that top 15 defense might be a mirage. The did give up 42 points to Iowa State. As for Texas, well the defense has been playing better the last two weeks but it is still awful. This should be a high scoring game but baylor is simply the better team. I think 3.5 points seems like a bargain for the Bears even on the road.

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