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This is a huge game for both TCU and Baylor. The Horned Frogs, who were once ranked nationally, are stuck at 4-4 and looking to get closer to bowl eligibility. On the other side of the field, Baylor is undefeated so far but ranked just outside of the Top 10.
Baylor may look like the better team on paper in this battle, yet they certainly won't be taking TCU lightly. The Horned Frogs have beaten Baylor four times in the last four years and their offense is currently averaging 33.4 points per game. Plus, TCU's most recent win was an upset of a ranked team, a 37-27 victory against No. 15 Texas.
The Baylor-TCU rivalry game will be featured nationally on FS1 at 12:00 P.M ET.
Baylor Fighting For Perfect SeasonOnly two undefeated Power-5 programs sit outside the Top 10. Minnesota is one of them and the Baylor Bears are the other. The Bears have been hanging on tight to their perfect season, dodging near hiccups every few weeks. They are 8-0 now but ever since conference play started, it's been a little hairy. They have won single-score games against Iowa State, Texas Tech and West Virginia, a group that has a 5-10 record in the Big 12.
They do have momentum, though, and they can break TCU's four-game winning streak in the series as long as they avoid mistakes. The Bears have been absolutely smoked in the turnover category against TCU in their last four games, losing it 12-2. In the Matt Rhule era, they have had consecutive games with three turnovers and zero takeaways.
Baylor also needs to protect the quarterback. They're coming off a game where they allowed eight sacks and the Bears don't even pass that much. They rank 83rd in pass attempts this season. They do pound the rock, though, using a three-headed monster consisting of Charlie Brewer, their quarterback, and running backs JaMycal Hasty and John Lovett. The Bears currently rank third in the Big 12 with 5.3 yards per carry.
TCU Upset Hunting AgainThe TCU Horned Frogs have had an up-and-down season thus far, yet it can be described pretty simply. The team can hang with anyone at home but on the road it gets hairy. Since Big 12 play started, they have gone 2-0 at home, including an upset over No. 15 Texas, and 0-3 on the road.
There's a bit of uncertainty right now in Fort Worth surrounding the quarterback position. Backup quarterback Alex Delton, who started the first two games of the season, left the program this week and Max Duggan, the starter, was hurt last week in their loss against Oklahoma State. Delton, a grad transfer, spent four years at K-State before coming to TCU.
Duggan, despite missing time after the injury, is expected to be ready.
"I think Max will play," Patterson said in an ESPN article.
Mike Collins, the next quarterback in line, will likely not be available, however. He is nursing an injury as well. Beyond Collins, the Horned Frogs have three redshirt freshman quarterbacks on their roster. Only one, Matthew Downing, has thrown a pass in his career. Downing threw 10 passes in his lone season at Georgia before transferring.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. Baylor.
- 11-23-1 ATS in their last 35 games on grass.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. TCU.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Baylor has exposed their cracks in the last weeks and it's only a matter of time before that perfect record is blemished. TCU is going to be the team to do it. The Horned Frogs are a different team at home, beating No. 15 Texas and Kansas in conference play. The crowd feeds into the game and the Horned Frogs get pumped. Against Texas, the TCU defense forced four turnovers. Baylor is fool's gold; they haven't beat a ranked team all season and Gary Patterson has the Bears number, winning four games in a row in the series.
The underdog has gone 7-0 in the last seven TCU-Baylor games.
Prediction: TCU +2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Baylor's defense has kept them in a lot of games. They also can travel, holding teams to 17.3 points per game in their last three road games. That's led to seven unders in their last nine conference games and the honor of being the Big 12's best defensive unit. TCU, on the other hand, isn't quite as rugged but are strong at home, allowing 20.5 points per game in their last two home games. The number is low but this is a rivalry game. TCU wins 21-18.
Prediction: Under 51.5