NCAA Football Week 1 Picks: North Texas Mean Green vs. Texas Longhorns
North Texas Mean Green vs. Texas Longhorns
Saturday, 8/30/14, 8:00 p.m. ET
Opening Point Spread: Texas -26.5
Current Betting Line: Texas -26.5
Opening Total: N/A
Current Total: N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
North Texas has dropped all nine all-time meetings in this series, with each of those affairs taking place in Austin, which is important to consider when making your NCAA football picks in Week 1. The Mean Green have been outscored by a 148-7 combined margin in the last three meetings, while they’ve dropped their last 15 road openers versus BCS teams. The program is going to have a hard time reversing that trend due to welcoming back just nine overall starters. The OVER is 7-1 in the Mean Green’s last eight games versus Big 12 Conference opponents.
The Mean Green will be replacing their quarterback, a 1,000-yard rusher and their top two receivers offensively, while they also benefited from a plus-11 turnover margin in 2013. North Texas will rely heavily on its experienced front to move the football, as the group opens the year with 123 career starts—making it one of the best offensive lines nationally—not just in Conference-USA.
Texas moves on from the Mack Brown era, as former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is the leader on the sidelines, while 15 starters return from a mediocre 8-5 season a year ago. The Longhorns have won 14 straight home openers by an average of 39 points, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA football odds page. The school has also compiled a solid 36-7 SU record at Texas Memorial Stadium when taking on non-conference opponents since the Big 12 Conference was established in 1996. The UNDER is 5-1 in the Longhorns’ last six games versus Conference-USA opponents.
The Longhorns welcome back their top three rushers, with the group being led by senior Malcolm Brown, who gained 904 yards on the ground and hit pay dirt nine times. Texas will need David Ash to take the next step in hopes of potentially landing one of four spots in the inaugural college football playoff format, as he threw for seven touchdowns and two interceptions in a injury-riddled 2013 campaign.
Sports bettors will likely back the Mean Green due to the Longhorns being 5-6 ATS as home favorites the previous two seasons.
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