Over/Under 6 Wins () vs Texas Tech Red Raiders ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : First Game: Ole Miss Rebels vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders 12:00 PM
Location : Jones AT&T Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 6 Wins vs Texas Tech Red Raiders
The fuse is ticking for Kliff Kingsbury as the former Texas Tech QB has found little to no success in his tenure as he has only led this team to 3 bowl games since 2013, something that was the norm for Mike Leach (10 straight bowl appearances). Texas Tech has been an offensive happy program under Kingsbury as they have put up a ton of points in a hurry but the Red Raiders will need to replace some key pieces at the playmaking positions with one of them being the most important, the QB. The reason that Kingsbury has found himself on the hot seat is because of how awful his defense has been over the last few seasons. The defensive unit was one of the worst in the country last season as they ranked 100th in points allowed (32.2) and allowed 5 different teams to hang 40 or more points. The hopes are high moving forward for defensive coordinator David Gibbs as the Red Raiders will return 9 starters to their 4-3 scheme. Usually, young coaches are able to make strides on the recruiting trail as they can connect with the recruits more than some of the older coaches (Bill Snyder & Kirk Ferentz) but Kingsbury has failed to do that. The Texas Tech Red Raiders have not been able to recruit well in their own state nor the nation as the 2018 recruiting class was worst in the Big 12 with only one 4-star signed. The one 4-star recruit should play a role early on his career as talented WR Erik Ezukanma will join a depleted wide receiver unit.
Over/Under 6 Wins's Latest Performance :
The Texas Tech Red Raiders were able to make the postseason last year as they finished at the 6-6 mark but their bowl game didn’t go as planned as they lost to USF in the Birmingham Bowl. The Red Raiders will be missing most of their offensive production from last season with new faces at QB, RB, and WR but the defense should take a step forward which prompted oddsmakers to match last years record as the over/under is set at 6 wins.
Chance For Upsets
The Texas Tech Raiders have a ton of hope that Kingsbury will be the face of the program but if they want him to stay around they may need to pull off some upsets against some of the top Big 12 teams. Luckily for the Red Raiders, they will host 3 of the top teams in the conference at home as they will get a crack at West Virginia on 9/29 as well as Oklahoma and Texas in consecutive weeks at the beginning of November. If the Red Raiders slip up against some of the average Big 12 teams at the beginning of the season a win against Oklahoma or Texas will be a must if they want to make the postseason. The non-conference schedule is no walk in the park either for the Red Raiders as they will have to play a neutral site matchup against Ole Miss to open the season as well as welcome in Houston in week 3. Texas Tech will see their in-state rival TCU on the road on 10/11 as they will try to win their 2nd game in as many as 5 years against the Horned Frogs.
Texas Tech Red Raiders's Latest Performance :
The Red Raiders thrived on their offense last season as they put up 34.3 PPG but most of the production has run out of eligibility which leaves Kingsbury looking for answers especially at QB. Nic Shimonek ran the uptempo air-raid offense to perfection last season as he was able to throw for 3,963 yards and 33 TDs and after only being a 1-year starter the hopes are high that the new guy can catch on just as fast. There has been no clear sign of who will be the starting quarterback in 2018 but the two options appear to be junior McLane Carter and sophomore Jett Duffey, both guys are dual-threat QBs which will benefit the offense as Shimonek was one-dimensional. The top running back from 2017 in Justin Stockton (797 yards & 4 TDs) is gone but luckily for Kingsbury, he has a solid replacement for Stockton. Tre King wasn’t a highly touted recruit as he was a walk-on at Hutchinson Community College but the senior had a solid season last year as he rushed for 623 yards and 5 touchdowns in a reserve role. The wide receiver position will be where the Red Raiders hurt the most as they will be missing about 3/4ths of their production from last season. T.J. Vasher is the lone starter returning to WR and the sophomore will need to double his stats (545 yards & 6 TDs) if the Red Raiders want to make up some of their lost production. The defense got shredded last season which is typical in the Big 12 but there needs to be improvement moving forward if the Red Raiders want to make their 2nd consecutive bowl game. Kingsbury will return one of the best linebackers in the nation in Dakota Allen after the senior recorded a team-high 101 tackles as well as recorded 2 interceptions. There was a ton of havoc in the backfield last season for opposing offenses as sophomore Eli Howard led the Red Raiders with 8.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks, expect the 2nd year starter to take another step forward. The secondary will be the strong suit of the Red Raiders defnesive unit as they return senior safety Ja’Shawn Johnson, sophomore Damarcus Fields as well as former D3 star Justus Parker. Ja’Shawn Johnson plays more like a linebacker rather than a ball-hawking safety as he sat 2nd on the team in tackles with 91. Justus Parker is the best pass coverage DB as the former Texas Luthern (D3) star led the team with 4 interceptions last season and not to mention he made the most out of those returns as he compiled over 114 yards.
Player To Watch
Clayton Hatfield, K, Sr.
My player to watch this season is All-Big 12 kicker Clayton Hatfield as his return back to the lineup should allow the Red Raiders to not only score more points but pull out some of the close games they failed to do last year. Hatfield was ridiculed by injuries last season which prompted Kingsbury to try out 3 different place kickers which went south real fast as they went a combined 6 for 13. With a high-flying offense like Texas Tech, it is essential to have a consistent kicking game as you will often find yourself in field goal position and if Hatfield is healthy this season expect the Red Raiders to squeeze out more wins as they won’t leave 21 points on the board like last year.
How Over/Under 6 Wins & Texas Tech Red Raiders Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 6 Wins -110
Under 6 Wins -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- Ole Miss- L
9/8- Lamar- W
9/15- Houston- W
9/22- @ Oklahoma State- L
9/29- West Virginia- W
10/11- @ TCU- L
10/20- Kansas- W
10/27- @ Iowa State- L
11/3- Oklahoma- L
11/10- Texas- L
11/17- @ Kansas State- L
11/24- Baylor- L
Overall Record: 4-8
Against The Spread Selection: Under 6 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will be facing an uphill climb this season as they will have to replace some important offensive pieces as well as improve one of the worst defensive units in the nation. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders the Kliff Kingsbury era will be coming to an end as they will not finish anywhere close to the 6 win mark with the current question marks they have. Whoever is taking starting snaps at the quarterback position will not have many safe targets to throw at as the WRs will also be inexperienced and trying to find their footing in the Big 12 as well. The defense will be improved for the Red Raiders but they will not be enough to carry an offensive unit who will go through growing pains. Expect the Red Raiders to give some of the top Big 12 teams a scare at home but that won’t be enough to get back to a bowl game. Ride the under 6 win total for the struggling Red Raiders.