Ryan Mayer

The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. All lines are as of the date of publication.

DXL Frisco Bowl

Louisiana Tech (6-6) vs. SMU (7-5)

Spread: SMU -5

Total: 70

Spread: The first thing to note with SMU is that their head coach Chad Morris just left to become the head man at Arkansas and the Mustangs brought in former Cal coach Sonny Dykes who will lead the Mustangs in the bowl game. The offense has been one of the best in the country, averaging 40 points and 494 yards per game this season. The big catalyst has been QB Ben Hicks and his pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn (2,208 yards and 24 TD combined). Sutton is a legit NFL prospect at 6’4″ and 215 pounds and he can take over a game. The running game holds up its end with RB Xavier Jones also going over 1,000 yards on the season (1,019 yards 9 TD) and averaging 186 yards per game as a group. The offense has to be that explosive though because the defense has been bad, allowing 35.5 points and 486.7 yards per game. Opposing running games have been particularly effective allowing 213 yards and 5.1 per carry.

That gives plenty of opportunity for the three-headed rushing attack of the Bulldogs to work. Boston Scott, Jarred Craft and QB J’mar Smith have combined for over 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season in racking up 175 yards per game on the ground. Smith has been solid in the passing game, though not particularly accurate (55.4%). The Bulldogs are in the middle of the pack in scoring on both sides of the ball, averaging 28.8 points per game on offense while allowing 26.7 per game on defense.

Both teams check in at 6-6 this seasons ATS, with SMU 4-3 as the favorite this year while La. Tech is 2-3 as an underdog. The biggest difference in ATS trends is that SMU has failed to cover in six out of their last seven games including three straight to end the season, while La. Tech has covered in two straight to end the year. In addition, four of the Bulldogs six losses this season have come by a touchdown or less and three of those were by a point. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +5

Total: This number is very high, which always makes me pause when looking at an over/under. La. Tech has hit a number this high just three times this season, but SMU has eight times. With how porous the SMU defense has been this season, allowing less than 28 points just twice (Stephen F. Austin & Arkansas State) take the over. Over 70.


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