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TCU at Baylor odds, picks and prediction

Geoff Clark
USA Today Sportsbookwire

The TCU Horned Frogs (1-3 overall, 1-2 Big 12) visit the rival Baylor Bears (1-2, 1-2) Saturday for a Big XII showdown at 3:30 p.m. ET in McLane Stadium. Below, we analyze the TCU-Baylor college football betting odds and lines, with picks and predictions.

TCU at Baylor: Betting odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports' betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:17 a.m. ET.

  • Money line : TCU -143 (bet $143 to win $100) | Baylor +120 (bet $100 to win $120)
  • Against the spread/ATS : TCU -2.5 (-115) | Baylor +2.5 (-106)
  • Over/Under : 46.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

TCU at Baylor: Three things to know

  1. Gary Patterson is in his 21st season as head coach of TCU, currently the second-longest tenure in the country behind Iowa's Kirk Ferentz. Baylor HC Dave Aranda is in his first season, replacing Matt Rhule. Aranda comes from the LSU Tigers where he was the defensive coordinator helping them win last year's College Football Playoff Championship.
  2. TCU-Baylor pits two struggling offenses against one another: Baylor is 58th in offensive FEI ( according to Football Outsiders ) and points per game while TCU is 62nd in offensive FEI and 77th in PPG.
  3. Baylor won last season's meeting 29-23 in triple overtime, which is the only reason that game went Over the projected total of 49. TCU had won four in a row in the series before that loss.

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TCU at Baylor: Odds, prediction, betting lines and picks

Prediction

TCU 27, Baylor 17

Money line (ML)

We're getting a friendlier number than we should on TCU ( -143) because I don't think BetMGM is heavily factoring the Horned Frogs' difficult schedule compared to Baylor's (+105) cupcake schedule. TCU has played the second-toughest schedule in the Big 12 and Baylor is ranked second-to-last in the strength of schedule among conference teams.

Baylor's offense has taken an obvious step back after Rhule's departure to the NFL (as head coach of the Carolina Panthers). The Bears average the least rushing yards per game in the Big 12 caused mostly by a porous offensive line. Baylor is 87th in line yards per carry and 86th in stuff rate.

TCU's defensive line is 19th in line yards per carry and 19th in stuff rate. Also, TCU ranks a decent 28th in opponent's third-down conversion percentage and Baylor is ranked 70th in third-down conversion percentage.

I'll take better-coached TCU ( -143) over a Baylor program going through a makeover.

Against the spread (ATS)

PASS because it's just tough laying points with a TCU offense that struggles to score.

Over/Under (O/U)

Since neither offense is any good and both coaches are defensive-oriented, I'll take UNDER 46.5 ( -110). The market is hammering the Under, bringing it from a 50-point opener to the currently listed total. This feels like the best play in this game.

Furthermore, TCU has lost three wide receivers to the transfer portal and starting TE Artayvious Lynn, to a season-ending injury. Other than the Big 12's notoriety for high-scoring games, there aren't many arguments against the Under.

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