A Trip to LSU Part of BYU’s Week 1 Doubleheader: CFB Picks

Willie Bee

Saturday, June 24, 2017 2:35 PM UTC

Saturday, Jun. 24, 2017 2:35 PM UTC

One of seven teams to play two games in what is officially Week 1, BYU is a double-digit underdog on the college football odds in the second clash in Houston against LSU.

BYU Cougars vs LSU Tigers

Summer months can be so cruel for college football bettors and fans with the season coming slower than Christmas. But getting closer it is, and if you think you’re jonesing for college football, consider the plight of the BYU Cougars: Kalani Sitake and his gang from Provo have the itch so bad, they scheduled two contests in Week 1.

Suffice to say their second game in seven days will be a bit tougher than the first as the Cougars head to Houston to take on the LSU Tigers in the Texas Kickoff on September 2. 5Dimes has early-bird lines out and the Tigers are -10½ for the first-ever gridiron meeting between the schools. A total has yet to be released, but we’re expecting it to be on the low end of opening week contests with both sides coming off strong defensive showings in 2016.

Seasoned Offensive Line A Strength For Cougs

Sitake starts his second season at Brigham Young’s helm, the Cougars going 9-4 last year with a Poinsettia Bowl victory over Wyoming. They closed the campaign with 5-straight wins in which the Cougars allowed a total of 50 points, and finished 14th in the nation giving up an average of 19.5 per game. That was a big reason why playing the ‘under’ on the NCAAF odds was a winning ticket in 10 of their 13 games.

With seven starters returning on defense, BYU should be strong on that side of the ball again. It’s replacing skill positions on offense that has Sitake’s and his staff’s attention. The Cougars lost QB Taysom Hill and tailback Jamaal Williams plus their top three receivers from 2016. Junior Tanner Mangum is set to take over under center, and the good news is four of the five offensive linemen return led by center Tejan Koroma, a top recruit out of powerhouse Allen (TX) High School. Assuming good health coming out of summer practice, BYU will get to iron out the kinks a week before LSU when they host Portland State in what should be nothing more than a glorified scrimmage.

Defensive Holes To Fil In Baton Rouge

Ed Orgeron is in his first full season running the show at LSU after taking over for embattled Les Miles midway through ‘16. The Tigers were even better on defense than BYU, surrendering 15.8 PPG (5th) and 314 yards per game (10th). That stop unit lost its five top tacklers, however, one of them safety Jamal Adams who went sixth overall in the NFL Draft to the New York Jets.

Despite those subtractions, a lot is expected from Louisiana State as a 15/1 to 20/1 pick on the NCAA football futures odds to win a national title. A reason for the lofty expectations can be found on offense where QB Danny Etling and Derrius Guice returns to the backfield behind an experienced O-line.

Injuries can certainly change a lot between now and September 2, but I’m liking the points in this one for my free NCAA football pick.

My Free CFB Picks  BYU +10½ Best Lines Offered at 5Dimes

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