We have a Big 12 showdown in the Bayou City this afternoon as the No. 8 Texas Longhorns will hit the road to TDECU Stadium to battle the Houston Cougars. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and will air on Fox. This is the first meeting between these two former Southwest Conference foes since 2002.
Texas (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) is coming off a bye and will be looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking 34-30 loss to Oklahoma in the annual Red River Rivalry two weeks ago. The Longhorns seemingly had the game in hand after a Bert Auburn field goal with 1:17 left, only for OU quarterback Dillon Gabriel to deliver the dagger with just 15 seconds remaining. UT is still second in the Big 12 standings and is still very much in a position to make the conference title game.
Houston (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) had some late-game magic go its way on Thursday, beating West Virginia at the buzzer 41-39. After WVU pulled ahead with a touchdown with 12 seconds left (and subsequently took a celebration penalty), quarterback Donavan Smith fired off a last-second Hail Mary that was tipped and fell into the hands of receiver Stephon Johnson for a walkoff touchdown. It was an exciting way for the Cougars to claim their first ever Big 12 win and temporarily cooled down Dana Holgorsen’s hot seat.
Texas: 5 overall, 7 offense, 11 defense
Houston: 59 overall, 26 offense, 95 defense
DB Ryan Watts - Questionable (Lower Body)
OL Jake Majors - Out (Ankle)
OL Cole Hutson - Out (Ankle)
WR Matthew Golden - Questionable (Groin)
WR Joshua Cobbs - Questionable (Undisclosed)
WR CJ Nelson - Out indefinitely (Leg)
Against The Spread in 2023
Texas: 3-3 ATS
Houston: 3-3 ATS
Total in 2023
Texas: Over 2-4
Houston: Over 4-2
Texas: 2.32 plays per minute of offense
Houston: 2.39 plays per minute of offense
Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Texas -23.5
Moneyline: Texas -2800, Houston +1300
Opening line: Texas -20
Opening total: 62.5
Our Best Bet for Texas vs. Houston
Texas unders were the popular play through the first half of the season and a huge driver of that has been the team’s stingy defense. The Longhorns have held opponents to 14 points or less in four games and a few defensive stats are indicators of how tough it has been to move the ball against them. Opponents are converting just 28.4% third down conversion attempts and have scored on just 11 of 16 red zone attempts. I think UT controls this game on the defensive side of things and while it should comfortably win by multiple scores, I’ll go with the under safely cashing.