Baylor Bears vs Texas Tech Red Raiders, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Saturday, October 9, 2010, 12:00 pm, TV: Fox Sports Net
Opening Line: Texas Tech -1
Current Line: Texas Tech -1
Opening Total: 59
Current Total: 62
Money line: Texas Tech -120 / Baylor +100
Compare odds on this game on our college football betting lines page of the site.
Coach Art Briles has led his Baylor Bears to a 4-1 record as they take on 2-2 Texas Tech in the fabled Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It isn’t often that Baylor is ahead in the standings of their in-state rivals Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, but that is the case this year. In fact, the Bears have a decent shot of going to their first bowl game since 1994. The Bears have not been a good team for may years, and their record against the spread is equally unimpressive. Baylor is 58-84 as an underdog since 1992 and 55-79 after playing a conference opponent. That isn’t really surprising playing in the deep Big 12 but this year could be different. Texas Tech has done well against the number since 1992, though. The Red Raiders are 82-57 against conference opponents dating back to even the old Southwest Conference days. Tech is also impressive in playing on Saturdays and in October posting records of 106-78 on Saturdays since ’92 and 48-28 in October during the time frame. The Red Raiders lost last week to Iowa St 52-38 but have done well in bounce-back games in the same time period going 34-19 ATS the week after losing to a conference opponent since 1992.
The Baylor Bears are 4-1 with the lone loss coming at highly ranked TCU 45-10. In their four wins, Baylor has outscored their opponents 153-29. In those wins Baylor has held their opponents to less then 300 yards a game and forced 9 turnovers and 10 sacks. Granted the 4 routs are against Sam Houston, Buffalo, Rice and Kansas. Baylor destroyed Kansas last week 55-7. The Bears are averaging almost 500 yards a game on offense led by quarterback led by quarterback Robert Griffin who has thrown for 1351 yards, 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, so far this season. Griffin also has 44 carries for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. Griffin will be without two of his favorite targets as receivers Willie Jefferson and Josh Gordon were arrested earlier in the week for marijuana possession. The loss of Gordon is particularly damaging as he was the teams top wideout with 14 catches, 327 yards, amd 4 touchdown catches. The Bears have some depth at wideout and tight end as 4 players besides Gordon have at least 11 catches, but the offense will miss Gordon nonetheless. The running game is deep as well, besides Griffin’s contributions, led by Jay Finley who has 52 carries for 259 yards and a touchdown.
Texas Tech is coming off a disappointing loss at Iowa St 52-38. They are 0-2 in conference play and are desperate for a win under first year coach Tommy Tuberville. The problems for Tech have mostly been on defense as they are giving up almost 400 yards a game and 30 points a game. Though the Raiders have forced 11 turnovers and 14 sacks. Texas Tech has problems protecting the ball on offense as they have 9 turnovers including 6 fumbles. The running game has been anemic averaging only 85 yards a game, though Barron Batch and Eric Stephens do have 2 touchdowns each. Quarterback Taylor Potts is throwing for over 3oo yards a game and has 12 touchdowns passes and 3 interceptions. His top target is wideout Lyle Leong who has 29 catches for 376 yards and 9 touchdowns.
People can look at this game one of two ways, either the line is evidence that the oddsmakers don’t quite think Baylor is for real as they were destroyed the only time they played a good team. Or perhaps they don’t know who Griffin will throw to with the two receivers missing the game. Either way the betting public moved the line to Tech -2 1/2, despite the many questions they have on both sides of the ball. I believe the key to the game will be which Baylor defense shows up. If it is the one that got torched by TCU, then it could be a long day, but if Baylor plays the kind of dominant defense that they did in their 4 wins then they have a good shot at pulling off the mild upset.
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