Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss Texas Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks For Texas Bowl (12/28/22)
Ole Miss ended the season on a disappointing note, dropping four of its final games, but the Texas Bowl brings a chance for redemption. Texas Tech is looking for an 8th win in Joey McGuire’s promising first season at the helm. Can the Red Raiders knock off Lane Kiffin and the Rebels?
Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for Wednesday’s Texas Bowl.
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss Odds
Ole Miss enters as a 3.5-point favorite, sitting at -170 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 70 points.
Ole Miss is a slightly smaller favorite than it would’ve been in the regular season. That has something to do with the way the Rebels closed out their season and something to do with the fact Ole Miss lost a bit more talent to the transfer portal. Luckily, though, many of the key pieces fans want to see in this game will be on the field.
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss Prediction & Pick
Ole Miss struggled a bit down the stretch, but Quinshon Judkins did not. Texas Tech’s defense is leaky enough without first-round prospect Tyree Wilson that Judkins and the running game should have no problem slicing through it while Jaxson Dart and a very shaky passing game can do enough to help the offense get back to its early-season numbers.
This game is all about whether the Red Raiders can do enough offensively to keep up. That responsibility will fall on the arm of Tyler Shough, who is one of three quarterbacks to make starts for pass-heavy Texas Tech this season. Shough had some big moments against Oklahoma, but is he ready for an SEC defense after missing most of the season with an injury? Ole Miss -3.5 seems like the safer bet, even if the Rebels were a letdown for bettors in November.
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss Key Matchups
Texas Tech’s defense has not been a strength this season. The Red Raiders have allowed 27+ points in nine of their 12 games, with wins over West Virginia, Iowa State, and Murray State. The pass defense has been an even bigger issue than the run defense, which is at least a silver lining against this Ole Miss team. Jaxson Dart was held under 2,700 passing yards and limited to 18 touchdown passes this season. The passing game wasn’t a strength for the Rebels when they were winning, and it cost them late in the season when the wins turned to losses.
While Texas Tech’s run defense wasn’t quite as bad as its pass defense, the unit is going up against one of the best rushing attacks in football. Quinshon Judkins will be a legitimate name in the Heisman race in 2023 if he builds on his impressive sophomore season, and he gave even some of the SEC’s better run defenses some real trouble. Zach Evans was another productive piece of the backfield for the Rebels this season, but this game will be defined by how much Judkins can carry Ole Miss’ offense.
What will Texas Tech get out of its offense? That depends on what QB Tyler Shough can give them. The quarterback position has been a revolving door for the Red Raiders this season with Shough battling an injury, but the former Oregon quarterback has four years of experience. Donovan Smith probably gives Texas Tech a higher ceiling, but Shough might avoid the turnover troubles Smith often had.
The Red Raiders have a decent running game with their two-headed backfield, but they largely rely on their passing game and will likely continue to do so against a middle-of-the-pack Ole Miss pass defense. Shough threw 51 times in Texas Tech’s season finale against Oklahoma, if that’s any indication of what’s to come. While he hasn’t played much due to injury, he did look pretty solid when on the field this season.