SMU vs. Louisiana Tech College Football Betting Odds, Pick: Mustangs to Hit First Over of Season?

SMU vs. Louisiana Tech College Football Betting Odds, Pick: Mustangs to Hit First Over of Season? article feature image
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George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Gary Wiley.

SMU vs. Louisiana Tech Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
SMU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-10.5
-115
65.5
-110o / -110u
-475
Louisiana Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+10.5
-105
65.5
-105o / -115u
+350
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The SMU Mustangs are laying double digits for the third-consecutive game while the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs look to play spoiler for the second time in three weeks.

Here’s everything bettors need to know for the Week 3 non-conference tilt.


Southern Methodist Mustangs

Fast starts in September are nothing new for head coach Sonny Dykes.

The Mustangs are a perfect 8-0 straight up and 6-2 against the spread in this spot the last three years. The back half of the schedule is a different story for a different day, but SMU can certainly still score with the best of ’em.

And it all starts with the nation’s leader in passing touchdowns entering Week 3.


Mustangs Offense

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai had big shoes to fill succeeding Shane Buechele, who led SMU to back-to-back top-10 ranks in total yards each of the last two seasons.

The Oklahoma transfer’s apparently blazing his own path. Mordecai has taken advantage of a couple suspect defenses to start, collecting 629 passing yards and 11 scores. SMU as a whole ranks fourth in the country in yards per play (8.4).

The eighth-ranked offense in passing success rate is rife with playmakers. Four skill players already have multiple touchdown catches – and that list doesn’t include Reggie Roberson, who’s arguably the most valuable player in that unit.


Mustangs Defense

SMU likely needs its defense to just be average in order to make waves in the AAC. We didn’t learn much in the opener against Abilene Christian, but the Mustangs did limit an explosive North Texas offense — which possessed the ball for nearly 37 minutes — to just 13 points and 5.2 yards per play last week.

The unit has been creating plenty of big plays, recording five interceptions and three forced fumbles through two games.

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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech was this close to upsetting Mississippi State out of the SEC in Week 1. The Bulldogs, getting +23.5, unfortunately coughed up a late, 20-point lead and lost outright.

La Tech flew over the total in that matchup, which is hardly surprising: The Bulldogs typically play barn burners when getting points, going hitting the over in four of their last five games as underdogs.

They cashed another over last week, albeit in the favorite role, barely escaping Southeastern Louisiana, 45-42.


Bulldogs Offense

Mordecai isn’t the only Big 12 transfer quarterback to participate in Saturday’s tilt. Austin Kendall, who played at both Oklahoma and West Virginia, will start for the Bulldogs.

The senior has completed just north of 60 percent of his pass attempts this season, with 489 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also been a threat as a runner, picking up 78 more yards and two additional scores.

Despite the small sample size, the Bulldogs have fared much better through the air (No. 54 in passing success rate) than on the ground (No. 108 in rushing success rate).


Bulldogs Defense

You can live with allowing 35 points to an SEC air raid offense, but to let an FCS team run you up for 42 in a near win is simply unacceptable.

Perhaps it was a hangover following the Week 1 loss, but La Tech showed no resistance. The defense let quarterback Cole Kelley rip off 495 yards on 44-of-59 passing and five total scores, all in essentially a neutral game state; not a single stat was collected in garbage time.

My sincerest condolences to the unit with SMU coming to town.


SMU vs. Louisiana Tech Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how SMU and Louisiana Tech match up statistically:

SMU Offense vs. Louisiana Tech Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
45
128
Line Yards
19
116
Pass Success
8
119
Pass Blocking*
92
35
Big Play
23
124
Havoc
36
93
Finishing Drives
48
127
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Louisiana Tech Offense vs. SMU Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
108
50
Line Yards
66
94
Pass Success
54
73
Pass Blocking*
51
47
Big Play
49
50
Havoc
29
65
Finishing Drives
81
25
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
46
8
PFF Coverage
84
12
Middle 8
8
76
SP+ Special Teams
117
94
Plays per Minute
35
47
Rush Rate
50.4% (92)
51.1% (84)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.


SMU vs. Louisiana Tech Betting Pick

No sense in rooting for the defenses here, because they won’t exist.

SMU’s gone under the total in both games, but it’s not a trend to buy. The Mustangs missed the total by one point in the opener, then they had the ball for less than 24 minutes against North Texas (the Mustangs were projected for 43.7 points had they possessed the ball for 30 minutes, using points divided by time of possession).

SMU has cashed four straight overs as a road favorite, while Louisiana Tech has gone over the total in 15-of-17 against teams with winning road records. Two former Big 12 quarterbacks playing behind offense lines that are stellar at preventing havoc will be licking their chops against these secondaries.

Pick: Over 66 (Play to 68)

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