Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor becomes 3rd Big 12 team to postpone opener after La Tech outbreak

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WACO, Texas — Baylor became the third Big 12 team forced to postpone its scheduled season opener this weekend after Louisiana Tech reported multiple positive COVID-19 tests Tuesday, less than two weeks after a hurricane affected its campus.

Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said Tuesday night that it wasn’t possible for the Bulldogs to play Saturday at Baylor because of the positive tests and contact tracing that would keep other players out the game.

The school didn’t provide any specific numbers, but said there was a spike in cases in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura on Aug. 27 that impacted the campus in Ruston, Louisiana, which is more than 200 miles inland. McClelland the school had only one positive case in the three weeks before the current outbreak, an indication that protocols in place were working.

“With 95% of our city losing power for days – even up to a week in many areas – our student-athletes were forced to find places to stay and some even had family from south Louisiana that came northward to stay with them,” McClelland said. “So many things that we were able to control for the month of August became out of our control, and I think the numbers prove that it took its toll.”

No makeup date was announced.

The Louisiana Tech-Baylor game is the 10th Division I game that has been postponed because of the novel coronavirus, including Big 12 games SMU at TCU and Tulsa at Oklahoma State. The other postponed games are: North Carolina State at Virginia Tech, Temple at Navy, ULM at Troy, Marshall at East Carolina, and three Rice games – against Houston, Marshall and UAB.

TCU had to put off its scheduled opener Friday night after a virus outbreak last week among a cluster of Horned Frogs players and support staff. Oklahoma State has pushed back its opener against Tulsa a week to Sept. 19 after the Golden Hurricane were limited during preseason camp because of multiple positive tests.

Seven Big 12 teams are still scheduled to play Saturday.

“We are incredibly disappointed to announce the postponement of our upcoming football game against Louisiana Tech,” Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said. “However, in the interest of the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, we are confident in this unfortunate but necessary course of action. To the Baylor and Louisiana Tech student-athletes and communities, we share in your disappointment and look ahead to resuming play.”

The game was supposed to be the debut of new Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, the defensive coordinator last season for 15-0 national champion LSU. He replaced Matt Rhule, who was hired by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers after three seasons with the Bears.

AAC teams hit betting spotlight

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(Oddsshark.com) — The No. 18 Memphis Tigers will be aiming for their 13th consecutive straight-up win on Friday when they travel to Tulsa to battle the Golden Hurricane as 10.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Memphis enters Week 8 as one of three AAC squads ranked in the AP Top 25, alongside No. 21 Temple and No. 22 Houston, a first for The American since its inception in 2013.

The 6-0 Tigers ended a three-game winless streak against the spread by topping the Ole Miss Rebels 37-24 last weekend, picking up the ATS win as heavy 10-point road underdogs.

Memphis goes into Friday night’s Tigers vs. Golden Hurricane betting matchup at Chapman Stadium with six road victories during their current win streak, but are a middling 3-2-1 ATS overall and 1-1-1 ATS on the road this season.

The Golden Hurricane return home following a 30-17 loss to East Carolina, their third in their last four, but covered as 14.5-point favorites.

Tulsa has a much-improved 3-3 SU record this season, and they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six as betting underdogs and 4-2 SU in their last six against the Tigers according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

The Owls look to improve to 7-0 SU when they visit East Carolina on Thursday night as intriguing 3-point underdogs.

Temple posted their third straight double-digit victory with 30-16 win over the Central Florida Knights last weekend but failed to cover a 20-point spread, dropping them to 5-2 ATS in their last seven games.

The 4-3 Pirates are just 1-2 ATS at home this season, 2-5 ATS in their last seven, and dropped a 20-10 decision to the Owls last season, the first meeting between the two teams in 19 years.

The Cougars jumped three places in the national rankings last weekend with a 42-7 beating of Tulane, easily covering as 21-point chalk, and can improve to 7-0 SU with a win when they visit Central Florida this weekend as 21.5-point favorites.

Houston is 12-2 SU over their last 14 games, 9-4-1 ATS, and a perfect 5-0, SU and ATS, in their last five as road chalk.

The Knights have been SU losers in their last eight games, but are undefeated SU in their last four against Houston, 1-3 ATS.

In other college football betting action for this week, No. 1 Ohio State is favored by 21 points over Rutgers, No. 2 Baylor takes on Iowa State as huge 37-point favorites, and in the only meeting of ranked squads in Week 8 No. 15 Texas A&M is visiting  No. 24 Ole Miss as early 6-point underdogs.