UL Monroe-Texas Odds

Austin, TX - While two of Texas' major rivals in the competitive Big 12 South are facing difficult tests in their openers, the Longhorns should have an easy one. It remains to be seen if that will hurt them down the road.

Bet College Football Week 1

While two of Texas' major rivals in the competitive Big 12 South are facing difficult tests in their openers, the Longhorns should have an easy one. It remains to be seen if that will hurt them down the road.

Second-ranked Texas begins what shapes up as a soft non-conference schedule Saturday night when it hosts Louisiana-Monroe, marking the 10th straight year the Longhorns will open with a non-BCS opponent.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made Texas -41 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 78% of bets for this game have been placed on  Texas -41 (View College Football bet percentages).

Two of the marquee games this weekend feature Big 12 South teams when No. 3 Oklahoma faces No. 20 BYU and No. 9 Oklahoma State hosts No. 13 Georgia.

Texas will not face a ranked opponent outside the Big 12, and Louisiana-Monroe hardly represents a threat after going 4-8 overall and 3-4 in Sun Belt play last year. Still, coach Mack Brown is wary of the Warhawks, who won at Alabama two seasons ago.

"This week you need to get back to just the game of the week with Louisiana-Monroe," Brown said. "Charlie Weatherbie is the coach. He's been there for six years. They're a spread offense. They're all over the place with multiple formations."

While Brown is focusing on this week, it may be in the back of his mind what happened to Texas last year when it finished 12-1 and in a three-way tie atop the South with Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The Sooners earned the title based on the fifth tiebreaker - the BCS standings - and strength of schedule is a component in that.

The Longhorns, who lost out on a chance to play for the BCS title, could be hampered by their soft non-conference schedule, particularly if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State record big wins this weekend.

"I've got so many things that are real to worry about," Brown said. "I sure don't worry about what I can't control."

One player Brown doesn't have to worry about is quarterback Colt McCoy. The signal-caller was the runner-up to Florida's Tim Tebow last year in the Heisman Trophy race after finishing with 34 touchdowns, eight interceptions, a 76.7 completion percentage and 3,859 yards passing.

The four-year starter is eager to get the new season started.

"Last year is gone, we don't focus on that anymore, but at the same time we don't really want to change up anything that we did because we were successful," McCoy said. "We just want to be a little bit better. I feel like the seniors have stepped up this year and taken that role like the seniors did last year and kept the ball rolling. It's looking good."

McCoy could have an improved running game if Vondrell McGee, named the starting running back, lives up to Brown's billing. McGee has gained 724 yards and failed to score a touchdown over two seasons, but a knee injury in last year's opener was a reason he was limited to 376 yards.

"I think our fans are going to see a different Vondrell Saturday," Brown said. "We're really impressed with his patience and his toughness and his conditioning."

Texas lost some major talent on defense in Brian Orakpo, Roy Miller and Henry Melton - all selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Defensive end Sam Acho and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy will anchor the new-look unit.

"A lot of these guys played when Rak (Orakpo) and Roy and Henry were in the rotation," Muckelroy said. "There is really nothing new to them. They just need to go out there and play."

Louisiana-Monroe has 18 seniors this season, as well as 10 returning starters on defense and eight on offense. The Warhawks have gained motivation from being picked to finish seventh in the Sun Belt.

"I think that we have a heck of a team coming back with a lot of seniors and a lot of starters returning," Weatherbie said. "This gives the guys something to shoot for. It's going to be an interesting season in the league and anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday."

Texas has won its last nine openers by an average score of 49-6.

Betting Trends:
LA MONROE is 7-21 ATS (-16.1 Units) as a road underdog of 21.5 or more points since 1992.

LA MONROE: 7-21 ATS as a road underdog of 21.5 or more points

TEXAS: 6-0 ATS 1st half of season
Key Player Injuries
LA MONROE

No significant injuries.

TEXAS

No significant injuries.

Bet College Football Week 1

Posted: 9/1/09 3:13PM ET

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