The Baylor Bears will look to extend their winning streak to 4 this Saturday as they head out on the road to play the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The hype around this Baylor team is clearly warranted, as they are perfect outside of their sole loss on the season to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
They bring a powerful running game with them into this game, and given the defensive statistics on the side of TCU, that very well could be the story of this game. That is also likely a big reason why the bookies have the Bears as 6.5 point favorites for this one, alongside the fact that TCU has only won once in their last five contests.
Baylor Bears Betting Preview:
If my theory is that the running game for Baylor will decide this game, then I have to start off by talking about Abram Smith, who leads this backfield with 898 yards on just 125 attempts which comes out to a 7.2-yard average which even for college football is nuts. It does not appear as though the senior running back is slowing down anytime soon either, as he has been able to rack up 301 yards and four touchdowns in just his last two games.
We now have to move on to the matchup with the TCU Horned Frogs being unable to stop the run all year, allowing 204.4 rushing yards per game, so unless TCU shows us something we have not seen yet, it could be a long day for TCU.
All of that rushing is going to set up plenty of play-action opportunities for Gerry Bohanon at the QB position, as he looks to build upon an already solid season recording 1785 passing yards and holding down a pretty decent 12-3 TD to INT ratio. Look for senior WR Tyquan Thornton running downfield early and often looking to cash in on some defenders who may be thinking run rather than pass.
At the end of the day, though, this offense does not even need to be elite to go out there and win games, as their defense has been playing well for most of the year. They only allow 339.4 total yards per game and are especially good against the run and have managed to hold all opponents under 25 points in their last four games.
TCU Horned Frogs Betting Preview:
We do not have to dig too much into the Horned Frogs’ defense too much, as they have played some very tough opponents but have yet to really show up this year. On the other hand, the offense could very well keep TCU in this game, as Max Duggan has shown some flashes at QB.
Duggan has nearly 1700 yards this year and has only turned the ball over four times and has also shown how accurate he can be completing 64.9% of his passes and with a Baylor Bears front seven who only allows 130 rushing yards per game on the other side of the equation it really will all be on Duggan to keep this one competitive. Quentin Johnson is usually Duggan’s main target, but I would look out for some of the other receivers like Derius Davis, who are more possession receivers and who can keep the chains moving for the Horned Frogs.
Zach Evans at RB will be up against it against this Baylor front 7, but he could still be involved, as he has been used a bit in the passing game and has shown an ability to break off big plays catching the ball out of the backfield.
Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs Betting Lines & Odds
Do I really think the Baylor Bears are 9.5 points (Adjusted for home-field) better than TCU? No, not really. The world is very high on Baylor, and TCU has pretty much been forgotten about, but the thing that really gets to me, as I alluded to at the start of the article, is just how brutal a matchup this is for the TCU front 7. I simply do not trust them to stop the Baylor running game, and I really would not be all that surprised if the backup running back has a good game in this spot, as this one could get very ugly if I am right about this TCU defense.
I do not see a ton in the total here as it seems appropriately priced, and the only real bet for me is Baylor on the spread, even if I have my concerns about them being slightly overrated.
Free Betting Pick
Betting Verdict: Baylor -6.5
Final Score Prediction: Baylor 38-24 TCU