Football Pick: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. SMU Mustangs
Friday, Aug. 30, 6 p.m. (ET)
NCAAF Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Texas Tech -6.5
Total Line: 59
Texas Tech is not one of the top favorites to win the Big 12 title this season, but do not count it completely out of the race after going 8-5 straight-up last season and 4-5 SU in conference play. The Red Raiders started the season a perfect 4-0 both SU and against the spread in the non-conference portion of their schedule. They closed-out the season with a 34-31 victory over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl as 13-point favorites.
The one thing we know about Texas Tech is that it is going to come out throwing the ball after ending last season ranked second in the nation in passing with an average of 355.9 yards a game. Seth Doege has moved on at quarterback so look for either true freshman Davis Webb or walk-on Baker Mayfield to lineup under center for this game if expected starter Michael Brewer remains sidelined with a back injury. The other big question heading into this game is what to expect from a Red Raiders’ defense that was torched for 31.8 points a game last year.
SMU makes the jump from Conference-USA to the newly formed American Athletic Conference this season and is listed by many as the fifth-best team in a field of 10. The Mustangs went 7-6 SU last season and 5-3 SU in conference play. Their biggest win of the season came in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl where they hammered Fresno State 43-10 as 13-point underdogs.
The Mustangs will have senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert back in the lineup to run an offense that averaged 30.5 points a game. He threw for 2,932 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding another 346 yards and eight scores on the ground. The defense returns just a handful of starters from a unit that allowed an average of 25.7 points a game so to win this game SMU is going to have to be able to put some points on the board.
Free NCAA Football Pick
The total line for this game opened at 63 points in anticipation of a high-scoring affair, but the early money has driven this number down to 59 which to me is a golden opportunity to stick with the OVER in this game. If playing a side, then my free pick would be SMU at home with the 6.5 points as these teams matchup closer than you might expect.
Texas Tech 38 SMU 35
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