NOTE: All lines are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change.
The game between TCU & Baylor on Saturday will be a showdown between two of the nation’s most disappointing squads as the Bears and Horned Frogs are a combined 7-13 overall in the standings and against the spread. TCU was unable to complete the upset attempt vs. Texas, but did cover as 12.5-point underdogs. Baylor got blown out at Kansas State, unable to keep it within the the 21-point spread. The TCU offense continues to fall below expectations, as it is able to generate yards but has been terrible at converting those yards into points, contributing to a failure to go over the points total in seven of ten games thus far.
Moneyline: TCU -550; Baylor +410
Spread: TCU -13; Baylor +13
Total Points: 59
The public absolutely adores the Horned Frogs in this one, believing the Bears have packed it in for the semester, already making Holiday Break plans, as 76% of public wagers have supported TCU against the spread. The concerning thing for TCU fans would be that despite that overwhelming support, the spread has actually continued to narrow throughout the week; TCU opened a full 14-point favorite, but that has dropped as far as 12.5 at many sportsbooks. Meanwhile, the total has skyrocketed from an opening line of 54.5, projecting more of a shootout than perhaps these teams have driven so far this season. This would require TCU to find the endzone and for Baylor to find an offensive breakout it has yet to uncover this season, ranking 13th in the Big 12 in scoring per game.
Emani Bailey, Rush Yards: 99.5
Josh Hoover, Pass Yards: 266.5
Jared Wiley, Receiving Yards: 39.5
Jaylon Robinson, Receiving Yards: 39.5
Savion Williams, Receiving Yards: 63.5
Baylor is sub-115 nationally in rush defense and Bailey is averaging over 100 yards per game; in a home game as a two-touchdown favorite, Bailey should get plenty of touches and still get beyond even this large number. The Bears are slightly better against the pass, but Hoover has shown ability to amass big yardage in this offense, going over 300 yards in three of his four starts, completing over 60% of his passes. It’s possible that TCU looks to go ruthless on Baylor and simply destroy the Bears through the air and on the ground , giving Hoover ample opportunity to slay this number, along with each of his pass-catchers. The number for Savion is the scariest here, he gets a big boost from his stellar 11 catch 164 yard output vs. Texas, but that’s only his 2nd game going for more than even 60 yards. Robinson has gotten a healthy target share this season, and with Dylan Wright & Warren Thompson out for the season, he can be expected to continue to have Hoover look his way and he’s able to surpass 40 yards on a small number of receptions. Wiley is coming off consecutive big time games, going 10 for 129 combined in the last two games, but prior to that he didn’t get to 40 yards since Week 1.
Blake Shapen, Pass Yards: 252.5
Blake Shapen, Pass + Rush + Receiving TDs: 1.5
Drake Dabney, Receiving Yards: 36.5
Baylor has required Shapen to attempt at least 30 passes in every game he’s played this season and the only game he didn’t surpass this yardage number was vs. Iowa State; he’s also had only two games with fewer than 2 total TDs. Even if the projected margin in this one does happen, Shapen will still likely be called upon to be the engine that powers the Baylor offense and would be likely to exceed these projections. The Blake-to-Drake connection seems to be a strong one this season as the Tight End is the team’s 2nd-leading receiver. He only has four games this season with 37+ receiving yards, but that includes the last two where he’s exploded for 8 receptions for 181 yards. These have coincided with games where top WR threat Monaray Baldwin has been held in check, so if Josh Newton & Avery Helm can limit Baldwin, then it might be Dabney who does the damage in the pass game.