THE BLOG
10/09/2014 10:03 am ET Updated Dec 09, 2014

Game of the Week: TCU at Baylor

TCU knocked off Oklahoma last week at home to vault into the Top 15 of our College Football Power Rankings. The upsets should stop there, however, as the Horned Frogs head to Waco, Texas without enough firepower to hang with one of the best all-around teams in all of college football.

Baylor is 5-0 straight-up and 3-0-1 against-the-spread versus the 104th ranked FBS schedule of the 2014 season. The Bears rank fifth overall in our College Football Power Rankings, possessing the nation's top offense and a complete team that ranks in the top 40 in the nation in all of our strength-of-schedule-adjusted efficiency metrics. Despite passing less frequently than its opponents (who have almost exclusively been playing from behind this season), Baylor averages three more yards per play than its opponents (second in the FBS to Marshall). The Bears also rank first in the nation in scoring (51.0 points-per-game) and first in scoring margin (38.6 points-per-game, a full touchdown over #2 Marshall). And, even though most of the team's fourth quarters thus far have been irrelevant, Baylor still ranks in the top ten in the nation in plays-per-game, a number that is very relevant when expecting the favorite to win by more than a touchdown. The higher the tempo of the game, the higher the likely margin for the favorite.

TCU has moved to #13 in our power rankings. The Horned Frogs are 4-0 straight-up and 3-0 against-the-spread against the country's 76th ranked schedule thus far. TCU has one of the better all-around defenses in the nation, ranking fourth in our metrics against the pass and first against the run. Unfortunately, for the Horned Frogs, they rank outside of the top 40 nationally in pass and run offense. As an example, TCU needed two defensive touchdowns and a critical fourth-and-1 stop to win by less than a touchdown at home over Oklahoma. It is tough to count on such plays, especially on the road taking on the best offense in the nation.

And lastly, the difference between playing last week's game against Oklahoma in Fort Worth as opposed to Norman, Oklahoma meant more than ten points to the projected net margin (suggesting TCU would have lost by more than a field goal on the road). Baylor's home field advantage is just as strong and its tempo even faster. TCU has a chance to make more defensive stops in this game than most teams get against Baylor, but it's the Horned Frogs lack of offensive explosiveness paired with a very good Baylor defense that yield a(nother) double-digit victory for Baylor.

According to 50,000 games played by the Predictalator, Baylor wins on average 62.7% of the time and by an average score of 35-23. As eight point favorites winning by almost two touchdowns on average, the Bears cover the spread 54.8% of the time, which would warrant exactly a "half-bet" $25 wager from a normal $50 player. TCU's defense is great and Baylor's is much better than most realize. The UNDER (66) covers 56.6% of the time, enough to justify a $44 play from a normal $50 bettor. There are eight featured "normal" against-the-spread picks and 12 "normal" or better college football totals for Week 7 in which the pick covers more than 57% of the time and a normal $50 player can be comfortable playing $50.