Baylor vs. TCU: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (11/6/21)

Baylor vs. Texas Christian University Betting Odds 

There’s nothing like an in-state Big 12 rivalry between two Texas schools. The 7-1 Baylor Bears are cruising, but they’ll have to keep rolling in Fort Worth this weekend against the 3-5 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.

Baylor is rolling, combining their 7-1 record with a 6-2 against the spread (ATS) mark. The Bears have as impressive a résumé as any Big 12 team.

Meanwhile, TCU has lost three straight games and is catching more than a touchdown at home in this one.

But for how bad the Horned Frogs have been, do they still pose value as big home dogs?

Baylor Bears Odds 

As mentioned, the Bears have put together quite the résumé. Their 7-1 record includes wins over:

  • #14 Iowa State (31-29)
  • #19 BYU (38-24)
  • West Virginia (45-20)
  • Texas (31-24)

Their only loss this season was against #19 Oklahoma State, who was in the middle of college football’s longest winning streak at the time.

So, how has Baylor gotten here?

With a dominant run game behind an unbeatable offensive line. The Bears rank fourth in the nation in Line Yards and second in Pass Blocking, and Baylor ranks second in Rush Success Rate as a result. No team in the Big 12 has rushed for more yards (1,906) at more yards per game (238.3) at more yards per carry (6.0).

Abram Smith is the backfield’s leader, who’s accumulated 930 yards at a whopping 7.4 yards per carry and 11 touchdowns. He grades out as PFF’s 17th-best running back, and he’s also recorded 14 rushes of 15 yards or more.

Because their rush game is so dominant, Baylor never gets behind the sticks. The Bears rank eighth in Standard Downs Success Rate.

But when they do get behind the sticks, Gerry Bohanon has proven capable. He completes 64.5% of his passes with a 12:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Plus, he’s accumulated 9.2 adjusted yards per attempt, per Sports-Reference.

Texas Christian University Horned Frogs Odds

The TCU offense has been uncharacteristically solid this season. Ranking 26th in Rush Success Rate, 27th in Line Yards, and fifth in Pass Blocking.

However, the TCU defense has been uncharacteristically putrid this season. Outside of Kansas, the Horned Frogs have allowed the most yards and the most points in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs rank among the bottom 10 FBS teams in:

  • Defensive Rush Success Rate
  • Defensive Line Yards
  • Allowing Big Plays
  • Havoc
  • PFF’s Tackling Grades
  • PFF’s Coverage Grades

TCU can’t stop a nosebleed. The defense ranks 108th on Standard Downs, and then when the Horned Frogs do get the random early-down stop, the defense ranks 129th in Passing Downs – just ahead of Kansas.

Because of their pathetic defensive performance, the TCU administration decided to fire Gary Patterson following the loss to Kansas State. Things are very ugly in Fort Worth.

Prediction and Pick

My pick: Texas Christian University +7 (-110)

The world is on Baylor. The Bears are currently pulling in over 90% of the tickets and over 85% of the handle.

However, the Bears are the square play, and I’m prepared to fade the public in this spot.

I’ve seen projections that make TCU 3.5-point underdogs rather than 6.5 or 7, and I believe that to be apt considering the spot for Baylor.

This is a classic sandwich spot. The Bears just beat another in-state rival, Texas, and are looking ahead to a massive game against #8 Oklahoma next week. Plus, the Bears are on the road in this spot, primed for a letdown.

If there’s a spot for TCU to rally and cover a touchdown-sized spread, this is it. If the Horned Frogs can’t manage to do that, I’d never bet this team again.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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