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TCU vs. Baylor CFB Week 1 Pick Against the Spread

Posted by in College Football Picks on September 2nd, 2011 | 3 Comments

TCU HORNED FROGS (-3.5) @ BAYLOR BEARS

The player to watch this game is Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (see highlights after the jump). Griffin threw for 3,501 yards and 22 TDs last year, completed 67% of his passes, finished third in passer rating in the Big 12 last year, and added 635 yards and 8 TDs with his legs last season. That helped Baylor become the 13th-ranked offense last season. That type of play will have him on the early Heisman watch and he also has the benefit of five returning receivers.  We’ll see how RB3 performs against a TCU team that has not lost a regular season game since 2008. But with QB Andy Dalton and half of TCU’s starters gone, is TCU the same team they were in years past?

They have a new QB to replace Andy Dalton. TCU’s new QB is Casey Pachall. Pachall is entering his sophomore year and was a top high-school talent. Pachall will have plenty of help in the backfield with Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker and Waymon James returning. The three combined for 2,300 yards and 23 TDs last season. However, TCU returns just one lineman. On the defensive side, TCU had a top-notch defense last year that surrendered just 12 PPG and 228 YPG. Although TCU has lost 6 starters, they’ve held onto LB Tank Karter, the Mountain West defensive player of the year, and have plenty other key players back on D.

Although Baylor has an impressive QB, their defense is extremely poor — ranked 104 last year and giving up 435 YPG and 30.5 PPG. That poor unit also lost a lot players. Baylor finished last year 7-6. In their matchup last year, TCU destroyed Baylor 45-10, but this is a very different TCU team with all the starters they’ve lost.

The line on this game opened at Baylor +10 before getting hammered down to Baylor +6.5 and then Baylor +3.5. The public clearly likes Griffin’s chances against a defense that has lost 6 starters and they’re not worried about Baylor’s defensive woes with a new face at QB replacing the legendary Andy Dalton.

Baylor has the home-field advantage, but with a 17-42-2 record ATS as a home dog, that may not be too much to worry about. At Baylor +7-10, I can see why the public likes Baylor, but at Baylor +3.5, I tip the scales slightly in favor of the Horned Frogs due to Baylor’s awful defense, but it’s not be enough for me to take this game since TCU has a ton of unanswered questions. Although TCU has a new QB, TCU’s rushing attack could be enough to move the chains against a very poor Baylor defense. That will also keep Griffin off the field. Altough Griffin is a tremendous talent, TCU has an impecable defense that should contain him. I’m sitting this one out until I see what type of team TCU is without Andy Dalton. Although Baylor has an impressive offense, their defense is awful, and TCU has the defensive edge.

Prediction: TCU 30 – Baylor 24

Free Pick Against the Spread: TCU -3.5 (Confidence: 2/5)

Robert Griffin III Highlights



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