BYU Cougars vs. Connecticut Huskies: College Football Week 1 Betting Preview

BYU Cougars at Connecticut Huskies
Friday, 8/29/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  BYU -17.5
Current Betting Line:  BYU -17.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The BYU Cougars will score a lot of points in 2014
The BYU Cougars will score a lot of points in 2014

BYU is 10-13 SU away from home the last four seasons, but it lands in a great spot to pick up a victory in the 2014 season opener, as it welcomes back 14 overall starters to Provo.  The Cougars are entering their second year of operating offensive coordinator Robert Anae’s system, which could lead to huge numbers with quarterback Taysom Hill returning, as the group ranked 14th in total offense a year ago.  Hill is one of the more dynamic players in the game—accounting for 29 total touchdowns in 2013.  BYU is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four non-conference games, which is important to consider when making your college football picks in Week 1.

The Cougars are certainly going to miss some key players on the defensive side of the football, considering that unit had four members participating in the NFL combine, but the Huskies lack playmakers to make them pay in the early going.  BYU has always been known for defense under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, which was clearly evident in ranking 12th in the country in yards per play allowed last season.  Mendenhall’s stop unit has averaged a No. 20 nationally ranking in scoring defense over the past eight seasons.

Connecticut has captured nine of its last 11 home openers, as it prepares for life under first-year head coach Bob Diaco, who spent the last four years at Notre Dame as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.  The Huskies welcome back 13 starters from a squad that finished last year with a disappointing 3-9 SU overall record.  Sophomore signal-caller Casey Cochran is the main player to watch in this matchup when looking over the college football odds page, as he threw for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns during his first season.  Connecticut has gone UNDER the number in four of its last five games at Rentschler Field.

The Huskies will be changing into a 3-4 defensive scheme, which could prove troublesome with the loss of linebacker Tawin Smallwood, who finished with a team-high 118 tackles last year.  Connecticut is still capable of making some noise on this side of the football, which could lead to improving upon its 19-5 ATS mark as home underdogs over the previous 10 seasons.

Sports bettors will likely back the Huskies due to the Cougars failing to cover the number in their last five true road games.

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