Baylor vs. Southern Methodist College Football Picks: Bears' Offense Has Enough Weapons to Cover ATS

David Lawrence

Friday, September 4, 2015 12:33 AM GMT

Baylor is coming off back-to-back Big 12 championships. Southern Methodist is coming off one of the worst seasons in school history, about as much of a disaster as a program could possibly endure.

These teams are complete opposites not so much in terms of style, but in terms of success and consistency. Now, though, SMU has a new coach. Can the Mustangs turn things around and give Baylor a scare in the season opener?

 

Momentum
The Bears have done everything over the past two years except play for the national title and win a bowl game. The Bears have surprised everyone with their rise to the top of the Big 12 and their subsequent ability to defend their crown. Being able to win the Big 12 in 2013 was something of a surprise, but Baylor had been building momentum as a program. Being able to win in 2014 when everyone was coming hard at the Bears should give Baylor the confidence to think it can do it all over again. Coach Art Briles has developed Baylor to the point that players can be plugged in and do the work that the previous year’s players did. New guys come in, and the machine keeps humming along.

The Mustangs had a total wreck of a season. Longtime coach June Jones, who built the program from nothing and revived it, burned out on coaching. He stepped away two games into the season, leaving an interim coach to handle a team with very little talent. Not only did the Mustangs go 1-11 last season, they averaged only 11.1 points per game while allowing an average of 41.3 points per game. They were dreadful – no one averaged worse numbers on offense, and only one team out of 128 in major college football averaged worse on defense.

O/U Trends to Apply When Betting This Game

Line Moves
The line is -35.5 points for Baylor in some places, and -36 in others. The large line on the college football odds board is not just a result of Baylor’s excellence over the past two years, winning consecutive Big 12 championships and becoming a true powerhouse in college football. This is also the result of SMU being in a complete rebuilding mode under a brand new head coach, Chad Morris, who knows that he is just starting to remake the Mustangs the way he wants to. SMU is starting from scratch, and that’s part of the puzzle here.

What should also be accounted for is that while Baylor is a great team, it is also a team which likes to score in bunches, and is very good at doing so. Baylor does not waste time scoring. The Bears get tons of plays over 30 yards. They gobble up real estate very quickly, and that’s why they get such large point spreads other teams wouldn’t match.

 

Notable Injuries

Baylor has no injuries at this time.

SMU has three players out for the season: receiver James Proche, running back Daniel Gresham, and offensive lineman Seaver Myers.

 

Handicapping The Game
These teams are so different in terms of resources that the arrival of coach Chad Morris at SMU is not going to change the outcome of this one. Baylor will run wild and cover the number so take the Bears with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Baylor -36 at 5Dimes

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