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Baylor Bears vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/31/14

Southern Methodist Mustangs (5-7) at Baylor Bears (11-2)

College Football: Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm (McLane Stadium)

The Line: Baylor Bears -33 -- Over/Under: 75.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX Sports 1

The Southern Methodist Mustangs and Baylor Bears meet Sunday night at McLane Stadium to begin their 2014 season.

The SMU Mustangs are hoping they have what it takes to build on last year’s five-win season and clinch a bowl game this year. The Mustangs return 14 starters from last year’s squad. Offensively, SMU is going to experience some drastic changes starting with new quarterback Neal Burcham. Last year, SMU had the ninth-best passing offense in the country, but that’s likely to change with limited weapons on the outside and a young signal-caller. The good news for the SMU Mustangs is that they do return four starters along the offensive line, which should make for an easier transition. Defensively, the Mustangs return seven starters from a defense that ranked seventh in the AAC. SMU lost a lot of leadership at linebacker but a duo of Jonathan Yenga and Beau Barnes will continue to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

Baylor Bears vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/31/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears return only nine starters from last season but still project to be one of the better teams in the Big 12. Of course, a lot of Baylor’s success will be determined on the play of quarterback Bryce Petty, who threw for over 4,000 yards and scored 46 total touchdowns last season. While Baylor did lose three players on its offensive line and workhorse running back Lache Seastrunk, wide receiver Antwan Goodley will become the star of this offense. Last season, Baylor was first in the country with an average of 52.4 points per game. Defensively, the Baylor Bears do return only four starters, but have a solid defensive line tandem in Shawn Oakman and Jamal Palmer. Other than that, defense is going to be a work in progress for Baylor, which means offense will remain king for the Bears.

The Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. Big 12. The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 20-6 ATS in their last 26 home games. The Mustangs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Take Baylor to steamroll this team. 

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Baylor -35.5

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