Texas Bowl Gambling Guide: Texas Tech Vs. Ole Miss

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The only arguments for the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) covering the spread vs. the Ole Miss Rebels (8-4) in the Texas Bowl are “it’s a home game for the Red Raiders” and the non-line movement.

Sure, it is the Texas Bowl is at NRG Stadium in Houston. Texas Tech will have more fans in the stands. and a Big XII has won six consecutive Texas Bowls.

Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin of the yells at an official during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.
Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin of the yells at an official during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

However, since Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin’s first season on the job (2020), the Rebels are 4-1-1 against the spread (ATS) as road favorites.

Nearly 70% of the money at DraftKings Sportsbook is on Ole Miss, according to VSIN. Regardless, the Rebels have fallen from -4 to the current number, which is clearly suspicious.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Ole Miss (-170), Texas Tech (+145)
  • ATS: OLE MISS -3.5 (-110), Texas Tech +3.5 (-110)
  • Total — 72 — Over: -110, Under: -110

That said, I’m not putting much stock into the Texas Tech-Ole Miss betting splits. Because how many people are really betting the Texas Bowl? Neither Texas or Mississippi have legalized sports betting.

Plus it was just Christmas weekend. The NFL is king and college football’s bowl season is way worse in the post-transfer portal and opt-out eras.

Aside from that stuff, I don’t see how you can get to the window to back Texas Tech. Ole Miss has a more talented program, Kiffin is a more proven coach and …

The Rebels are better by the number

The Rebels are +1.0 in net yards per play (nYPP) and +0.058 in net points per play (nPPP). While Texas Tech is -0.8 in nYPP and -0.074 in nPPP.

Per Football Outsiders, the Rebels rank 22nd in offensive drive efficiency and the Red Raiders rank 72nd. Texas Tech is -9 in turnover differential and rank 102nd in turnover rate.

Furthermore, Ole Miss has a much more balanced attack. The Rebels are ninth nationally in yards per rush (5.4) and the Red Raiders are 83rd (3.8 yards per rush).

Ole Miss transfer sophomore QB Jaxson Dart is a dual-threat quarterback with a better passer efficiency rating than all three Texas Tech QBs that started under center this season.

Ole Miss Rebels QB Jaxson Dart throws a pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Ole Miss Rebels QB Jaxson Dart throws a pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Red Raiders QB Tyler Shough gets the nod Thursday and has attempted the fewest passes of Texas Tech’s QB trio. Shough beat Kansas, Iowa State and Oklahoma to end the Red Raiders’ regular season.

Kansas’s defense is 118th in EPA/play (out of 131 FBS programs), Oklahoma’s defense is 85th in EPA/play and Texas Tech scored just 14 points in a win over Iowa State.

Also, Ole Miss transfer junior RB Zach Evans played for TCU in the Big XII last season. In his game last season vs. Texas Tech, Evans ran for 143 yards on 17 carries with 2 TDs. The Red Raiders’ rushing defense is actually worse this year.

Finally …

Motivational speaking

The hardest part of handicapping college football bowl games nowadays is figuring out who wants to be there. Obviously, the Red Raiders would like to win the Texas Bowl in their backyard.

But, Ole Miss seems excited to be at the Texas Bowl as well. Both teams have reported no opt-outs and neither have lost a ton of talent in the transfer portal.

The fact that all of the Rebels players opted into this game after a disappointing end to a regular-season they started 7-0 in is a testament to the program Kiffin is building.

Ole Miss Rebels RB Quinshon Judkins celebrates with a TD with QB Jaxson Dart against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Ole Miss Rebels RB Quinshon Judkins celebrates with a TD with QB Jaxson Dart against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. (Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dart will be back next year as will Rebels true freshman RB Quinshon Judkins who leads the conference in rushing yards. And Kiffin is trying to prove that Ole Miss will be an SEC contender for years to come.

As long as the motivation is there, the Rebels should roll because, on paper, Ole Miss is way better than Texas Tech.

Texas Bowl Best Bet: Ole Miss -3.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Ole Miss Rebels' odds vs. the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the Texas Bowl from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday, December 28th at 12:40 p.m. ET.
The Ole Miss Rebels’ odds vs. the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the Texas Bowl from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday, December 28th at 12:40 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

One Comment

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  1. I love to read these after the fact. It helps you know whose opinions to totally disregard in the future. Not much research done on this one. The author, Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma don’t quite understand what is going on in Lubbock.

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