Texas season win total odds

2014-texas-strong01-360

AUSTIN, TX (TheSpread) – Texas has a new coach for the first time in many years. Can Charlie Strong lead the Longhorns to a big season in 2014?

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According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the over/under win total odds for Texas has been set at 7.5 this season. The over has odds of +100, while the under has a money line of -130.

The Longhorns went 8-5 overall and 7-2 in the Big 12 in Mack Brown’s final season as head coach. Strong takes over from Louisville, where he went 37-16 in four years leading the program.

Texas averaged just 29.3 points and 408.7 yards per game on offense last season in a conference that was known for having suspect defenses. This year’s unit has five starters back, led by running backs Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray. Brown led the team in rushing with 904 yards last year, but both are capable of going for 1,000 yards. David Ash will be under center if he can stay healthy. He missed many games last year with concussion issues and had another injury in the spring. If Ash is unable to go, USC transfer Max Wittek will likely be given the ball. Texas has some questions on the offensive line as well, with just two starters back from last year’s unit.

Defensively, Texas struggled at times, allowing 25.8 points and 407.2 yards per game. The Longhorns were very weak against the run, ranking 83rd in the country after giving up 183.1 yards per game on the ground. Texas has four starters back on the front seven, led by defensive end Cedric Reed, who had 10 sacks and 79 tackles in 2013. Jordan Hicks has a lot of buzz at linebacker, but he has missed 19 games over the last two years because of injuries. Three starters are back in the secondary, including junior Duke Thomas, who had three interceptions in 2013.

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The Longhorns have a tough pair of non-conference games, hosting BYU and then facing UCLA in Arlington. The Longhorns will hit the road to face the likes of Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State while hosting Baylor, Iowa State, West Virginia and TCU. The season also includes the rivalry game with Oklahoma in Dallas. The Longhorns have a fortunate setup in Big 12 play, with the road schedule looking quite reasonable to navigate. Oklahoma State will be its toughest test, but the Longhorns get the home crowd against Baylor, which will be a big boost. Strong should have the athletes at Texas to run his system, which makes eight wins more than reasonable. The Longhorns may not contend for the Big 12 title this year, but oddsmakers aren’t asking for too much from them.

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