Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs SMU Mustangs predictions

Despite significant departures, the SMU Mustangs are optimistic about their season opener against Louisiana Tech, thanks to key returning players, impactful transfers, and a talented new quarterback. Louisiana Tech faces challenges, particularly in their running game, and may struggle to keep up with SMU’s high-powered offense. Read on for our free match preview and betting picks.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Match Live Saturday 2 September, 12:00 PM ET
DAYS
Hr
Min
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Key Stats
– SMU has brought in a host of power conference transfers, including two defensive linemen, two defensive backs, three offensive linemen, a wide receiver, and two running backs.
– Louisiana Tech averaged just 2.9 yards per carry against one of the weakest run defenses in the nation last season.
– Despite out-gaining FIU 447 yards to 182, Louisiana Tech only managed to beat the Panthers by 5 points and failed to cover the spread.
BettingPicks Expert Predictions

SMU -20.0 (-110)

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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs SMU Mustangs predictions: SMU Mustangs Optimistic Despite Star Departures

Big Changes for the Mustangs

The SMU Mustangs are set to kick off their season at home against Louisiana Tech, facing the challenge of replacing key players like quarterback Tanner Mordecai, wide receiver Rashee Rice, and their top four tacklers, all of whom left in the offseason. However, there is a wave of optimism surrounding the program, fueled by rumors of a move to the ACC and the return of leading rusher Tyler Lavine and five of the top six pass catchers behind Rice, including Jordan Kerley, Moochie Dixon, and RJ Maryland. Coach Rhett Lashlee has also brought in a host of power conference transfers to fill the gaps, many of whom are expected to start or compete for playing time. This includes two defensive linemen, two defensive backs, three offensive linemen, wide receiver Jordan Hudson (TCU), and running backs Jaylan Knighton (Miami) and LJ Johnson Jr. (Texas A&M). Preston Stone, a borderline five-star recruit, will take over as quarterback, and there are high hopes that he can replicate Mordecai’s success from last season.

A Different Game This Year

Last year, SMU and Louisiana Tech played a nail-biter that ended with a 33-yard SMU touchdown as time expired, resulting in a 39-37 victory for the Mustangs. While neutral fans may be hoping for a similarly exciting match this year, the dynamics of the game are expected to be quite different. SMU has a talent advantage over Louisiana Tech, bolstered by successful recruiting and transfers, as well as a size advantage in the trenches. This makes it difficult to have confidence in the Bulldogs’ ability to keep up with Lashlee’s high-powered offense. Louisiana Tech’s running back depth is currently questionable, as evidenced by their performance against Florida International in Week 0, where they were frequently stopped at the line and averaged just 2.9 yards per carry against one of the nation’s weakest run defenses last season.

A Tough Road Ahead for the Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech will face a tougher opponent in SMU, whose defense is expected to have more speed and athleticism, allowing them to more successfully limit the Bulldogs’ over-the-middle passing attack than FIU did. FIU showed an ability to hit the gaps early in the first half against Louisiana Tech, with running back Shomari Lawrence recording multiple big rushes, including a 67-yard touchdown. SMU is expected to replicate this success with its talented running back corps while maintaining control throughout the game. Despite out-gaining FIU 447 yards to 182 and holding FIU quarterback Grayson James to just 4 total passing yards, Louisiana Tech only managed to beat the Panthers by 5 points and failed to cover the spread. This suggests that the Bulldogs may struggle to produce points efficiently against a high-powered Mustang offense.

Prediction

It could be a long day for the Bulldogs if they are unable to match the projected offensive output of the Mustangs. Despite the large spread, the smart move may be to lay the points and bet against Louisiana Tech in their first road game of the season.

BettingPicks Expert Predictions

SMU -20.0 (-110)

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