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Baylor Opens as 3.5 Point Favorites Over North Carolina

Baylor opened as a 3.5 favorite over their Russell Athletic Bowl foe, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Surprised?

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Betting lines for the bowl games dropped a couple of days ago, and your Baylor Bears have opened as a 3 1/2 point favorite over the North Carolina Tar Heels. Mark had this to say yesterday regarding the line:

I agree with Mark's sentiment. The quarterback position at present is basically a giant question mark. Couple that with the Tar Heels' strong performance against Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, and you could say that I'm surprised that UNC isn't favored in this game to start. Since opening, the line has moved down to 3 points in favor of Baylor. I'm guessing that it will hold at that point for at least the time being; perhaps there will be a larger shift once we learn more about the status of Jarrett Stidham next week.

Other Lines of Note

Here are some of the other lines that are of some interest:

  • Texas Bowl (12/29, 8pm): Texas Tech vs. LSU (-7.5)
  • Independence Bowl (12/26, 4:45pm): Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech (-14)
  • Liberty Bowl (1/2, 2:20pm) Kansas State vs. Arkansas (-13)
  • Alamo Bowl (1/2, 5:45pm) Oregon vs. TCU (PK)
  • Cactus Bowl (1/2, 9:15pm) West Virginia vs. Arizona State (open PK, now -1)
  • Peach Bowl (12/31, 11am): Houston vs. Florida State (-7)
  • Fiesta Bowl (1/1, 12pm): Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (open -5, now -6.5)
  • Rose Bowl (1/1, 4pm): Iowa vs. Stanford (-6.5)
  • Sugar Bowl (1/1, 7:30pm): Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State (open -7, now +6.5)
  • Orange Bowl Semifinal (12/31, 4pm): Clemson vs. Oklahoma (open -3, now -3.5)
  • Cotton Bowl Semifinal (12/31, 8pm): Michigan State vs. Alabama (open -8.5, now -9.5)

Most interesting to me in these lines is the heavy shift in the line for the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma State opened as a touchdown favorite over Ole Miss, but the line has basically swung two touchdowns in the other direction, with Ole Miss now being the 6 1/2 point favorite. There isn't much in the way of injury news that would cause such a tremendous shift. Surely it's a typo on the page. If anyone has any insight on that, I'd welcome it in the comments.

Scheduling Note

Given the fact that the Russell Athletic Bowl is right at three weeks away, we'll be extending our preview schedule out over the course of the next three weeks. I'm planning on putting out a First Look later this week. I'm thinking I might split up the Advanced Stats post into two separate posts, one for each side of the ball. Those will likely be next week. We will likely do a preview podcast at some point in there, too. We may even do an actual Q&A with the folks over at TarHeelBlog. If you have any suggestions of things you'd like to see, by all means, let us know. We might even let you do it!