The sixth ranked Baylor Bears warned everyone that 2013 was going to be their best season, and so far they have yet to disappoint in NCAAF betting circles. At an undefeated 7-0 SU and a polished 6-1 ATS, Baylor has become the best scoring offence in the country with a scorching average of 63.9 points per game. Playing against Oklahoma will be their toughest matchup of the season and will serve as a litmus test for how good Baylor actually is.
The biggest problem with trusting these Bears down the home stretch is that everything they’ve done this season has been against the bottom feeders of the Big 12. Baylor has yet to play a true ranked school, and their toughest game this year came on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats who are just 4-4 SU on the year. The next five games for Baylor will decide their fate in the eyes of the BCS, and they are absolute doozies. Baylor plays Oklahoma this Saturday and then has Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas to end the year.
Still, you have to be delighted with the results so far. Quarterback Bryce Petty is becoming one of the standout playmakers in the league and has amassed 2,453 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading the top rated passing offence in the country. The real engine of the team is Lee Seastrunk, who has a 9.1 YPC average to go along with 869 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. The combination of the two in the backfield has made Baylor a tour de force in NCAAF betting. But how do they match up against Oklahoma?
The Sooners have been slipping over the last few years compared to the rest of the top ranked teams, but they’ve always been in the mix. They picked up a harrowing loss against Texas three weeks ago, and are just 3-1 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games. Much of that has to do with the massive public betting factor that squats down on Oklahoma’s side of the NCAAF betting line. It’s worth noting that Oklahoma is just 4-4 ATS on the season, and they do not travel well historically. Their true fans seem unhinged by this, but neutral gamblers know that the Sooners have trouble scoring points. They have only breached the 40-point celling once this season, and that was against Tulsa. Excuse me for not getting too excited about that kind of game.
Oklahoma is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games, and have had a nasty habit of flaming out in November, where they’re just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games. They have become more of a rushing team this year, averaging 234.0 yards on the ground per game while posting just 201.0 passing yards on average. Their platoon backfield is highlighted by Brennan Clay and Damien Williams who have combined for just 950 yards and 8 touchdowns. That’s not much better than what Seastrunk is doing on his own.
The problem with assuming that Baylor is not that good just because of their record belies another important fact: the entire season has virtually been a warm-up. They’re as fine tuned and greased up as they’re going to get, and that means they are more than ready to trample Oklahoma. It’s not like this game snuck up on them either. They know what the entire country has known all year – this is the statement game of the Big 12.
Oklahoma’s defense is better than most expect, and is built around a strong interior line, but Baylor’s offence involves a lot of quick release passes and fast twitch plays that help chew up yards and exhaust defenders. Simply put, Baylor has done more than enough so far this year to earn your trust in their biggest test of the season. It’s vital that Baylor gets off to a great start in this game, but that might be easier than you’d think against an Oklahoma team that simply doesn’t have the big play ability that they’ve been known for in the past. The Bears will have plenty of chances to seize control of the momentum in this game. It’s not a question of if that happens – it’s when that happens. That’s why Baylor playing at home against a flat Oklahoma offensive team is a worthy NCAAF betting pick this weekend.
NCAAF Betting Free Pick – Baylor -15.0 (OVER)