2023 Texas Tech Red Raiders Betting Preview

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The Texas Tech Red Raiders are part of a wide-open Big 12 Conference this season. They aren’t the favorite, but they have a puncher’s chance in a conference which is legitimately up for grabs. There's only one relatively proven team: defending champion Kansas State. It would not be extraordinarily surprising if any of several Big 12 teams won the conference championship this year. Texas Tech wants to be that team.

2023 Texas Tech Red Raiders Futures

Odds To Win Big 12: +1100 at MyBookie Sportsbook

Odds To Win National Championship: +20000 at MyBookie Sportsbook

Best Bet To Win Heisman

Quarterback Tyler Shough, who transferred from Oregon before current coach Dan Lanning took over the Ducks, is listed as a +15000 choice for the Heisman. That's the best on the board for any Texas Tech player. Shough left Oregon in the Mario Cristobal era. He played for Texas Tech last season but has had trouble staying healthy. When Shough has played, he has shown glimpses of great potential and quality. The fact that he hasn’t been able to play the vast majority of snaps in any season as a college football player has limited the extent to which NFL draft analysts can fully evaluate him. Those injuries have made him a very under-the-radar figure in both college football at large and in the Big 12 in particular.

If Shough can play all 12 games this regular season, he will have a chance to put up significant numbers within the Red Raiders’ pass-first offense. People hope to see what Shough can do. First, he has to solve the injury bug and allow his body to get out of the way. He could be a sneaky, under-the-radar performer who could become a Heisman candidate if Texas Tech wins the Big 12 championship and reaches a New Year’s Six bowl game. He won’t have a realistic chance if the Red Raiders win just eight games and don’t play in a major bowl.

Pick: Tyler Shough

Best Player Prop To Bet

Tahj Brooks Rushing Yards

Tahj Brooks is expected to be the main running back this season in the Texas Tech offense. While the Red Raiders will need to be able to run the ball in third and short and fourth and short situations, they will rely mostly on the passing game to move the ball. That is and will be the central engine of their offense and its production. Brooks will be used situationally and as a way of making sure defenses don’t always anticipate the pass. Brooks won’t be the primary force within the offense. Therefore, if you see any player prop based on Brooks’ rushing yards this season, you should lean to the under for the total.

Pick: Tahj Brooks Under Rushing Yards

Regular Season Win Total

Any discussion of win totals for a Big 12 team this year has to begin with a mention of the fact that the conference will have 14 teams for one season. It's last call before Oklahoma and Texas leave for the SEC in 2024. Oklahoma and Texas and the other regular members of the Big 12 will be joined by four new schools: BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston.

BYU used to be independent. UCF, Cincy, and Houston were all part of the AAC but made the move up to a Power Five conference. The balance of power in this year’s Big 12 will not exist next year. This will be a one-of-a-kind situation. It will be anything but easy to predict when you realize that Oklahoma – the longstanding power in the Big 12 – is coming off an atrocious 2022 season. And Texas has struggled for the past 13 years, going all the way back to the 2010 season (the year after it reached the national championship game).

Examining The Schedule

Texas Tech’s big games this year are at home against Oregon, at home versus Houston, at Baylor, at BYU, home against Kansas State, home versus TCU and UCF, and a road game at Texas. Oregon should be very good, so that game shapes up as a likely loss. Houston should be a win. The Cougars really struggled last season. Baylor is a bit of a wild card. However, the Bears usually have one of the better defenses in the country under head coach Dave Aranda. BYU is a team in transition and Texas Tech should be able to handle the Cougars’ offense enough to win that game. The home game against Kansas State will be hard. Remember, KSU is the defending Big 12 champion and one of the more likely choices to win the conference this season.

Many will say that the TCU game should be a loss. We have to remember that the TCU roster which reached the national championship game last season bears little resemblance to the 2023 roster. Start with the fact that Max Duggan is gone. He was the runner-up in the 2022 Heisman Trophy voting (with USC’s Caleb Williams finishing first). He's no longer the Horned Frogs’ quarterback. TCU is starting over at a lot of positions. Texas Tech not only can win that game; it probably should win that game.

Texas Tech should also be able to win the UCF game. The Knights were a talented but erratic team last season. It will be hard for them to go into Lubbock and defeat the Red Raiders. The road game at Texas will be difficult. Texas is the most talented team on paper in the Big 12. However, the Longhorns have struggled to live up to their potential for a very long time. Texas Tech will have a chance to win that game, but it will likely need Texas to play poorly.

All in all, the Oregon, Baylor, Kansas State, and Texas games are games in which Texas Tech is not likely to be favored. If we look at the full 12-game schedule and assess which games are more likely than not to be losses, Texas Tech is probably looking at four losses. That means the best betting strategy is the over. They should win eight games. It should go over the 7.5 win total, albeit barely.

Pick: Over 7.5 Wins