Baylor’s offseason has been heavily dominated with talks about the end the Art Briles era and how the Bears are likely to struggle in 2016 with the veteran coach no longer in the team. But looking at the team’s roster, the Bears are pretty stacked up on both sides of the ball, led by star quarterback Seth Russell. Will this talented Baylor squad begin their season in their usual fiery form when they take on Northwestern State in Week 1, or will the Bears’ offseason drama carry into the season and affect the team’s NCAA Football betting performance in a negative way? Let’s try to answer those questions as we preview this Week 1 encounter below.
How to Bet the Northwestern State vs Baylor College Football Week 1 Betting Pick & TV Info
Why Bet on Northwestern State
Looking at their 4-7 campaign in 2015, the first idea would be that the Demons were a really bad unit. But that’s just half the story, as this Northwestern State team finished the 2015 season strongly, winning four of its final six games. The Southland Conference’s Demons will be returning with a good number of players from 2015, including three seniors who were named in the preseason coaches poll second all-conference honors—offensive guard Terrance Boyd, running back De’Mard Llorens and wide receiver Shakeir Ryan. Llorens averaged 4.7 YPC while rushing for a team-high 820 yards and 11 TDs, Ryan ranks fifth in school’s history with 108 career receptions, while Boyd is arguably the best returning piece in Northwestern State’s defense. Given a chance against Baylor, you can be certain that this decently talented Northwestern State team will get a couple of points on the board.
Why Bet on Baylor?
Even with their tumultuous offseason in consideration, the Bears enter the 2016 season with an extremely talented group, and in the bigger picture of things on the field, that’s all that matters ahead of this game. Russell, who threw for 2,104 yards with 29 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 6 last season, is back and fully healthy. Meanwhile, running back Shock Linwood, who tallied 1,329 yards last season, is also back in the fold, as junior wide receiver KD Cannon paces the receivers. With that, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect a strong offensive output from the explosive Baylor unit that ranked among the best in the nation last year. Defensively, there are a number of questions, but it’s hard to see the Northwestern State’s lacking offense cause that much trouble to Baylor’s D that proved capable of holding its own quite last season and is returning with an above-average unit.
My Expert NCAAF Prediction and Picks
It doesn’t matter how you look at it, this game has a blowout written all over it. The Bears have dominated the Demons to tune of a 4-0 record in their past meetings and things should be pretty much the same, as Jim Grobe's earns a big victory in his first game as Baylor’s new coach.
Final Game Score: Baylor 63, Northwestern State 10