In the first full week of Big 12 action, No. 3 Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian will face square up against head coach Dave Aranda and the Baylor Bears on the road in Waco on Sep. 23. Texas enters Big 12 play as the favorite to win the conference after a successful run during non-conference play.
During the non-conference slate, the Longhorns went 3-0 (0-0 Big 12), including a double-digit win on the road in Tuscaloosa on Sep. 9 over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide. Texas also has victories from the non-con over the Rice Owls in the opener on Sep. 2 and the Wyoming Cowboys on Sep. 16.
Baylor comes into its Big 12 opener after struggling in non-conference play. Aranda and the Bears went 1-2 (0-0 Big 12) during the non-con, most recently with a win over FCS Long Island at home, 30-7, in Week 3. Baylor also fell short of the No. 12 Utah Utes and Texas State Bobcats, with both defeats coming at home in Waco, to start the season.
In what could be the final meeting between Baylor and Texas on the gridiron for a long time, with the Longhorns leaving for the SEC in 2024, the Bears will be very motivated to come out with the upset this weekend.
Here’s a look at the betting odds and game prediction as No. 3 Texas travels to Waco on Sep. 23 to face Baylor in the Big 12 opener at McLane Stadium, with the kickoff time set for 6:30 p.m. CT.
Texas football vs. Baylor: Odds for Week 4 2023
Texas is a 14-point favorite against Baylor in this game, and the over/under is set at 49 points (per Caesers Sportsbook).
The spread has moved 0.5 points in Baylor’s favor since the Longhorns opened as a 14.5-point favorite.
According to the ESPN matchup predictor, Texas has a 90.1 percent chance of beating Baylor in Week 4.
Texas football vs. Baylor prediction
It sounds like a tired subject to many Texas fans, but it can’t be talked about enough that the Longhorns have a huge target on their back entering Big 12 play. This is very likely Baylor’s final shot at Texas on the gridiron for the foreseeable future this weekend.
Baylor also has much to prove as it looks to avoid going 1-3 (0-1 Big 12) through the season’s first four weeks.
Texas has a sizable edge over Baylor on paper regarding talent and depth. Texas is also the healthier of the two teams after Baylor suffered injuries to its starting quarterback, running back, and safety. But there is a chance that former Oklahoma State transfer running back Dominic Richardson (high ankle sprain) and sophomore safety Devin Lemear (elbow) will return this weekend against the Longhorns.
The Longhorns also could see the return of true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr., who was held out of the Wyoming game last weekend with a lower-body injury. Baxter has practiced throughout this week. Sark even said he’s coming off the “best practice he’s had in two weeks” in his Thursday press conference on Sep. 21.
As long as Texas sets the tone with a couple of good offensive drives out of the gates on Saturday night against Baylor and executes consistently on both sides of the ball, this should result in a win by multiple scores.