Baylor vs SMU College Football Betting Game Preview
Former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be starting a new era in SMU as the team’s head coach when the Mustangs host veteran Baylor head coach Art Briles and his high-powered Bears offensive unit this Friday. Notably, these are two teams that are coming off very divergent seasons. The Mustangs were a poor team in 2015, losing all but one of their games in 2014 for a 1-11 overall record. The Bears, on the other hand, were red-hot and won all but one game in the regular season, finishing 11-1, before losing to the Spartans in the Cotton Bowl. The disparity in their 2014 seasons is the reason why the Bears are overwhelming favorites to beat SMU, boasting of a 36-point spread over the Mustangs in the NCAA Football odds. Can the Bears win this game and cover the huge NCAAF betting lines spread, or will the Mustangs spoil the party for Baylor supporters? Let’s find out, as we preview this season-opener in the section below.
How To Bet the Bears vs Mustangs NCAA Football Betting Match Up, TV & Game Info
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
Date: Friday, September 4, 2015
Time: 7:00 P.M. ET
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 4, 2015
Betting on the Baylor Bears
Having had the best scoring offense in the nation over the past two years, it would be illogical to expect the Bears to struggle in the offense this season. Losing star QB Bryce Petty, along with Bryce Hager, Antwan Goodley, Levi Norwood and Spencer Roth, will definitely take away some sting from the team on both sides of the ball. Even so, the team is returning with a group that is capable of maintaining momentum from last season, if not doing better. Fourth-year junior Seth Russell is no Petty, but he gets a talented unit to help him in transition. For example, in O-line, the Bears return all starters from last season, including All-American tackle Spencer Drango, who helped Baylor to average 365.9 passing yards (fourth-best in the nation) and 215.5 rushing yards per game (29th-best in the nation). Not to mention, Corey Coleman and K.D. Cannon proved very strong as receivers last year, along with TE Tre’von Armstead, while Shock Linwood leads a solid running back group. On the other side of the ball, defensive stars Ryan Reid and Xavien Howard can easily take advantage of SMU’s weak offense that ranked as the second-worst in the nation last year. So although some modicum improvements can be expected from the Morris-coached SMU offense, it doesn’t look like the Bears’ D-line will struggle in this game.
Betting-wise, it is worth noting that the Bears struggled in covering the spread during the tail-end of the season, going 3-5 ATS in their last 8 games. A strong overall performance from both ends of the field will this be required if the Bears are to stop SMU, who (as was earlier mentioned) did well-enough in covering the spread towards the end of last year.
Betting on the SMU Mustangs
The presence of Morris, a proven offensive maestro, will be a big motivation for SMU to improve after the team ranked among the worst in nearly all offensive statistical categories last season. The Mustangs will be led by returning QB Matt Davis, a player that showed sparks of brilliance last season, both on the air and the ground. In fact, Davis was the leading rusher in the school last year, something that should augur well for their running game that boasts of pieces like Daniel Gresham, K.C. Nlemchi, Darius Durall and Prescott Line. The receivers are not as endowed like the backs, but returning starter Darius Joseph and Deion Sanders Jr. lead a unit that boasts of strong-potential players.SMU’s defense was just as bad as the offense in 2014, but the experience and unearthed potential of players like Zach Wood, Shakiel Randolph and Jonathan Yenga should offer inspiration to the rest of the team along the D-line, especially at cornerback and linebacker.
Considering their rock-bottom performance in 2014, there’s no other place for the Mustangs to go this season except up. Beating the Bears is a REALLY tall order, but having finished the 2014 season on impressive 5-4 ATS run in their final 9 games, the Mustangs can certainly challenge for the spread-cover in this game.
Baylor vs SMU Key Betting Trends
-Baylor is 4-2 ATS in its last six road games
-SMU failed to cover the spread in 6 games last year when they were placed as underdogs of 21-plus points
-Baylor is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five meetings with SMU
-SMU is 0-20 SU in its last 20 games vs. the Big 12.
-The UNDER is 3-1 in SMU’s last four home games
My Expert Betting Analysis and Game Prediction
Covering a spread of 35-plus points is not an easy task, even if that team is Baylor. Not to forget, Russell is just getting started and there’s no telling if he is able to have the same consistency and efficiency like Petty. So although we trust the Bears to win this game rather comfortably for the SU, we believe the Mustangs will be able to do enough to cover the spread, mainly because Baylor’s All-American defensive lineman Shawn Oakman and All-Big 12 defensive back Orion Stewart are both set to miss this game.
Picks: Baylor for SU, SMU for ATS, Total: OVER 73 points