Bet SMU Plus the Points vs. Baylor College Football

Jeff Grant

Friday, August 29, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

The Baylor Bears are excited to play on campus for the first time in almost 80 years, but college football odds are simply overvaluing them against the SMU Mustangs Sunday night.

Ready to bounce back?
SMU looks to move past its 5-7 SU record from a season ago, especially since seventh year head coach June Jones has never had consecutive losing seasons in his coaching career, which is important to consider when making your college football picks to close out the weekend.

The Mustangs return six starters on each side of the ball, with junior center Taylor Lasecki being one of the most important, as he’s played every game as an active player since arriving on campus.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 5-11 SU and 8-7-1 ATS as underdogs.


A new beginning in Waco
Baylor’s current 10-game home winning streak is a school record and tied for the nation’s sixth-longest active streak of its kind, but it now gets set to play on campus for the first time since 1935.

The Bears won 19 of their final 20 games at Floyd Casey Stadium, with most of that success attributed to an offense that has scored 30-plus points in 29 of its last 32 overall contests.

College football handicappers will find that the school is 9-0 SU ATS at home when the betting total is 70 points or higher in its last nine opportunities.


Series history
The Mustangs are huge road underdogs on the college football odds page for numerous reasons, with the main one being that they’ve lost and failed to cover the number in the last 10 meetings in this in-state rivalry.

It’s important to point out that only one of those games has taken place during the Jones era, as SMU suffered a 59-24 setback as seven-point road underdogs on Sept. 2, 2012, but it was only out-gained by 106 yards.


Some major question marks
Baylor will certainly put up video game-type numbers once against offensively with Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Petty back under center, but it has some major question marks on the other side of the ball with only four returning starters.

The Bears defense led the nation in forcing three-and-outs a season ago, while they also ranked fifth nationally in interceptions and passes defended, which allowed their explosive offense to get back on the field quickly.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mustangs as one of their Week 1 college football picks, as they’ll be able to move the ball throughout this contest with Jones calling plays for sophomore quarterback Neal Burcham.

Baylor returns a nation’s best 6,319 yards from its 2013 totals offensively, but it won’t be able to blow out a capable offense on the other side of the field

College Football Pick:  SMU Mustangs +33

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