The BYU Cougars (5-1) look to rebound after their first loss of the season as they head to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears (5-1) in a highly anticipated showdown between two one-loss teams this Saturday.
While the Bears sit just outside the Top 25 in the latest AP Poll, a win over the 19th-ranked Cougars would certainly see their stock rise. Will Baylor move to 6-1 on the season and continue its impressive start, or will BYU move to 3-0 on the season when playing as the underdog?
Find out with our free college football betting picks and predictions for BYU vs. Baylor on October 16.
BYU vs Baylor odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Baylor opened as -4.5 favorites but has been bet up to -6 as of the time of this writing. The total opened as low as 47 at some books but has soared to 50.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.
BYU vs Baylor picks
Picks made on 10/12/2021 at 10:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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BYU vs Baylor game info
• Location: McLane Stadium, Waco, TX
• Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021
• Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
BYU vs Baylor betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
BYU: Baylor Romney QB (Probable), Harris LaChance OL (Questionable), Mason Wake TE (Questionable), Kody Epps WR (Doubtful), Caleb Christensen K (Out).
Baylor: Kalon Barnes CB (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Cougars are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games as a road underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for BYU vs Baylor. Find more NCAA betting trends for BYU vs. Baylor.
BYU vs Baylor predictions
BYU +6 (-120)
Baylor’s start to the season has been impressive. The Bears beat Iowa State at home and demolished West Virginia 45-20 last week.
Quarterback Gerry Bohanon has been nearly perfect, completing 66 perecent of his passes for 1337 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions while rushing for another six scores. Running back Abram Smith is averaging 7.7 yards per rush and has seven touchdowns. The defense has been suffocating opponents to the tune of only 17.8 points per game and 4.8 yards per play.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Bears' schedule to date. We’ll mostly ignore the wins over Texas State, Texas Southern, and Kansas to start the season, as those were all easy victories. The win over Iowa State is still their most impressive this season, but they were outgained 479 to 285 while the Cyclones had 27 first downs to their 15 — Baylor was somewhat fortunate to find the win. It looked good, especially offensively, over West Virginia, but that’s a team that lost to Texas Tech the week before.
I would argue that BYU’s resume has been more impressive to date, which is why the Cougars find themselves ranked over Baylor. They have two wins over ranked PAC-12 programs, including an Arizona State team that has looked stellar. The loss to Boise State last week was a setback, but they outgained the Broncos by over 100 yards and coughed the game away after four turnovers.
BYU will come into this game angry and focused after last week’s upset. The Cougars have won four of their past five road games and are 5-0 straight up in their last five games against the Big 12.
The Cougars have excelled as road underdogs as well, going 23-9 ATS in their past 32 games. They've been underdogs twice this season and won outright both times — a 26-17 win over Utah as 7-point dogs and a 27-17 win over Arizona State as a 3-point pup. The Cougars are 5-1 straight up following a loss in the past three years under coach Kalani Sitake.
We’ll pick BYU to bounce back and at least cover in this matchup.
Over 50.5 (-110)
This number is simply too low for a game that features two capable offenses. While BYU hasn’t exactly lit the scoreboard on fire, it has averaged a respectable 404.8 yards per game on an efficient 6.3 yards per play.
Quarterback Jaren Hall missed a few games due to injury, skewing the offensive numbers, but the signal caller appeared healthy a week ago and will form a nice tandem with star running back Tyler Allgeier (624 yards, eight touchdowns). Baylor coach Dave Aranda made a point of praising Allgeier in interviews this week, recognizing the talent that his defense is up against. Hall should look sharper this week after not seeing a full week of practice reps leading into the BYU game.
As for Baylor, the offense has been on fire and is ranked 25th in the country with 461.5 yards per game. Bohanon’s dual-threat capabilities paired with Smith’s explosiveness out of the backfield has been too much for opposing defenses.
Points have come in bunches at home — the Bears are averaging 47.3 points in three home games, two of which came against solid defenses (Iowa State, West Virginia). The Over is 5-1-1 in the Bears' last seven home games and 4-1 in their last five games as the favorite.
We’re taking the Over in a game featuring two dual-threat quarterbacks that will keep the defense guessing all game.
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