Baylor is 3-1 in its last four meetings with rival TCU, but the Horned Frogs are 3-0 against the spread over the last three encounters between the teams. The Bears will try to keep their Big 12 championship hopes alive when they take on TCU Friday night in Fort Worth.
Point spread: This game opened as a pick'em, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 54.5-46.6 Bears
Why the Baylor Bears can cover the spread
Baylor bounced back from its first loss of the season last week and stayed alive in the Big 12 race with a 45-35 victory at previously undefeated Oklahoma State. The Bears, playing their second game without starting quarterback Seth Russell, jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the Cowboys, allowed OSU to tie the score at 14-14, then scored the next 22 points to take control.
On the day, Baylor racked up 700 yards of offense, as backups Jarrett Stidham and Chris Johnson combined to throw for 396 yards and three touchdowns, while the Bears defense held the Cowboys to just eight total yards rushing.
With the victory, Baylor moved to 7-1 in Big 12 play, 5-0 straight up and 3-2 against the spread on the road this season; with another victory this week, and help from Oklahoma State, the Bears could still win the conference championship and perhaps even sneak into the College Football Playoff.
Why the TCU Horned Frogs can cover the spread
Shorthanded Texas Christian gave Oklahoma a good scare last week in Norman, falling 30-29 but covering easily as an 18-point dog. The Frogs, playing without quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson, fell down 23-7 at the half, as freshman quarterback Foster Sawyer threw three first-half interceptions.
But senior Bram Kohlhausen rallied the troops with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the second with just under a minute to go, pulling TCU to within a point. The Frogs then boldly went for two and the win but came up empty.
On the day, TCU got outgained by 170 yards and outrushed by 145; that was the first time either of those things had happened to the Frogs this season. TCU can't win the Big 12, but it can spoil Baylor's chances and perhaps earn an attractive New Year's Day bowl bid in the process.
Baylor still has a lot to play for, and Boykin is still questionable with that sore ankle. The smart money here backs the Bears.
Baylor is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games against TCU.
TCU is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games at home.
Baylor is 1-4 ATS in its last five games in November.