The 34.5-point underdog SMU Mustangs will host the 4th-ranked Baylor Bears in College Football week 1 betting action. The game kicks off this Friday night at 7:00 PM ET at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Texas.
Breaking Down The Baylor at SMU Betting Odds, Final Score Prediction & TV Info
#4 Baylor Bears vs SMU Mustangs
Date: Friday, September 4, 2015
Start Time: 7:00 PM ET
Location: Dallas, TX
Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Odds: Baylor -34.5
Game Total: 74
Radio: Baylor vs SMU
TV Info: ESPN
Stream: Watch ESPN
Can SMU cover the colossal 34.5-point betting spread against the Bears?
New Coach = New Attitude
New SMU coach Chad Morris will be counted on to turn around a team that went 1 and 11 this season. The turnaround will eventually happen because Morris has strong ties to high school coaches in Texas.
“I know Coach [Art] Briles and have known him for some time, and he’ll have them ready,” Morris said. “I can promise you that.”
— Grantland (@Grantland33) August 26, 2015
How bad was SMU last season? Southern Methodist not only finished 1-11 straight up, the Mustangs also finished 4 and 8 against the spread. SMU wasn’t ranked better than 114 in any offensive category. On the defensive side of the ball, SMU’s best ranking was seventy-five. They got that ranking in field goal percentage allowed.
Morris has a huge, massive, job ahead of him. QB Matt Davis is a junior. Morris knows him well since he recruited him while the offensive coordinator at Clemson. Davis was the Mustangs leading rusher in 2014. That’s not a good thing. Unless Davis and the rest of SMU’s players have learned Morris’s schemes perfectly, it’s going to be hard for them to keep this one close.
Can Baylor cover the 34.5-point betting spread against the Mustangs?
How much will Baylor miss QB Bryce Petty?
One of the issues that Davis is going to have in this game, if he tries to run the ball, is getting past Baylor’s excellent front seven. The Bears, who in the past were known for being a brilliant offensive team, showed how good their defense could be in a number of games last season. Baylor’s D allowed 25 points per game on average. Versus SMU, the Bears allowed 0 points in a 45 to 0 win. SMU had 67 total yards in that game.
— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) August 31, 2015
Baylor’s defense is even better this season. Shawn Oakman is the best defensive player in college football. He recorded 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss last season. He returns as does nose tackle Andrew Billings. The Bears return all 4 starters in the secondary. If the D plays as well as the hype suggests, Baylor could win the National Championship.
When it comes to SMU’s defense versus Baylor’s offense, there really isn’t a comparison. The Bears averaged 581.5 yards per game and 48.2 points per game last season. Both stats ranked Baylor first in college football. The entire offensive line returns. QB Seth Russell takes the place of Bryce Petty. If anything, Baylor will be stronger in the rushing department with Russell under center instead of Petty. “Petty who?” could be the answer to the question, “Does Baylor miss Bryce Petty?” after Russell destroys SMU’s defense.