NCAAF Host With Betting Edge in BYU vs. Texas

Willie Bee

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 12:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 3, 2014 12:37 PM UTC

Revenge is in the air this week in Austin where the Texas Longhorns host the BYU Cougars on Saturday night, and SBR has a preview and free college football pick for the matchup.

Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. If it is to be served at all Saturday night in Austin, however, it will come out of the kitchen in the form of a steaming bowl of Texas chili as the Longhorns look for a little payback against the Brigham Young Cougars.

FOX Sports 1 will carry the contest from Memorial Stadium, the kickoff expected a little past 7:30 PM (ET). Texas started off as 3.5 point chalk, but that spread is down to -3 at several betting outlets monitored by SBR's live College Football odds, and as low as -1 at a few others.

Totals are only now starting to trickle out at a few sports books, and 47-48 points appear to be where the scoreboard barrier for this contest will settle.

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No Revenge Factor For Strong
Last year's 41-20 final in Provo might not look as lopsided as BYU's victory really was. The Cougars, who were 7 point underdogs, shredded the Texas defense for nearly 680 yards of offense, 550 of that coming on the ground, and the defense frustrated the Longhorns by holding them scoreless over the final 23½ minutes of the affair that left BYU with a 3-1 lead in the series.

Enter Charlie Strong. Strong wasn't around for Texas' embarrassment at BYU last year, so he goes into this meeting without any thought of revenge. Hired to replace Mack Brown after the 2013 season, Strong's task is to simply get the Longhorn program back into national contention after four disappointing seasons following their BCS appearance in 2009. I think he will succeed, that is if the fat cat Texas boosters don't get in his way.

Strong put his stamp on this team immediately by kicking four players off the roster and suspending two more. And his style of tough defense certainly showed in Texas' 38-7 season opening victory over North Texas. Granted, the Mean Green represented nothing more than a cupcake to get the Longhorns started, but the Texas stop unit held UNT to less than 100 yards of offense and picked off four passes.

Of concern this week for Strong and his coaching staff is recurring concussion symptoms that will keep starting QB David Ash on the sidelines. That means Tyrone Swoopes will be under center for this one, or more likely, directing the Texas offense from a lot of shotgun formations since the 6-4 sophomore is not your prototypical drop-back passer.


Cougars Expected To Have Suspended Players Back
Bronco Mendenhall and BYU also got their 2014 campaign started with a victory, racing to a 21-0 lead at UConn en route to a 35-10 win and cover as 15.5 point road chalk. The final never really threatened a 54 point total, continuing a trend from last season when the Cougars rewarded 'under' bettors in nine of their 13 games.

Missing from last week's win at Connecticut was starting tailback Jamaal Williams who was serving a suspension for a violation of BYU's honor code. Four other Cougars were also sitting out for similar reasons, and all are expected back this week. Williams and QB Taysom Hill combined for 441 of the Cougars' 550 rushing yards vs. Texas last year, and Hill is coming off a huge day against UConn with 308 yards passing plus 97 more on the ground.

Football season may be upon us, but that doesn't mean it's autumn in the Lone Star State. The thermometer is expected to climb into the mid-to-upper-90s during the afternoon, and we're probably looking at no cooler than 92º under clear skies for the initial boot at 6:30 PM local time.

The injury to Ash is behind the spread movement, and the idea of Swoopes having to make plays with his arm instead of his legs does worry me a bit. But I'm still willing to lay a point on the Longhorns at home for my free College Football pick.

My Free College Football Pick: Texas -1 (-110) at Bookmaker

Season: 0-0

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