College Football Picks: UL Monroe vs. Baylor

Joe Freda

Monday, September 16, 2013 5:44 PM GMT

The No. 19 Baylor Bears have notched a 2-0 spread record with a pair of lopsided wins, outscoring their foes by an impressive combined margin of 139-16.

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Saturday’s college football betting has Art Briles’ troops listed as heavy ‘chalk’ again, when they host the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

Bears roll past Buffalo

Baylor has been idle since September 7th, piling in a 70-13 victory as a 28.5-point home favorite over the Buffalo Bulls. Bears running backs Lache Seastrunk and Shock Linwood united for five touchdowns, dashing for a combined 226 yards.

Baylor’s Bryce Petty connected 13-of-16 passes, finishing with 338 yards through the air. The junior tossed a pair of early touchdowns, finding mates Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley to take a 28-13 lead in the first quarter.

The Bears’ defense held Buffalo to 363 total yards, including a stingy 1.7 YPR as part of 49 rushing plays. Baylor moved the ball for 32 first downs in 26 minutes of possession, while the team was flagged for 10 penalties totaling 125 yards.

Warhawks cash at Wake

Louisiana-Monroe held on for last week’s 21-19 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, collecting as 2.5-point road dog. Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning threw for a season-high 315 passing yards, converting 15-of-28 third downs as part of his squad’s 39 minutes with the ball.

UL-Monroe’s Rashon Ceaser and Tavarese Maye combined for 21 catches, with Maye reaching the end zone for the team’s final scoring drive. Warhawks running back Jyruss Edwards rushed for 61 yards on 17 carries, while Browning was held to 19 yards on the ground as part of nine keepers.

The Warhawks allowed a late touchdown from Wake Forest’s Orville Reynolds with four seconds remaining, but denied the tying two-point conversion. UL-Monroe’s defense gave up 310 yards through the air, while Browning threw two interceptions for his side’s sole turnovers.

Back UL-Monroe as a big dog

Baylor opened as a 27.5-point home favorite in early college football odds, with initial wagers on Louisana-Monroe driving the number south to 27. Saturday’s early weather forecast in Waco calls for 88 degrees, with a 25 percent chance of thunderstorms.

I am taking the points here with UL-Monroe as part of Saturday’s sports picks, agreeing with the early football betting ‘steam.’

Baylor has gotten off to an impressive start, but another ‘cupcake’ contest sandwiched between two bye weeks could make it challenging to keep momentum. The Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four spots that followed a week off, while falling short of cashing in last year’s 47-42 win as 8.5-point road ‘chalk’ against the Warhawks.

Louisiana-Monroe has shown improvement since its 34-0 setback to the Oklahoma Sooners at the season’s start, and should stay within cashing range here. Rashon Ceaser ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference with 218 receiving yards, while defensive mates Cameron Blakes and Joey Gautney have a respectable 2.5 sacks each.

UL-Monroe moved to 8-2 ATS in its most recent 10 road contests with last week’s victory over Wake Forest, while having a 5-2 spread record over its last seven spots that came after allowing less than 20 points. Look for the Warhawks to hole their own here, keeping this closer than sports odds makers expect for another cashed ticket.

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NCAA FB Pick: Take Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks +28 point spread at Bet365

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