Texas Tech at SMU Picks and Week 1 College Football Odds
by Dave Schwab - 7/13/2013
The Big 12’s Texas Tech Red Raiders will head on road to Gerald Ford Stadium to open the 2013 season against the SMU Mustangs from of the newly formed American Athletic Conference on Friday, Aug.30. This in-state battle is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Texas Tech finished the 2012 season below .500 in conference play at 4-5, but a 34-31 victory over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl raised its overall record for the season to 8-5. The Red Raiders were costly to wager on down the stretch after failing to cover against the spread in their last six games. The total went “over” in five of those games.
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The Mustangs wrapped up their final season in Conference USA with a 5-3 record in conference play and a 7-6 record overall. They went out on a high note with a 43-10 romp over Fresno State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. SMU went 5-2 ATS in their last seven games, and the total stayed “under” in three of its last four contests.
Texas Tech at SMU Storylines
The Red Raiders finished the 2012 season ranked second in the nation in passing with an average of 355.9 yards a game behind the arm of Seth Doege. It will be Michael Brewer behind center this season, so the jury is still out on just how potent the passing attack will actually be given his lack of experience. The good news is that wide receiver Eric Ward is back after leading the team last season with 1,053 yards on 82 receptions. Kenny Williams will once again anchor the run game after posting 824 yards on 143 carries in 2012.
The biggest concern for Texas Tech’s new head coach Kliff Kingsbury will be tightening up a defense that allowed an average of 31.8 points a game last season, which was ranked 92nd in Division IA. The good news is that the front seven remains pretty much intact, but the secondary could be exposed early with three new starters.
SMU showed a bit more balance on offense last season with an average of 235.3 passing yards that complemented a rushing attack that averaged 132 yards a game. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert returns for his final season. And while the former Texas transfer still has a ton of potential, he will need to improve both his accuracy and cut down on turnovers after completing just 53 percent of his passes while throwing for 15 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. All-conference running back Zach Line is gone, but keep an eye on his younger brother Prescott, who is second on the depth chart behind Traylon Shead.
The Mustangs’ defense was not nearly as porous as Texas Tech last season, but it still allowed an average of 25.7 points a game, and its was torched for 40 points or more in four separate games. With just a handful of starters back from that squad, there will be a number of new faces, especially in its front seven. It will probably be a bit of trial and error in this opener, which could easily turn this matchup into a high-scoring affair.
Texas Tech at SMU Week 1 College Football Odds and Betting Tends
BetOnline has released its early lines for Week 1 of the college football season and has opened Texas Tech as a 2.5-point road favorite over SMU. The total for this game remains “off” the board at this time.
The Red Raiders are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall and 1-3 ATS in their last four road game. The total has gone over in five of their last six games on the road.
The Mustangs are 6-0 ATS in their last six games at home and 5-2 ATS in their last seven nonconference games. The total has gone over in three of their last five home games.
These two teams last met in 2010 with Texas Tech winning 35-27 straight up, but failing to cover as a 12.5-point home favorite. The Red Raiders have won the last five meetings SU dating back to 2004, but the series is tied ATS at 2-2-1.
Texas Tech at SMU Picks and College Football Week 1 Betting Predictions
While the total line for this game has yet to be set, I would automatically gravitate towards the over as the top play in this contest given the numerous question marks surrounding both teams’ defense. If playing a side, lean towards the home team getting points considering how closely these two teams match up to one another.
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