Thursday Night College Football Matchup: South Florida Bulls at Houston Cougars

david piland-houston-2013South Florida Bulls at Houston U
Time: 7 PM ET, Oct 31, 2013
Line: HOU -18.5
M/L: HOU -1100; SF +700
O/U: 54

Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes

The Houston Cougars are 6-1 this season and undefeated 3-0 in the AAC. Playing the lowly South Florida Bulls should improve that conference record to 4-0, and college football oddsmakers at 5dimes favor the Cougars by 18.5 points.

Houston does a good job of varying its offensive attack. The Cougars rank 17th in the nation in passing yardage, but also gain 171.9 yards rushing per game. The toughest stretch of the schedule will come after this week when the Cougars travel to No. 23 UCF and No. 19 Louisville. Then, it closes out the season with a matchup against SMU on ABC. The Cougars have beat the teams it should have, but the toughest tests are to come after this tuneup against South Florida.

John O’Korn has done an admirable job passing the ball this year and has racked up 1,858 yards with a 63.2 percent completion ratio. Deontay Greenberry has been his main target with 58 receptions for 842 yards and a team high eight receiving touchdowns. Daniel Spencer also has 543 yards and five TDs.

The Cougars have a couple capable backs with Ryan Jackson as the primary ball carrier. Jackson averages 5.0 yards per carry and has four TDs on the year, while also dual duty receiving for 15 receptions. It’s a potent offense that accounts for 42 points per game. Jackson is nursing a head injury and will likely not play, so Kenneth Farrow will see more touches.

Houston’s “D” is pretty good, too, but it really hasn’t been tested by many premier offenses yet, and the South Florida Bulls won’t offer much resistance. The Bulls average just 240.6 yards per game and rank near the bottom of the nation in both passing and rushing yardage.

South Florida has generated just 14.3 points per game while surrendering over twice that (30.7). The 18.5 point line might sound high, but there’s a very good chance the Cougars are able to run up the score against a team that is somehow 2-1 in the conference after wins over Cincy and UConn.

Betting Trends:

South Florida: UNDER 4-0-1 in last 5 road games vs teams with winning home records; UNDER 5-0 in last 5 road games; 0-9 ATS in last 9 Thursday games.

Houston: 6-0 ATS in last 6 after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in previous game; 8-0 ATS in last 8 after accumulating more than 200 rushing yards; 4-0 ATS in last 4 at home.

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