The Baylor Bears will be without injured starting quarterback Seth Russell when they visit the dangerous Kansas State Wildcats in their Week 10 Big-12 showdown on Thursday night that should get a lot of online betting action. Getting the ATS cover – and SU win for that matter – looks like it will be more difficult for the Bears than originally anticipated, seeing as how Baylor will attempt to pull off both feats without their starting signal-caller. Now College Football betting odds fans, let’s find out if the Bears can bring home the bacon as huge road favorites on Thursday night.
When: Thursday, November 5, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
TV: FOX Sports 1
NCAAF Odds: Baylor -17.5
The Bears will be well-rested after getting a bye in Week 9 and it came at just the right time as Baylor will be forced to turn to a freshman quarterback to replace Russell after the former starter was lost for the season due to the fractured cervical vertebrae he suffered in his neck. The good news is that Russell is expected to make a full recovery. “Lot of really good news on that end,” head coach Art Briles said.”Everything went as well as could be expected. … He’s moving around. He’s comfortable, and he’s Seth. He’s a fighter, and we’re anxious for him to get back on campus and get back around us.”
Just one year after leading his high school team to the Texas state playoffs, redshirt freshman Jarrett Stidham will be asked to step in for Russell and jeep the Bears’ winning ways going. Even better is the fact that Stidham has seen action in all seven of the Bears’ games this season. Russell’s backup has gone 24 of 28 for 331 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions this season after arriving at Baylor in January 2014 as one of the nation’s most highly touted recruits.
“Stidham’s deal is he’s been going all along anyway. In practice, our (backups) get as many reps as our (starters),” Briles said. “From that standpoint, there was no difference there except he was working with a few different people over the last few practices.” The Bears beat Iowa State 45-27 on Oct. 24 despite failing to cover the spread as an insane 35.5-point home favorite. Baylor is ranked first in total offense, third in rushing and first in scoring (61.1 ppg) while also ranking a respectable 59th in points allowed (25.1)
The Kansas State Wildcats are also well-rested following their 23-9 Week 9 loss against Texas as a 7-point road dog that came one week after an embarrassing 55-0 shutout loss against Oklahoma. Quarterback Joe Hubener was limited to just 10 of 22 passing for 97 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the loss. K-State has lost six straight games against nationally ranked opponents and 11 of their last 13 such matchups.
The good news is that the Wildcats did manage to hang with formerly 20th-ranked Oklahoma State and former No. 2 TCU in consecutive games just last month. The Wildcats lost 36-34 to the Cowboys on Oct. 3 on a field goal with 32 seconds remaining in regulation and gave TCU all they could handle in their 52-45 loss a week later.
“This is not where we want to be in the Big 12. This is not the projection we hoped for, but having a bye week gives us extra time to prepare for Baylor and to fix some of the mistakes that we have made in these first several games in Big 12 play,” quarterback Joe Hubener said.
I know that Baylor has gone 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games following a bye week and 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games, but Kansas Stat has been pretty impressive in going 5-1 ATS in their last six home games versus a team with a winning road record and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following an SU loss.
With the home team in this Big-12 rivalry going 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings and the Bears going a discouraging 1-4 ATS in their last five road dates against K-State, I say the Wildcats are the pick to cover the spread as two-touchdown-plus home dogs!
My Pick: Baylor 38 Kansas State 31
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