Texas vs Baylor Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Ewers Steals the Show vs. Bears

If the Texas Longhorns are officially "back", this game vs. the Baylor Bears is one they should win by 20+ points. Will they? Maybe. Our college football betting picks are siding with the Longhorn QB to be the star of the show. Read on to find out why.

Rob Paul - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rob Paul • Betting Analyst
Sep 23, 2023 • 17:00 ET • 4 min read
Quinn Ewers Texas Longhorns NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

As the never-ending story of Texas being back evolves, they’re going into Waco to take on a floundering Baylor team that’s been defensively atrocious this season. That makes the Bears a hot ticket to fade when looking at this weekend’s college football odds.

While the Longhorns did struggle against a feisty Wyoming program last week, their talent eventually won out down the stretch. The same can’t be said about Baylor, who dropped their season opener to a flashy Texas State squad with an air raid attack that gave Dave Aranda’s team all they could handle. 

I break down the betting lines and give you my best bets in our college football picks and predictions for Texas vs. Baylor on Saturday, September 23.

Texas vs Baylor best odds

Texas vs Baylor and predictions

The enigma that is Quinn Ewers continues to enamor college football fans, and NFL Draftniks, across the nation.

One week he’s struggling against Rice and the next he’s picking apart Alabama’s defense to hand Nick Saban his first loss of the season.

There’s no denying Ewers' talent, he was the No. 1 recruit in 2021 over Caleb Williams despite re-classifying, and when he’s on he looks like a future first-round pick.

He was on against Alabama, letting it rip with arm talent that just makes NFL scouts salivate, and even when he struggled against the Cowboys last week, his crew of weapons helped boost those numbers with some big-time touchdown plays.

This season he’s had the good fortune of playing with arguably the best group of pass catchers in the country led by Xavier Worthy, Ja’Tavion Sanders, and Adonai Mitchell, all three of whom are potential top-100 picks.

With that group catching passes and Ewers' obvious talent, he’s in a position to hit the Over on 2.5 touchdowns against a wounded Baylor squad that’s only win this season came last week against Long Island University, an 0-3 FCS team. The Sharks claim to fame is that their quarterback has a bizarre throwing motion. 

Despite Aranda’s history as one of the better defensive minds in college football, Baylor is 107th in EPA per play on defense this season and 70th in EPA per pass. This shouldn’t be a surprise given how much they lost from last season, they ranked 97th in returning defensive production according to SP+’s returning production metric.

The Texas offense ranks 42nd in EPA per pass this season, which may not seem overly impressive, but against this defense, it’s going to lead to plenty of explosive plays.

Baylor is starting three sophomores in their secondary, and they’ll have a hard time slowing Ewers' aggressive downfield approach, especially when you factor in Steve Sarkisian’s play designs that frequently get his receivers open; he’s a big reason DeVonta Smith won the Heisman.

This season, through three games, Texas has four pass catchers with at least 100 receiving yards, meaning Ewers will have plenty of fresh talent working open to slice through the Baylor secondary like fresh bread.

We’ve already seen one program from Texas do it when GK Kinne brought his Bobcats to town and hung 42 points on Baylor.

Texas State’s dominance in that game was in large part due to quarterback TJ Finley’s ability to hit big plays over the top. Finley, an LSU and Auburn transfer, has a cannon arm, much like Ewers, and had a plethora of capable pass-catchers to rely on — again, like Ewers.

Texas is the only team in the country that’s won three games against FBS teams that went to bowls last season and they’re not going to rest on their laurels in their first conference game of the season.

“We can't sit there and be a punching bag,” Sarkisian said. “We got to walk in there and be in attack mode."

My best bet: Quinn Ewers Over 2.5 touchdown passes (+125 at bet365)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Texas vs Baylor same-game parlay

Quinn Ewers Over 2.5 TD passes

Xavier Worthy anytime TD

Texas -14.5

When Ewers is lighting up the stat sheet it usually means Worthy, his go-to receiver, is too, and with 23 touchdowns in 28 games at Texas, it’s a safe bet to trust he’ll be scoring if Ewers is torching.

In the four games with the Longhorns that Ewers has thrown three or more touchdown passes in, Worthy has caught four of them. 

Even last week against Wyoming when Ewers was struggling, Worthy took a screen pass 44 yards to the house to spark Texas’ 21-point fourth quarter.

With Ewers' arm talent and Worthy’s speed, he’s in a great position to either burn the secondary deep for six or break a few tackles after the catch and spring one to paydirt.

If Baylor can’t slow these two down, they won’t be able to keep up either, with starting quarterback Blake Shapen not expected to play. That makes the 14.5-point spread very appealing if you believe Texas is going to light up the scoreboard. 

The Bears have given up 69 points in three games against a bad FCS program, a Group of Five school coming off a 4-8 season, and a Utah team that was missing their starting quarterback.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Texas vs Baylor spread and Over/Under analysis

After opening with Texas as 14.5-point road favorites, the line bounced around between 14 and 15, but seems to have settled in at that initial 14.5 pretty much everywhere.

Texas is 1-2 against the spread this season after not being able to cover the -31-point spread against Wyoming last week nor the -36-point spread against Rice in Week 1. They did however easily cover the +7-point spread in their upset of Alabama; they play the Power Five schools harder it would seem.

As for Aranda’s Bears, they’re 0-2-1 against the spread this season. They pushed against Utah, losing by exactly seven, but obviously didn’t cover the -27-point spread in the upset loss to Texas State or the -45-point spread in the win over Long Island University.

The game total for this one opened at 51.5 at most books before trending down between 48.5 and 49.5, likely due to the news that Shapen isn’t expected to be healthy enough to start at quarterback for the Bears.

Texas vs Baylor State betting trend to know

Baylor has only hit the Game Total Under in 4 of their last 13 games (-5.90 Units / -41% ROI). Find more college football betting trends for Texas vs Baylor.

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Texas vs Baylor game info

Location: McLane Stadium, Waco, TX
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

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