BYU 2018 Betting Preview: Big Questions Remain on Offense
Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: BYU players celebrate in 2017.
BYU 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +750000
- Win Total: 5.5 (over -140, under +110)
Always shop for the best line.
BYU 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 6.1
Bet To Watch
BYU Over 5.5 (-140)
The Cougars completely forgot how to score points in 2017. They ranked 124th in the nation in scoring, averaging 17.1 per game. Injuries, suspension, lack of creative play-calling, receiver effort and almost any other reason can be used for BYU’s breakdown on offense during coach Kalani Sitake’s second season.
The Cougars are ninth overall in returning production, and bring in new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. But Grimes have never called plays in his career as an offensive line coach.
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The defense was solid for coach Sitake in 2017, and more of the same is expected this season. BYU ranked fourth in the nation against rushing explosiveness, which could come handy against dual threat quarterbacks such as Arizona’s Khalil Tate in the opener.
So the Cougars defense is solid, and the new offensive coordinator gets an experienced offensive line. The question for the win total is if the teams BYU can beat have soft enough rush defenses. The Cougars will stick to the ground until a quarterback wins the position and can move the chains on third-and-long.
Cal visits in Week 2, and its biggest weakness is the front seven. Utah State returns plenty on the defensive line, but ranked 84th in defensive rushing S&P+. Northern Illinois star Sutton Smith will give BYU fits, while the UMass defensive line is the most unproven of all the units mentioned.
With perceived victories over Cal, McNeese State, Utah State, Hawaii, UMass and New Mexico State, we’ll take the Over 5.5 -140. Any win totals at six with better juice can be taken with Northern Illinois as the hedge game.
What else you need to know about BYU
BYU is 15-5 ATS as a road underdog since 2011, and that trend comes into play at Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, Boise State and Utah this season. The Cougars’ defense excels at stopping explosiveness through the air and the ground, so look to take point spreads on BYU against explosive teams such as Arizona and Utah.