Last year, Baylor held on for a 48-46 victory in this matchup, after leading the game by a score of 45-20. In fact, TTRR had an opportunity to tie the contest with a 2 point conversion with a minute to go. As a result, Baylor will not take this team lightly, if they needed more proof they need only watch game films of last week’s game between TCU and TTRR. It took a Hail Mary type of TCU 4th down completion for the Horned Ones to outlast the Red Raiders (55-52) last week. That defeat was a bit draining to say the least and was TTRR’s first loss of the season. Comparative scores are a dangerous way to handicap. But, you can be sure that the pollsters, when putting the human element in their ratings, will be doing just that! With that in mind, let’s consider the common opponents between Baylor and TCU. Baylor beat SMU by 35; TCU beat SMU by 19. Surely, the Bears will be looking to make a statement against a team that TCU just squeezed by last week. Texas Tech has been one of the surprise teams of the season. Maybe it should not be so surprising, considering they have 16 RS and a team ranked in the top 20 in overall experience! Blowout wins to start the season over Sam Houston and UTEP were not a surprise. The upset of Arkansas garnered the nation’s attention, as did last week’s loss to TCU. The Air Raid offense is in fine form, averaging 54 PPG on 595 YPG. As expected, Tech has averaged 398/9.1 through the air. What is surprising is the offensive balance with a rushing attack that has averaged 197/6.2. In the game vs. the Frogs last week, Tech ran for 215 yards. Impressive! Baylor current stands No. 4 in the country (one spot behind TCU) in the coaches’ poll. That means Baylor will be loaded for Bear in this ESPN contest at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Baylor leads the nation in offense with 64 PPG on an amazing 767 YPG. Most impressive is that they are BOTH RUNNING AND PASSING for 380 or more yards. Where these two teams part ways is on the defensive side of the ball! For, the Bears are allowing just 23 PPG on only 318 YPG and 4.4 YP play. A total of 90 points in this game tells you all you need to know about where this game is going. But with Texas Tech QB Mahomes questionable for this game with an injured knee suffered last week and the Baylor defense a far superb entity, only one team may do their share in putting up offensive numbers. Make Baylor your college football PICK in the CRUSHER OF THE WEEK with the 17 point ODDS looking miniscule by the time the 4th quarter rolls around. Bears’ defense shuts the back door this year!
It will be a battle of the QBs Allen, when these teams take the field. The public will give much respect to Tennessee after outings in 2 of the previous 3 weeks, when they led both Oklahoma and Florida in the late going, before succumbing to each. Meanwhile, there is no love from the public after Arkansas has fallen to 0-3 SU, 0-2-1 ATS in the last 3 weeks with losses to Toledo, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Tennessee endured a gut-wrenching loss to Florida for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. The Gators had won 10 consecutive games against the Vols, yet Tennessee was leading 27-14. Florida came all the way back, taking the lead with a 60-yard TD pass with a minute to play. Yet, the Vols still had a chance to win the game, until a 50-yard FG was narrowly wide on the last play of the game! It was just 2 weeks previous to that loss that the Vols lost in double OT on this field to Oklahoma (31-24), blowing a 17-0 lead. Despite a whopping 18 RS, remember that this is a relatively young Tennessee team that is gradually being rebuilt under 3rd year HC Jones. Those 2 losses were painful steps in the rebuilding process, but will eventually pay dividends in the future. Till then, it is buyer beware when the Vols are favored in competitively priced games. Despite their travails, Tennessee is 3-1 ATS, covering by a net 12 points. That is far from the 1-3 SU ATS record of Arkansas who has a (-49) net AFP. Thus, the reason why the Vols are a TD favorite here, as opposed to the underdog price, that would have prevailed at the start of the season. It is also the reason why the public has little love for the Hogs. A brief review of their 3-game losing streak finds that they outgained both, Toledo and Texas Tech, in losses as double digit home favorite. Last week vs. A&M, they survived an Aggies’ game-winning FG attempt late in the game, only to lose by 7 points (pointspread win/tie/loss) in OT. A view of their stats shows positive numbers for Arkansas. Under new OC Enos (former HC C. Michigan), the Hogs are starting to balance their offense, passing for 285/9.6 YPG. That showed in their loss to the Aggies last week, when they outrushed A&M 232-65 and put up a balanced 225 passing yards. The mammoth OL will continue to make that happen. Equally impressive is a defensive front that allows just 94/3.6. It is that unit that will slow the Vols’ run game (248/4.7) and turn this into a most competitive contest. No one but you, me and the LONE RANGER will be on these Hogs again, just as we were in this very spot last week. Without doubt, this is our college football PICK as the LONE RANGER CONTRARY PLAY OF THE WEEK. Once again value abounds with the ODDS providing more than a TD of value over where this line would have been in Week 1.
UL Lafayette +18
Last year, Tech won this matchup 48-20 on September 6th of last season. They did so as a 15 point underdog, outgaining the Cajuns 533-415, profiting from a (+3) net TO margin. Check out the line today folks … and you will see a 33 point line swing between these 2 teams. That is a lot of value for a rivalry revenge Big Dog. And, one we simply cannot ignore. Under 3rd year HC Holtz, the Bulldog program has returned to its winning ways. Last year, Tech was 9-5 SU, 11-2 ATS collecting the money like clockwork for their backers. Keep in mind, however, those 2 ATS losses each came in the role of double digit favorite, when they won only 27-20 as 12 point home chalk vs. UTSA and lost 30-27 as 13 point road chalk at ODU. That is a microcosm of the fact that in his coaching stints at 3 different programs, E. Carolina, S. Florida and LA Tech, that Skip Holtz has built a dichotomous record in his mark as favorite and underdog. This year, LA Tech is a mediocre 2-2 SU with wins over Southern (as -40) and again failing to cover as a double digit home favorite vs. Florida Int’l last week (by the way, Holtz covered in his only dog role losing 39-33 in OT at Kansas St. as +10). Last week’s win, no cover, was common for Holtz, as he played conservatively with the lead, despite 200 CLUB offensive numbers and a 246-45 overland edge. Expected to contend for CUSA superiority, the Bulldogs are outscoring opponents 40-28 and outgaining them 522-388. Those numbers mean little when taking into account the coaching profile of Holtz. The LA Lafayette revival has been apparent under 5th year HC Mark Hudspeth, who has recorded 4 consecutive 9-4 SU seasons, including a 4-0 SU record in Bowl games (implying he gets his teams prepared for important games). Those conference games will follow. But, today there is one very important revenge outing that must take place. Our LTS followers cashed with a 4% play AGAINST the Cajuns last week. Part of the reasoning, beside the FIU great defense, was the ULL look ahead to this contest. It resulted in a 35-14 home loss to Akron, in which the Cajuns were outgained 458-285 and had a (-3) net TO margin. Now, it’s time for BIG DOG payback off a loss. With extraordinary value, we lineup with LA Lafayette as our college football PICK as BIG DOG OF THE WEEK with an incredible 33 point swing from last year, putting the ODDS clearly in our favor. Upset no surprise to this bureau!