The No. 3 Texas Longhorns visit the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams. The Bears will likely be without quarterback Blake Shapen, who suffered an injury in Baylor’s season-opener. The point spread has been adjusted for that, however. The Texas vs Baylor betting odds have the Longhorns as 15-point road favorites and the total on the game is 52.
Line: Texas -15
Ewers Making the Plays for Longhorns
The Longhorns are 3-0 straight-up, but just 1-2 against the spread. The two non-covering efforts came as a 35.5-point favorite against Rice in a 37-10 victory and against Wyoming as a 30.5-point favorite when Texas won 31-10. The Longhorns are No. 3 in the latest NCAA football rankings. With that usually comes a bit of a premium in terms of the NCAA football odds. Ranked teams are usually slightly bigger favorites than they should be.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers hasn’t been pretty this season, but he’s been effective. He’s only completing 60.7% of his passes but has thrown for 8 touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s also scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Jonathon Brooks leads the Longhorns with 273 rushing yards. Texas hasn’t run the ball quite as well as they should. One reason for that has been some shaky play on the offensive line. Cole Hudson was injured and the unit seems out of sync at times.
The defense has been pretty solid for Texas. The Longhorns are allowing just 14.7 points per game, which is a key reason why Texas is 1-2 in totals on the season. Texas has been tough to run against, allowing just 2.9 yards per carry.
Robertson Struggling For Bears
The Bears led Long Island 16-7 at halftime last week in a game they were favored by 46 points. The final was 30-7, so the Bears never came close to covering the spread. Baylor is 1-2 straight-up and 0-2-1 against the spread. The Bears pushed against No. 12 Utah in a 20-13 loss after losing to Texas State as 27-point favorites.
Sawyer Robertson has stepped in for the injured Shapen and has had some rough moments on the field. The Mississippi State transfer is competing just 45.5% of his passes and has one touchdown and three interceptions. The Bears aren’t doing a bad job on the ground, with the NCAAF team stats showing an average of 166 yards per game.
Defensively, the Bears haven’t played that well. Baylor did a decent job against Utah and did what was expected against Long Island. But Baylor had no business allowing 42 points and 441 yards to Texas State.
What to Expect
Ewers will be the first to tell you he hasn’t played to his potential yet this season. That’s scary, considering he’s accounted for 10 touchdowns through three games. But it’s also an indication of how much talent the Longhorns have. Texas will come out and look to run the football, especially against a Baylor defense that isn’t all that great against the rush. The Longhorns will use Ewers to throw when it’s called for.
The Bears have to get the running game going. Robertson isn’t going to beat the Longhorns through the air. But Baylor might not have any choice to throw against a defense that allows 2.9 yards per carry. Robertson can run a little bit, which could help take a bit of the pressure off of him and allow the Bears to make a few first downs.
Who to Bet On?
The Texas vs Baylor betting odds of Texas -15 seem a shade low considering what we’ve seen from Robertson. But Texas was just favored by 6.5 or 7 points on the look-ahead lines during the summer. The difference between Shapen and Robertson has been huge so far. The Longhorns look like the only way to go in this one and it’s hard to argue with anybody who backs Texas.
The Texas vs Baylor betting odds on the total could be a shade high, especially if the Longhorns are able to keep Robertson and the Baylor offense in check. Texas can score, but the Bears have some athletes, especially up front. If the Texas offensive line isn’t playing better, the Bears can at least disrupt a few things. The under 52 looks to be the best bet in this game.
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