Louisiana Tech vs SMU Odds & Picks: Value on Mustangs in Week 1

Louisiana Tech vs SMU Odds & Picks: Value on Mustangs in Week 1 article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Rhett Lashlee (SMU)

Louisiana Tech vs SMU Odds

September 2
Noon ET
Louisiana Tech Odds
-105o / -115u
SMU Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Let's head down to Dallas, Texas for this C-USA-AAC clash between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the SMU Mustangs.

The Bulldogs narrowly escaped their Week 0 matchup against Florida International despite dominating the box score.

The last time these two teams faced off the Mustangs won the game on a Hail Mary in the closing seconds back in 2021.

Both of these teams were known for their explosiveness on offense last season, so let's take a deeper dive and uncover the best betting angle.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

If you backed the Bulldogs last weekend, you have every right to feel a bit salty. As mentioned in the open, the Bulldogs completely dominated the box score, as they out-gained FIU 447 yards to 182.

In one of the more hilarious stat lines you'll ever see, FIU QB Grayson James finished the game 5-of-14 with four yards. No, that's not a typo. Kudos to the Bulldogs' defense for getting off to a great start on the defensive side of the ball.

No offense to FIU's program, but its offensive firepower isn't anything to write home about. I still have concerns about Tech's defense moving forward, and it certainly will have its hands full in this matchup.

The Bulldogs entered the year desperately needing a jolt from their defensive line, and if they have any aspirations of pulling off an upset in this matchup, they'll need to accumulate a ton of pressure on numerous occasions.

Quarterback Hank Bachmeier had a solid debut for the Bulldogs last week, completing 34-of-44 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs' rushing attack of Charvis Thornton and Keith Willis Jr. did a solid job filling in for Marquis Crosby, who may end up suiting up for this matchup.

The theme for this offense all of last season was its explosiveness, and luckily, Louisiana Tech is facing a Mustangs defense that finished in the bottom half of the country in getting off the field on third down.

It's not rocket science, folks. The Bulldogs are going to have to beat the Mustangs in a track meet here, but unfortunately, I've experienced the Bachmeier experience way too often over the years.

Against a more formidable opponent in SMU, I don't think the Bulldogs have the ability to keep up.

SMU Mustangs

With the departure of QB Tanner Mordecai to Wisconsin, it's now the Preston Stone show in Dallas. Stone has more versatility than Mordecai, as we saw flashes of his explosive rushing ability last season.

He'll also have a few new toys on offense, with WR Jordan Hudson transferring in from TCU and RB LJ Johnson Jr. coming over from Texas A&M. This should certainly take some of the pressure off of Stone.

SMU's bread and butter the past several years has been its offense, and Rhett Lashlee's squad will look to hang a big number on the board against the Bulldogs. There's a concern with a lack of returning production, but that's mostly because of Mordecai being out of the picture.

The Mustangs have the ability to move up and down the field all game long, as they ranked in the top half of the country in Standard Down Success Rate, Explosiveness, Rushing Success Rate and Havoc Allowed.

As for the defense, well, there isn't much to get excited about when you look at the overall numbers from last year. However, SMU does have 36% of its defensive production returning. Not only that, Liberty transfer Ahmad Walker should make a big impact in the linebacker group.

It's not a pretty sight, but I think the returning production on defense should correlate to a stronger unit. I mean, it's hard to get much worse than finishing near the bottom of the barrel in most defensive metrics.

Luckily for the Mustangs, they face a turnover prone quarterback in Bachmeier, and they may be able to force a few early turnovers in this matchup.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for college football bettors
The best NCAAF betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Louisiana Tech vs SMU

Betting Pick & Prediction

I think the over is a decent pick in this matchup, but I feel far more comfortable laying the points with SMU here. I usually don't like swallowing a lot of points, but I think we may get a cheaper number right before kickoff.

Many of the public bettors will look at the Tech/FIU boxscore and overreact to the strong defensive performance by the Bulldogs.

I expect Stone to get off to a hot start in this 2023 campaign, and I think Lashlee's squad makes a big statement here in the opener. Our Action Network team makes this SMU -21, so the market seems to be right on the number.

However, I can't put faith in Bachmeier contributing towards this total, and I truly believe this SMU defense can't get much worse than last year.

Give me the Ponies in what should be a high-scoring affair in Dallas.

Pick: SMU -20.5 (Bet to -21)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.