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Texas 2023 Season Preview & Win Total Prediction 

Quinn Ewers Texas Longhorns NCAA college football player
Quinn Ewers 3 of the Texas Longhorns reacts after rushing for a touchdown in the first half against the Baylor Bears at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium on November 25 2022 Tim WarnerGetty ImagesAFP

NCAAF Pick: Texas Under 9.5 Wins (+110) at Bet365


The Texas Longhorns didn’t get the credit they deserved last year. They might be one of the most famous programs in college football, but the Longhorns were a value pick on last year’s NCAAF odds board, going 8-4 SU and ATS while holding down third place in the Big 12 behind TCU and Kansas State. 

It won’t be easy for Texas to maintain that betting value in 2023. The Longhorns open the new campaign at No. 11 on the AP rankings and No. 12 on the Coaches Poll, higher than any other team in the Big 12 conference they’re about to ditch for the SEC. 

Don’t let that imminent move to college football’s marquee conference cloud your judgment for this season. Texas still has a tough row to hoe in their final Big 12 season; after they visit Alabama in Week 2, there’s enough talent left on the conference schedule to keep the ‘Horns on the wrong side of their 9.5-win total at Caesars Sportsbook


Big Time

Moving to the SEC might be highly lucrative for Texas, but they’re leaving behind one of the most talented conferences in football. Sports Reference had the SEC (plus-9.58) just slightly ahead of the Big 12 (plus-9.32) according to last year’s Simple Rating System, with the latter generating the toughest Strength of Schedule numbers in the FBS. 

Texas went 6-3 (5-4 ATS) in Big 12 play last year, each of their losses by a touchdown or less; they also made headlines during their non-con slate by narrowly losing 20-19 to Alabama as 21-point home dogs. 

All told, their 2022 season was impressive enough for the ‘Horns, who had the most difficult schedule in college football, to finish seventh overall on the F+ Ratings at BCF Toys, ahead of TCU (No. 9) and Kansas State (No. 11). So why isn’t Texas on our list of profitable NCAAF picks for 2023? 

Bear Facts

Well, let’s not put the Longhorns to pasture just yet. They might be one of the sharper teams on the college football odds board when they host the Wildcats on November 4 and visit the Horned Frogs on November 11. Both those programs are likely to take a step back this year.

But unless Texas beats the Crimson Tide on September 9 as 6.5-point road dogs, they can only afford one more loss if they’re going to go Over 9.5 wins this regular season. That’s at -140 vigorish, by the way. 

The rest of the Big 12 is just too strong for us to recommend that wager. Aside from Alabama and TCU (+6), there are three more road games on the 2023 slate, plus the Red River Showdown with Oklahoma (+6) on October 7 at the Cotton Bowl. Here are the away games in question: 

Texas will presumably be favored in all three of those matchups – they’re already 8-point favorites for that first game against the Bears. According to Wizard of Odds, an 8-point underdog can be expected to win 28.2% of the time. That’s a lot of land mines for the Longhorns to avoid, even if Houston and Iowa State end up getting more points than Baylor.


Eh! Steve!

It’s tempting to give the ‘Horns the benefit of the doubt. They are certainly on the right track in Year Three under head coach Steve Sarkisian, one of the brightest offensive minds in college football; however, this program has yet to reach the same heights it did under Mack Brown, and it was Brown who led them to their most recent 10-win regular season in 2009. 

A lot of things have to go right for Texas to approach that level in 2023. Sophomore QB Quinn Ewers (+1000) is the second favorite at Caesars to win the Heisman Trophy, but Ewers (15 TD, six INT in 2022) has to prove himself worthy after a rookie season where his 132.6 passer rating finished No. 70 out of 108 qualifying quarterbacks. 

That Longhorns defense might be even more worrying. They should be fine in the trenches, as they will be in front of Ewers, and the linebackers should be strong with Jaylan Ford returning for his senior campaign. But there are holes in the secondary that have yet to be plugged. 

The Pick

There’s certainly enough upside with this team for fans to be encouraged as they set their sights on that big SEC payday – with none other than Arch Manning waiting in the wings behind Ewers at quarterback. Put Texas down for nine wins this year, though, and bet accordingly. 

NCAAF Pick: Texas Under 9.5 Wins (+110) at Bet365


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