Texas State @ Baylor
Texas State +27½ -104 over Baylor

Posted at 8:15 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle +27½ -110  BET365 +27½ -110 Sportsinteraction +27½ -110 888Sport +27½ -110

Texas State +27½ over Baylor

McLane Stadium, Waco, TX

Streaming: ESPN+

7:00 PM EST. Texas State is not the targeted side here, but that doesn't mean there isn’t much to say about what is cooking in San Marcos, as new Coach G.J. Kinne brings youthful energy (he’s just 34) and he comes in after one year at Incarnate Word, where he led the Cardinals to a 12-2 season, leaving them in a fine position for their move to FCS’s Southland Conference.

As for the ingredients Kinne is cooking with in 2023, he has brought in an influx of quality players with 37 total transfers being added to the roster. Of those 37 players,19 transferred from Power Five schools, with 11 coming in from the revamped Big 12 (more on that in a minute). With a new head coach and an influx of 53 new players, there might not be a bigger question mark in the Sun Belt, and with expectations low (the Bobcats are pegged to finish second last in the West Division), there could be gold in the hills of San Marcos, as the Bobcats are totally off the radar, at least for the moment.

Baylor stumbled down the stretch last season and there is little coming into 2023 that would suggest much is going to change for head coach Dave Aranda, who enters his fourth season in Waco after taking over from Matt Rhule, who left the program after the 2019 season. Rhule left the cupboard full when he left, and so Aranda pretty well just had to keep it on the straight and narrow to keep the good times going, but 2020 was rough for Baylor, and everyone, really, as the Bears went just 2-7, while the rest of us suffered through COVID. In 2021, the Bears returned to form going 12-2, but 2022 was bad, as Baylor would go on to lose its final four games after a 6-3 start to finish 6-7.

A big reason for the Bears’ lack of success last season, was that their defense, once a great strength, struggled some last season allowing nearly 27 points per game (PPG), which out of context sounds poor, but a closer look shows that The Bears finished fourth in the 10-team Big-12 of 2022 with the bottom of the barrel in that category (Kansas) allowing 35.5 PPG. Did the fact that the Bears weren’t really that bad on defense relative to the rest of the conference stop Aranda from firing the defensive coordinator who helped him win a dozen games the year prior? Of course it didn’t, as Ron Roberts was unceremoniously dismissed after three years alongside Aranda. Who needs enemies, eh?

The conference landscape in FBS is changing greatly, year by year, and 2023 is no different, as the Big-12 added four teams (BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF) joining the fold for one last hurrah before Texas and Oklahoma will move onto the greener pa$ture$ of the $EC. As for where Baylor fits into that puzzle, the Bears are pegged to be a middle-of-the-pack side that has a brand new defensive coordinator in Matt Powledge, to go along with a revamped defense that returns just five starters. By the way, there is a brand-spanking new secondary to go with that new scheme. Further, the Bears have an offensive line that will be using this game to gel for the first time. Those are not conditions ripe for one to cover an inflated number in what is a glorified practice, as the Bears play #14 Utah at home in Waco in Week 2. There are a bunch of inflated points on the table and we’re grabbing them.


Our Pick

Texas State +27½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)

Clemson +110 over Florida St
Cincinnati +14 -110 over Oklahoma
Oregon -21 -110 over Colorado
Appalachian St +125 over Wyoming
Ohio State -3 -110 over Notre Dame
Utah St +170 over James Madison
Nevada +17 -103 over Texas State