SMU at Baylor Week 2 Odds & Free Pick
The Baylor Bears showed no signs of hangovers from their tumultuous season, as they roared to a 55-7 beatdown of Northwestern State. The SMU Mustangs—who finished 2-10 last season–didn’t run up the score like the Bears, but they were probably the happier team, as they recorded their first win of the campaign, a 34-21 victory over North Texas. What can we expect in the college football odds when these two teams clash in Texas this Saturday? Our handicapper is here with the full sportsbetting lowdown specially prepared for you.
Take a Closer Look at the SMU at Baylor Week 2 Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
— #PonyUpTempo (@SMU_Football) September 5, 2016
Why Bet on SMU?
A lot of good things happened in SMU’s victory over UNT and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect more of the same this season. The Mustangs’ offense, which returns quarterback Matt Davis (2 passing TDs last week), the team’s top two running backs led by Xavier Jones (115 rushing yards and 1 TD last week), and the top eight pass targets from last year (five WRs, a tight end, and two RBs), led by star WR Courtland Sutton (who recorded 3 TDs on 4 receptions vs. UNT), has the talent to push Baylor in a better way than NW State did last week. The 572 accumulate offensive yards vs. North Texas last week is proof of this potential. Defensively, the Mustangs are a work in progress, but the team forced Mean Green’s QB Alec Morris into three first-half interceptions, so don’t expect them to sit back and allow the Seth Russell-led Baylor offense to run circles around them.
Why Bet on Baylor?
The 48-point win over Northwestern State, which saw Baylor fail to cover narrowly as -49.5 point favorites in most books, didn’t actually tell the full story of Baylor’s potential. If Russell and his fellow starters had played the full game, the Bears could have won by 80 points, and that’s not an exaggeration. I mean, Russell was in total control of the game, as he completed 14 of 20 passes for 163 yards and TDs to four receivers, including two tight ends. The Bears were leading 41-0 when Russell was withdrawn from the game with five minutes left in the first half.
The Bears, who were mostly comprised of second-teamers and third-teamers for the second half, only managed to put up two TDs after Russell and a good number of starters left the game for good. To say that Baylor’s defense allowed 78 yards of offense to NW State is therefore a big statement about the Bears’ stellar talent on both sides of the ball. So, even with SMU being a slightly better opponent, there should be no questions about Baylor’s ability to get a big win plus cover here.
My Expert Pick and Predictions
As has been mentioned above, Baylor (6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in last 6 vs. SMU) can easily run up the score here for the win and cover, given the stellar skills of Russell, who was the top-rated FBS passer in the nation when he suffered a season-ending neck injury in Baylor’s e seventh game last year.
But from the look of things, Baylor’s interim coach Jim Grobe is playing conservative with the starting QB, as was showcased last week when he withdrew the signal-caller by halftime. If that happens to be the case against SMU as we expect it to be, taking the Bears on the ATS lines would be a risky bet, considering the Mustangs have a lot of upsides in the trenches and appear to be trending upwards on both sides of the ball.
The smart bet here would therefore be to try and find value in the total lines. Now, even on a conservative day, I’d expect another 50-point performance from Baylor. SMU could be good for around 20 points, but after seeing how Baylor’s starters and backups scrimmaged splendidly last week, I doubt if SMU will total too many points here. With that, my expert opinion would be to take the UNDER side of the 76 game total. If you can find a number higher than 76, the better for you.
Final Score Prediction: Baylor 50, SMU 23
Recommended Pick: UNDER 76