So most, or all, of the pieces are in place. Four-star players — yours and Baylor’s — are overpopulating the roster. It looks like there might be a competent new quarterback for a change. The conference isn’t anything great. The coaching staff is pretty much under a mandate to win now … or else.
Seems like a bounce-back season is nearly a lock for Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns, right?
Uh, Las Vegas says no. Make that an emphatic no.
Not only have the Longhorns been assigned a low over/under total for number of victories — 6.5 — but oddsmakers already have them as underdogs in five games and a tossup in another this fall in futures lines that are out. All the Horns would have to do is go a mere 7-5 for you to win the season bet.
If you believe the Longhorns are truly on the road to recovery, there are great opportunities right now to win huge amounts of money betting on them. The key is, you’ve got to have faith here in mid-July — and pull the trigger. The longer you wait, the worse the odds will be if Texas looks good in August camp or, dare we say, opens the season with an upset victory over Notre Dame.
Let’s walk you through the early lines on Longhorns games that are available at some casinos and offshore sports books, according to VegasInsider.com.
Sept. 4, home to Notre Dame. The line: Irish by 4.5 points. Comment: ND only has 10 returning starters, one of the smallest numbers of the 128 FBS teams. OK, we should mention that the Irish have not one, but TWO good quarterbacks coming back. Texas isn’t sure it has onecapable QB on the roster.
Sept. 17, at California. The line: Longhorns by 2.5 points. Comment: QB Jared Goff is playing for the Los Angeles Rams this year, so the Golden Bears are starting over at the most vital position. Plus, like Notre Dame, they return just 10 starters, the fewest in the Pac-12.
Oct. 1, at Oklahoma State. The line: Cowboys by 10 points. Granted, OSU, unlike ND and Cal, is an experienced team and brings back the most starters (16) in the Big 12, including all its skill-position people. But a double-digit favorite? The Cowboys can’t run the ball and have huge holes to fill on the d-line.
Oct. 8, vs. Oklahoma. The line: Sooners by 12 points. Now here’s a gimmee. Seems like every time OU is a huge favorite over Texas, it chokes. Here’s a tip to make a lot more money than just betting on the spread, if you’re a Longhorn believer. Bet the money line, where if Texas wins outright, you’ll get 3-to-1 odds. Your $100 would return about $400. Nice.
Oct. 29, vs. Baylor. The line: Bears by 4 points. You’re kidding, right? Baylor has pretty good front-line, skill-position talent. But both the o-line and d-line need to be rebuilt. Depth throughout will be a huge problem once injuries hit, especially at QB and on both lines. Most of the premier recruits from Baylor’s vaunted 2016 class now play for the Longhorns. And the kicker: Art Briles ain’t around any more.
Nov. 5, at Texas Tech. The line: Red Raiders by 4 points. Patrick Mahomes is a terrific quarterback, and no doubt Kliff Kingsbury will produce another high-scoring offense, even replacing four starters on the line, RB DeAndre Washington WR Jakeem Grant. But the defense should still be rotten.
Nov. 25, vs. TCU. The line: Pick ’em. Maybe Gary Patterson will simply out-coach Strong. That’s definitely possible. But Patterson only has 10 returning starters (like Baylor) and just THREE on offense. His o-line is under reconstruction, and he’s working in a new QB. Not a good combination. And this game is at DKR. Surely, the talented, young Horns will be salty by the season ender. Right? Right??
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