TCU at Baylor: What bettors need to know
1 Replies | 698 ViewsOn 09/02/2011 09:18 AM in NCAA Football
THE STORY: No. 15 TCU finished last season a perfect 13-0 and has won 27 of its last 28 games dating back to 2008 but return just eight total starters. Baylor is coming off its first winning season since joining the Big 12 and first bowl appearance since 1994.
The Horned Frogs have dominated this series of late, winning the last three meetings against Baylor by a combined score of 89-17.
TV: ESPN. Line: TCU -6.5
ABOUT TCU (2010: 13-0, 8-0 Mountain West): This is the Horned Frogs’ final season in the Mountain West before they depart for the Big East in 2012. Coach Gary Patterson lost record-setting quarterback Andy Dalton to the NFL and will ask sophomore Casey Pachall to fill his shoes. Linebacker Tank Carder — the Mountain West’s 2010 Defensive Player of the Year — should lead another stout TCU defense.
ABOUT BAYLOR (2010: 7-6, 4-4 Big 12): The Bears’ most successful season since the early 1990s ended sourly with a four-game losing streak and blowout loss to Illinois in the Texas Bowl. Junior quarterback Robert Griffin is Baylor’s do-everything star, and he has plenty of weapons at receiver in Kendall Wright, Josh Gordon and Terrance Williams. Coach Art Briles brought in highly regarded defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to fix a defense that gave up 30.5 points per game in 2010.
1. TCU has finished No. 1 in the FBS in total defense each of the past three years and in five of the last 11 seasons.
2. The Horned Frogs haven’t given up more than 19 points per game since 2004.
3. Baylor returns five players who caught at least 40 passes in 2010.
TCU is 4-0 ATS in its last four games against Baylor but just 1-5 ATS in its last six nonconference games.
Baylor is 18-38 ATS in its last 56 games as a home underdog.
The under is 5-0 in Baylor's last five nonconference games.
Oddsmakers opened with the Horned Frogs giving 6 to 6.5 points to the hosting Bears. But bettors have come in on Baylor with the line dropping all the way to 4.5. This is kind of a dead number, so you could see spread drop another half or full point before kickoff if the books don't get more action on TCU. The total seems to be holding steady between 55 and 56.
PREDICTION: TCU 20, Baylor 14 -- The Bears should be able to keep this one closer than in years past, but the Horned Frogs’ defense will be strong enough to pull out a tight victory.