SMU 2018 Betting Preview: Expect the Sonny Dykes Era to Start Strong

SMU 2018 Betting Preview: Expect the Sonny Dykes Era to Start Strong article feature image

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: SMU quarterback Ben Hicks

SMU 2018 Betting Odds

  • To win the National Title: +750000
  • To win the AAC: +4000
  • To win the AAC West: N/A
  • Win Total: 5.5 (over -115, under -115)

Always shop for the best line.

SMU 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds

The Action Network Projected Wins: 6.1

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SMU Win Total Over 6 -115

Former head coach Chad Morris certainly left SMU in a better place than when he arrived. The SMU administration must have loved Morris — a coach with Texas high school roots who ran a high-scoring spread attack.

Well, the Mustangs seemingly hit another home run with new head coach Sonny Dykes. He comes from the Texas Tech, Mike Leach Air Raid, and came to Dallas after an unsuccessful run trying to implement a defense to complement his high-powered offense at Cal.

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Dykes’ first order of business was to hire a defensive coordinator, which he found in NIU’s Kevin Kane. Kane generally had the best defenses in the MAC during his time at Northern Illinois. In 2017, the Huskies ranked 14th nationally in defensive S&P+. NIU also led the nation in tackles for loss per game. There are reasons to be optimistic about SMU’s defense this season, as the Mustangs ranks 21st in returning production on that side of the ball.

Ben Hicks returns at quarterback with six skill position players that had at least 10 targets in 2017. Departed receivers Cortland Sutton and Trey Quinn will certainly be missed, but plenty of talent exists on the outside.

SMU will begin its 2018 campaign against North Texas and TCU — two teams it split with in 2017. Dykes served as an offensive analyst for TCU in 2017, which should give the Mustangs an advantage in this year’s matchup.

After a likely loss at Central Florida, the schedule has two wins (Houston Baptist, UConn) and then plenty of coin flips. The Mustangs dodge South Florida and Temple out of the East, while hosting their toughest division rivals in Houston and Memphis. I generally look to fade first year coaches, but that might not be the case here.

The Frisco Bowl beatdown by Louisiana Tech may have left the betting public with a bad taste for SMU, which may create early line value with the ‘Stangs.


SMU pushed all of the right coaching buttons. Dykes is the perfect fit at head coach and the Kevin Kane hire at defensive coordinator will pay dividends. I recommend getting down on SMU over 6 wins, as I think Dykes will get to a bowl in his first full season in Dallas. Pony up!

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