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Longhorns vs. Red Raiders Preview/Pick

NCAAF Week 10 – Texas Longhorns at Texas Tech Red Raiders

In what may be the most significant college football sports betting matchup to date this year, the Texas Longhorns (8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS) will tackle the Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-0 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) in a showdown of Big 12 contenders that is slated to get underway at 8 PM ET at Jones AT&T Stadium (artificial turf) in Lubbock, TX.

Saturday, November 1
BetUS NCAA Football Betting Odds: TEXAS -4

Here are some of the NCAA college football sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* TEX has covered eight of its last nine games
* TEX has covered five of its last six road games
* TEX has won 20 of its last 22 road games SU
* TEX has played 15 of its last 19 road games OVER the total
* TT has won its last ten games SU
* TT has played its last four games OVER the total
* TT has won its last five home games SU

Also…

* TEX has covered six of the last nine meetings
* TEX has won the last five meetings SU
* The last six meetings have gone OVER the total
* TEX has won four of the last six meetings SU as the road team

Last year’s game was a barn burner. Texas had 33 first downs to the Red Raiders’ 26, and though they had just 10 net rushing yards, they had 476 overall. Texas Tech, however, behind Graham Harrell and All-American wide receiver Michael Crabtree (the eventual Biletnikoff winner), amassed 551 yards of total offense, including 283 on the ground, even though they lost a 59-43 decision.

We mention that rushing figure because Texas Tech is trying to put more balance in its offense this year, running for 138.5 yards a game (5.4 per carry). Surely Harrell has benefited from it, completing 71% for 28 TD’s and only five interceptions. Perhaps that has also allowed the offensive line to protect him a lot better (only three sacks) as opposing defenses can’t simply tee off in the pass rush.

Meanwhile, Colt McCoy has vaulted to the forefront of Heisman discussion, with an insane 81% completion rate (198 for 242) and 21 touchdowns. McCoy, unlike Harrell, also provides something on the ground, with 412 rushing yards. But what’s important is that also makes it difficult for the other team to rush him (13 sacks).

If there is any team that will test the Red Raider offense, this is it. The Longhorns are second in the nation with 29 sacks, led by Brian Orakpo, who has 8.5 of them. And very few teams stuff the run like Texas does (69 yds/game – 2.6 ypc). Maybe the difference between these teams is that Texas has played the more credible opposition, beating Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State (all nationally-ranked, and in consecutive weeks no less), while Texas Tech has not had anything close to a similar test. So, despite the 63-21 thrashing of Kansas, which started to get out of hand in the second part of the second quarter, the Red Raiders are something of an unknown quantity.

We don’t want to disparage Mike Leach’s team. But we have seen fast starts from them before, and there is not a long history of wins when moving up considerably in class of opposition. There is the hope of catching Texas flat, one supposes, at the tail end of a very tough stretch for the ‘Horns, but that appears unlikely in a game that has national title implications.

It’s pretty unusual that a team would be 8-0, rated fifth in the country (in one poll), yet still be a home underdog. But while it’s usually good policy to go with “power home dogs,” we like the fundamental advantages Texas possesses. The Longhorn defense is so tough to run on that it will probably make Texas Tech one-dimensional. That factor leans us toward the Longhorns, the four-point favorite in the BetUS NCAA college football sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: TEXAS -4 **

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