Don’t Be Too Down on Baylor

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Baylor vs. Iowa State, Saturday, September 24, 12 ET

The beginning of the NCAAF season from a betting standpoint has been okay, but we need more progress than where we are at. As of Thursday before the games started this week, I am 11-7. I’ll never complain about being profitable. I just want to distance myself and bank some wins for the inevitable day that I go 0-3 or have a really bad week. Let’s see if this week is the week to do it.

Baylor takes on Iowa State in Iowa. Baylor comes into this game having won two of their first three games on the season. Their two wins were against teams that they should beat, and they did with ease. Their one loss was an overtime loss at BYU, the first ranked opponent they played that season. At that time, the Bears were in the top 10 in the nation. Now they have dropped to 17, which is probably more appropriate for the team overall. Their biggest issue is defense. Last year it seemed like a calling card, and they had multiple wins over top-ranked teams. This year they have done fine overall, BYU is no slouch, but the question remains – can they come up with a stop when they need to? So far, Baylor has a balanced attack, but I question if quarterback Blake Shapen will do better against the tough defenses. He showed some promise last year but is off to a fairly slow start. They will need him in this one.

Iowa State comes into the game 3-0, and similarly to Baylor, they had two games against easy opponents – SE Missouri State and Ohio (not Ohio State). The other game they played was against Iowa. They went on the road and held that team – one that many had pretty high on the list for potential this year – to just seven points. They didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, they only had 10 points for the game, but they escaped with the hard fought victory. On offense, Hunter Dekkers seems to have established a really good connection with Xavier Hutchinson – they already have five touchdowns between the two of them. I am curious to see how they work together against this Baylor team.

While I have been impressed with Iowa State, I have more confidence in Baylor. Call it living in the past or stupidity, whatever you want, I think Baylor has the better pedigree and potential for the game. Their defense should do enough to stop the Cyclones running game and make it hard for Dekkers to pass the ball if Iowa State falls behind. Baylor shouldn’t be concerned about playing on the road either. This is going to be a tough game, but I’ll take Baylor to win at +115.

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Written by David Troy

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