SMU vs. North Texas Football Picks, Betting Odds, Predictions: Fireworks Expected in Denton
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tanner Mordecai
- SMU and North Texas go head-to-head in a college football Week 1 in-state battle.
- Both of these defense rank outside the top 125 in explosive plays allowed.
- That's one of the reasons Kyle Remillard likes the over.
SMU vs. North Texas Odds
SMU makes the short 45-minute drive to kick off its season with an in-state rivalry game against North Texas. The Mean Green started their season with a 31-13 victory over UTEP in Week 0. North Texas held a one-point lead at halftime before outscoring the Miners 17-0 in the second half.
Now the Mean Green step up in class and hope to slow down the Mustangs’ aerial assault. SMU won its first seven games last year, but then dropped four of its final five.
New head coach Rhett Lashlee inherits a strong core and looks to take control of the American Athletic Conference.
This in-state rivalry has all the ingredients needed to turn into a shootout.
Rhett Lashley makes the jump from offensive guru to head coach for the first time this season.
Lashley inherits a roster that is returning about 70% of its production on both sides of the ball, according to TARP. Most importantly, he has quarterback Tanner Mordecai coming back for his senior season.
Mordecai averaged over 300 passing yards per game while completing 68% of his passes and throwing for 39 touchdowns last season.
He does lose two of his top deep threats to the NFL in Danny Gray and Reggie Roberson Jr., but wide receivers Rashee Rice and North Carolina transfer Beau Corrales should fill in nicely in this high-powered offense.
The Mustangs ranked among the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense and averaged 38 points per game a season ago. The offense utilizes a pass-heavy scheme that finished top-20 in Explosiveness and Success Rate on such plays.
The SMU run game is serviceable and put up 4.6 yards per carry. Tre Siggers will be the lead back and match up against his former school in North Texas.
The SMU defense faltered down the stretch last season. The Mustangs allowed 36 points per game over their final five matchups. The group ranked 125th in allowing explosive plays and will have its hands full against Austin Aune, who looked terrific in Week 0.
The Mean Green won their final five games last year, including a 20-point victory over undefeated UTSA. They opened this season with an impressive 31-10 victory over a UTEP Miners program that was trending upward.
North Texas ranked fifth in the nation with 235 rushing yards and 4.8 yards per carry per game last year.
Replacing the 1,200 yards from running back DeAndre Toney was certainly a massive concern, but the program used a running back committee in Week 0 to put up 160 yards on 41 carries (4.0 yards per carry).
It was the passing game where the Mean Green found its biggest chunk plays. Aune went for 236 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 8.1 yards per attempt. Eight separate receivers hauled in passes and averaged nearly 15 yards per catch.
The North Texas defense was serviceable last season and allowed an average of 28 points per game. The group also lost both of its defensive ends in Grayson and Gabriel Murphy, who combined for 16 sacks and 27 tackles for loss.
Last season, the Mean Green ranked 128th in the nation in allowing explosive plays. That’s a major concern against an SMU offense that makes its living on chunk plays.
SMU vs. North Texas Betting Pick
There’s nothing like an in-state Texas rivalry to kick off the college season, though the Mean Green will have their work cut out for them if they want to stay competitive in this matchup.
This SMU offense has the chance to be something special. The high-powered aerial attack will kick into gear fast with Lashlee at the helm looking to play faster and attempt more deep shots.
Mordecai should be in for a big game against a North Texas defense that allows a ton of big plays. He diced up this defense for 311 yards and four touchdowns last season.
North Texas will find the end zone as it looks to take more deep shots, just as it did against UTEP.
With two defenses that ranked outside the top 125 in explosive plays allowed, we should see fireworks in this matchup.