The college football season is finally underway and before we get to Saturday’s main course of college football betting lines, there are a couple appetizers to get through on Friday. The highlight of the day comes from Texas, where a pair of old rivals get together and there could be a minor upset in the cards, so keep that in your back pocket.
Florida Atlantic Owls @ Miami Hurricanes
Friday, 8:00 PM ET
Odds: Miami -32
The Hurricanes open the season as 31.5-point favorites at home in their first meeting with Florida Atlantic, and the Owls are just trying to avoid a mauling after last year’s 3-9 season. FAU is also really young, especially on the offensive line and an improved Miami front seven can really dominate this game. It may be close for the first quarter, and maybe even the first half, but this could get ugly and the Hurricanes should be able to run away with this game. That will give some much-needed time to the younger players that Miami will need as the ACC season wears on.
Pick: Miami -32
Texas Tech Red Raiders @ Southern Methodist Mustangs
Friday, 8:00 PM ET
Odds: Texas Tech -4
The Red Raiders are 4.5-point favorites on the road at SMU, who have failed to beat Texas Tech in seven meetings. Texas Tech has a first-year coach in Kliff Kingsbury who is under pressure to get the 2013 campaign off to a good start, but there is uncertainty at quarterback as Michael Brewer may not be able to play due to a sore back. That leaves the job to either Davis Webb or Baker Mayfield, both of whom are freshmen. SMU will be led by former Texas pivot Garrett Gilbert, who will be up for this game against an ex-Big 12 rival. Both teams should be able to put points on the board, but the edge goes to the Mustangs for two reasons: they’re at home and they have the better quarterback in Gilbert, who has a lot to prove. If the line can give him time, he could have a monster game.
Pick: SMU +4
Southern University Jaguars @ Houston Cougars
Friday, 8:30 PM ET
Odds: Houston -40
The Cougars are a massive 40-point favorite at home against the Jaguars of the SWAC, and Houston will definitely be on their toes after getting upset by Texas Southern in last season’s opener. Houston never really recovered and stumbled to a 5-7 record after a 13-1 mark in 2011. David Pilland struggled under center last year and suffered a concussion that never really allowed him to get on track, but he should be better this season and he also has all of his receivers back in the mix. The defense is shaky up front and the secondary may have to carry the load until they gain some experience. That could be their Achilles Heel as the Cougars will win this game handily, but do they have the firepower to cover 40 points in the sportsbook? That’s an extremely large spread for a team with a lot of question marks.
Pick: Southern +40