I have been saying all season that both TCU and Baylor are two of the most underrated teams in college football. Baylor’s underrated status is substantiated by the fact that the Bears are 13-4 ATS over the last two seasons, including 9-0 ATS as home favorites and 11-3 ATS following a win. The Bears have also been dominant in conference play over the last three years as evidenced by their 14-5 ATS record versus Big 12 Conference foes. Meanwhile, TCU’s underrated status is best illustrated by the fact that the Horned Frogs are a perfect 4-0 ATS in 2014, including an upset win over Oklahoma as three-point underdogs. And, when the oddsmakers give TCU’s opponents a boatload of points, the Horned Frogs have no trouble covering the point spread.
Fundamental Analysis: Baylor Bears
Baylor is averaging 51.0 points per game on 5.0 yards per rush play, 9.3 yards per pass play and 6.8 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 4.7 yards per rush attempt, 0.9 yards per pass attempt and 0.5 yards per play to a mediocre offensive squad. Overall, the Bears are 0.3 yards per rush play, 0.9 yards per pass play and 0.5 yards per play better than average offensively this season. However, Baylor’s attack is nearly unstoppable at home where the Bears are averaging an incredible 57.5 points per game on 5.3 yards per rush attempt, 10.2 yards per pass attempt and 7.4 yards per play.
What many sports bettors do not realize is the fact that Baylor possesses an outstanding defense that is allowing just 12.4 points per game on 2.8 yards per rush play, 5.1 yards per pass play and 3.9 yards per play. The Bears do not give up big plays either as they are yielding 21.5 yards per point through the first five weeks this season. Overall, Baylor is 0.4 yards per rush play, 0.8 yards per pass play and 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively in 2014.
Fundamental Analysis: TCU Horned Frogs
Like Baylor, the Horned Frogs arrive in town with an explosive offense that is averaging 42.7 points per game at 5.2 yards per rush play, 7.2 yards per pass play and 6.3 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow just 4.3 yards per rush attempt, 6.8 yards per pass attempt and 5.6 yards per play to mediocre offensive squads. Overall, TCU is 0.9 yards per rush play, 0.4 yards per pass attempt and 0.7 yards per play better than average offensively this season.
TCU is also incredibly well-balance on defense as the Horned Frogs are allowing just 13.5 points per game at 2.5 yards per rush play, 5.8 yards per pass play and 3.8 yards per play. Overall, TCU is 0.6 yards per play better than average from the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball.
Based on the foregoing analysis, Baylor’s offense possesses a 0.3 yards per play advantage offensively over the Horned Frogs’ stop unit, while TCU’s attack has a 0.1 yards per play edge over the Bears’ defense. Baylor’s game plan will likely include a heavy does of passes as the Bears have a significant advantage over TCU’s secondary. Conversely, TCU’s ground attack is far superior to the Bears’ front seven so the Horned Frogs will likely keep the ball on the ground on Saturday.
From a situational standpoint, TCU is coming off a highly-emotional upset win over Oklahoma at home and now have to travel to face one of the best teams in the nation. Meanwhile, Baylor is coming off a ho-hum 28-7 road win over Texas and now return home to the friendly confines of McLane Stadium where the Bears have covered nine straight point spreads. The oddsmakers have installed Baylor as ten-point favorites, which seems to suggest that Vegas believes the Bears will run away with this game.