The story of SMU football has been a story without a happy ending for a while now, but the program’s recent success has brought a little optimism back to Dallas for the first time in a long time.
For the most part, fans and bettors want SMU to be relevant again. Sports fans love a redemption story.
SMU Mustangs History
The SMU football program has played over 100 seasons, but just a handful of seasons in the ‘80s account for 99% of SMU’s story.
In 1981, the Mustangs finished the season 10-1, causing Head Coach Ron Meyer to take a job in the NFL. The following year, star running back Eric Dickerson led the team to an 11-0-1 record, a Cotton Bowl victory, and a #2 ranking.
From 1981-1984, the Mustangs amassed 41 wins, just 5 losses, and a tie. In February of 1987, the NCAA hit the school with the “death penalty,” suspending the program for the 1987 season. SMU had been found guilty of several major recruiting violations centered on compensating players.
The death penalty destroyed the program, resulting in a canceled 1987 season, a canceled 1988 season, recruiting sanctions, and more. It had just one winning season between 1989 and 2009, but the team has appeared in the AP poll more recently.
With new head coach, Rhett Lashlee, at the helm, SMU is on the up-and-up.
Betting on SMU in Texas
Sports betting is currently illegal in Texas, and it likely will be until at least 2023. The Lone Star State has one of the country’s largest populations to pair with its wide array of professional and college sports teams.
If Texas did legalize and launch full scale sports betting, it would instantly become one of the most lucrative betting states in the US. State legislators on both sides of the issue have been working each other for years, but sports betting advocates seem to be surging forward.
Multiple bills emerged in 2021 that would create a legal market in Texas, and many of the state’s most prominent sports figures support the initiative. There are, however, a few blockers in place.
Despite the progress toward legalization, some state legislators remain anti-betting, so supporters will need to do a bit more lobbying and persuading before Texas can pass a bill with flying colors.
In this hypothetical in-state battle, the Mustangs enter as a 1-point favorite against TCU. A bettor backing the Mustangs is looking for at least a 2-point victory. If SMU loses the game, TCU covers the 1-point spread. If SMU wins by exactly 1 point, the game results in a push, meaning spread bettors are reimbursed, but they do not profit because neither team actually covered the spread.