College Football Week 1 Picks: SMU Mustangs vs. Baylor Bears

SMU Mustangs vs. Baylor Bears
Sunday, 8/31/14, 7:30 p.m. ET
Opening Point Spread:  Baylor -30
Current Betting Line:  Baylor -30
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Baylor Bears will possess one of the more dynamic offenses in college football once again in 2014
The Baylor Bears will possess one of the more dynamic offenses in college football once again in 2014

SMU has dropped 16 of its last 17 road openers, with the only victory in that span coming back in 2009, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds page.  The Mustangs welcome back 12 starters for their seventh year under head coach Junes Jones, but their projected No. 1 options at quarterback at running back lack experience on the field.  Junior wide receiver Darius Joseph is the main threat offensively, as he finished with 103 catches and 808 receiving yards in 2013.  SMU has failed to cover the number in its last four August affairs.

The Mustangs may surprise a lot of people this year, considering Jones has never had back-to-back losing seasons over the course of his distinguished career.  SMU does have its most experienced offensive line in the past three years, which should provide sophomore Neal Burcham some time to survey the field under center.  The locker room should be motivated to play from the get go, considering it faces four in-state rivals to open the season.

Baylor set the all-time NCAA mark for scoring at 52.4 points per game last season, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 college football picks, especially since quarterback Bryce Petty leads a group of six returning starters on offense.  The Bears have captured their last 12 home games by an average of 38 points while they’ve also proven victorious in their last 10 overall meetings in this particular series.  Seventh-year head coach Art Briles is trying to build one of the top programs in the country, with his main goal being to repeat as Big 12 Conference champions.  Baylor is 4-1 ATS in its last five non-conference games.

The Bears are the only team nationally to rank among the Top 25 in both rushing yards and passing yards over the last three seasons, which makes them more than just Petty when possessing the football.  On the other side of the football, Baylor has recorded at least one takeaway in 34 of 39 games under coordinator Phil Bennett, while the squad is 24-3 SU when recording two or more turnovers over that span.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bears due to their 7-0 ATS mark at home a season ago.

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