Craven's Bets: Viewing guide, gambling odds for Texas college football teams ahead of Week 5

Photo by Dave Campbell's Texas Football

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

Welcome back to Craven's Corner, where the ultimate goal is to make money off of our favorite hobby – watching college football. So far, so good through four weeks of the season. We went 6-2-1 in Week 4 to bring our 2022 record to 22-13-1. Viewing information, gambling odds, and my wager are listed for games involving all 12 FBS programs from the Lone Star State. 

GAMES OF THE WEEK 

Baylor vs. Oklahoma State 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on FOX
Gambling odds: Baylor -2.5; O/U 55

A potential Big 12 eliminator game takes place Saturday afternoon in Waco when Baylor (3-1) takes on an undefeated Oklahoma State squad that is coming off a bye week. The Bears started conference play off with a road win over Iowa State. Quarterback Blake Shapen played his best game of the season, and the defense was opportunistic against the Cyclones. Oklahoma State hasn’t yet been tested in wins over Central Michigan, Arizona State, and Arkansas Pine-Bluff. 

To win at home, Baylor must slow down quarterback Spencer Sanders and force him into mistakes like the Bears did to him in the 2021 Big 12 championship game. Sanders has only thrown one interception all season on 95 passing attempts. The Baylor defense recorded two interceptions in the win over Oklahoma State.  Both defenses aren’t as good as they were in 2021, so expect plenty of points in a tight game. 

Craven’s Bet: Over 55 

TCU vs. Oklahoma 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 11 a.m. on ABC
Gambling odds: TCU +6.5; O/U 67.5

TCU enters Week 4 as the only undefeated team remaining in Texas at the FBS level. Sonny Dykes’ crew beat SMU and won back the Iron Skillet for the first time since 2018 as Max Duggan threw three touchdown passes and the run game set the tone against the Mustangs. The Horned Frogs offense needs to continue that balance at home against the Sooners. Oklahoma is 0-1 in Big 12 play after a Week 4 loss to Kansas State. 

This feels like a high-scoring affair in Fort Worth with two quarterbacks operating at full speed. Duggan has 695 yards and eight touchdowns in three starts in 2021. Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel has already thrown for 1,089 yards and 11 touchdowns in four games as a Sooner. The defense who earns a few stops, or causes a turnover or two, wins this game. 

Craven’s Bet: Over 67.5 

Texas A&M at Mississippi State 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 3 p.m. on SEC Network 
Gambling odds: Texas A&M +3.5; O/U 45.5 

Texas A&M can’t keep winning these close games without much help from the offense, can it? The Aggies rank last in FBS with 53 plays per game and only six red zone trips through four games of the season. Jimbo Fisher’s crew rebounded from a Week 2 loss to App State with two gutsy victories over ranked opponents in Miami and Arkansas. The loss of star receiver Ainias Smith won’t help an already struggling passing attack. This is the first trip out of state for Texas A&M in 2022. 

Mississippi State is also 3-1 entering the Week 4 contest. Will Rogers has already thrown for 1,386 yards and 16 touchdowns in four games. And the Bulldogs’ defense is only allowing 21.3 points per game. A Week 3 loss at LSU is the only blemish for Mike Leach’s team so far in the season. Mississippi State won this matchup in 2021. 

Craven’s Bet: Mississippi State -3 (buy the hook) 

QUICK BETS 

Houston vs. Tulane 
Viewing info: 
Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 
Gambling odds: Houston -2.5; O/U 54.5

The Cougars hope a return to AAC play jumpstarts the 2022 season that’s been nothing but disappointing through four games. Houston, which is headed to the Big 12 in 2023, entered the season with lofty expectations and an outside chance of going 12-0. Instead, the Cougars lost in Week 2 against Texas Tech and at home in Week 3 against Kansas. Even the two wins weren’t reassuring. The Cougars needed multiple overtimes to beat UTSA in Week 1 and two turnovers late against Rice in a seven-point win. Tulane might be the surprise of the AAC through four weeks of the season. 

Craven’s Bet: Houston -2.5

UTSA at Middle Tennessee State 
Viewing info: 
Friday at 6:30 p.m. on CBSSN 
Gambling odds: UTSA -4; O/U 63.5 

The Roadrunners head to Middle Tennessee with health concerns following a three-game gauntlet to start the season with games against Houston, Army, and Texas. UTSA weathered the non-conference storm to enter C-USA play at 2-2, but nearly a dozen players from the two-deep were out with injury in the Week 4 win over Texas Southern. Middle Tennessee is flying high after an explosive win over Miami in Week 3. UTSA quarterback Frank Harris has been the best quarterback in Texas through four games. And he has plenty of potential targets with UTSA’s three leading receivers – Joshua Cephus, JT Clark, and Zakhari Franklin – all averaging at least 98 yards receiving per contest. 

Craven’s Bet: UTSA -4

Texas Tech at Kansas State 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN+ 
Gambling odds: Texas Tech +7.5; O/U 57.5

A clash between two programs that began Big 12 play with wins over future SEC opponents. Kansas State beat Oklahoma in a 41-34 shootout. The Wildcats lost to Tulane the week before when the offense only scored 10 points. Texas Tech is drinking the Kool-Aid served by first-year head coach Joey McGuire after the Red Raiders stormed back to beat the Longhorns in Texas’ last trip to Lubbock in the foreseeable future. Quarterback Donovan Smith has proven himself as a winner and the defense is better than most people expect for a Texas Tech squad. 

Craven’s Bet: Under 57.5 

SMU at UCF
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU 
Gambling odds: SMU +3.5; O/U 65

Hurricane Ian moved this matchup to Sunday. SMU is on a two-game losing streak following losses to Maryland and TCU. UCF is a future Big 12 team playing in its last season in Conference USA. The Knights are 3-1 with the lone loss taking place against Louisville in Week 2. The Mustangs need quarterback Tanner Mordecai to value the football more than he has over the last few weeks. Wide receiver Rashee Rice already has 34 catches for 565 yards and four touchdowns. 

Craven’s Bet: SMU +3.5 

Texas vs. West Virginia 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on FS1
Gambling odds: Texas -9; O/U 62 

The Longhorns hope to rebound from a Week 4 loss at Texas Tech with a home game against a West Virginia squad on a two-game winning streak thanks to victories over Towson and Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers are also 0-1 in Big 12 play thanks to a Week 2 loss at home against Kansas. Texas’ defense faced 100 snaps against Texas Tech because the Longhorns couldn’t get off the field on third or fourth down. The West Virginia offense has scored at least 30 points in all four games this season. 

Craven’s Bet: West Virginia +9 

Rice vs. UAB
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+ 
Gambling odds: Rice +10; O/U 51.5

Don’t look now but Rice is in contention for a bowl invite in 2022 thanks to a 2-2 non-conference record that included a win over Louisiana. The Owls’ defense is deep on the defensive line and talented in the secondary. The offense is a ball-control unit that’s developed more explosiveness with Luke McCaffrey at wide receiver. UAB plays a similar brand of football and is one of the favorites to win C-USA alongside UTSA and Western Kentucky. Rice beat UAB on the road in 2021. 

Craven’s Bet: Rice +10 

Texas State at James Madison 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN+ 
Gambling odds: Texas State +22.5; O/U 52

The Bobcats face a stiff test to start the Sun Belt schedule with a trip to James Madison, possibly the best G5 team in the country through four games. James Madison is 3-0 with wins over Middle Tennessee State, Norfolk State, and Appalachian State. The Dukes won those games by an average score of 46-14. Texas State is 2-2 with wins over FIU and Houston Christian. 

Craven’s Bet: James Madison -22.5

North Texas vs. FAU 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN+
Gambling odds: North Texas +3; O/U 67.5

The Mean Green will be happy to get into C-USA play after struggling in the non-conference schedule against future AAC opponents. North Texas allowed an average of 46 points in losses to SMU and Memphis. The 10-point loss to Memphis last week was due, at least in part, to offensive turnovers that became points for the opponents. A home game against an FAU team that isn’t very good is exactly what the doctor ordered for Seth Littrell’s squad. 

Craven’s Bet: North Texas +3 

UTEP at Charlotte 
Viewing info: 
Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN3
Gambling odds: UTEP -3; O/U 51.5 

Dana Dimel’s program was on the ropes heading into the Friday night matchup with Boise State in Week 4. The Miners were 1-3 with losses to C-USA opponent North Texas and rival New Mexico. UTEP salvaged the season and kept bowl hopes alive with an upset win over Boise State in the Sun Bowl. A game against Charlotte provides the Miners with a chance to get to 3-3 on the season and .500 in conference play. The problem for UTEP is the travel. The Miners don’t play well in the Eastern Time Zone historically. 

Craven’s Bet: Over 51.5 

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 61 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!