AAC Football Odds, Picks: South Florida Bulls at UConn Huskies

College Football Betting
South Florida will look to improve to 3-0 as heavy favorites against lowly UConn.

South Florida – UConn

Time: 11 AM C (Sat, 9 Sept 2017)

Spread: SFLA -17

Total: 66

Odds c/o 5dimes

South Florida got off to a slow start in Week 2 against lowly Stony Brook, but Quintin Flowers threw for 186 yards and two second half TDs as the No. 19 ranked Bulls pulled ahead to win 31-17. It won its season opener already 42-22 against San Jose State University, and now at 2-0 the Bulls will travel to face AAC foe Connecticut.

The Huskies host the game as 17-point underdogs to South Florida, and the over/under is set relatively high at 66 points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes. Given that the Bulls have averaged 36.5 points per game over its first two contests and the Huskies are not a strong defensive team, this has the makings of a three-TD blowout—particularly if Flowers really gets rolling for the Bulls.

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South Florida’s leading rusher Darius Tice has had a nice opening two games as well. Tice has 151 yards on 36 carries (4.2 yards per ) and three TDs to his name already, while Flowers has been successful while rushing too. The dual-threat QB ranks No. 2 in yardage with 137 total rushing yards and a TD. D’Ernest Johnson is also averaging 57 yards per game, as the Bulls have rushed for 234.0 per game over its first two contests.

Top wide receiving option Marquez Valdes-Scantling is averaging 10.6 yards per catches on a team-high 10 receptions, including a long catch of 50-yards already. Tyre McCants has caught three passes for 98 yards, and the Bulls have amassed 419 passing yards through its first two games, with an average reception distance of 13.1 yards. The offense has been good, but the Bulls will need to tighten up defensively after allowing Stony Brook to have a modicum of offensive success last week.

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South Florida gave up 192 passing yards on 18 of 36 passing to San Jose State quarterback Josh Love. San Jose took an early 16-0 lead, but the Bulls had a 28-point second quarter and basically ran away with the game in that span. UConn is 1-0 after knocking off Holy Cross in its opener by a count of 27-20.

The Huskies were just 3-9 last season while finishing 1-7 in AAC play. UConn lost its final six games of the season after starting the year 3-3. In the win over Holy Cross, the UConn defense gave up 358 passing yards to Holy Cross starting quarterback Peter Pujals.

That secondary was looking very weak, and the rush defense was only marginally better in giving up 89 yards to a by-committee HC backfield. David Pindell had a strong game at quarterback, as did Bryant Shirreffs, with the two splitting duty and combining to throw 28 of 41 for 278 yards.

RB Nate Hopkins had a strong game from the backfield with 20 carries for 130 yards and he scored all three of the Huskies’ touchdowns. It may be a familiar them with Hopkins being a strong short-yardage back capable of really pounding in in the end zone, and South Florida has shown some weak spots early on against mediocre opponents. Still, it is unlikely that this game is much closer than 20-points, with the Bulls being real possible three-touchdown winners.

The Bulls still did have three Second-team All-Conference defensive players in Deandrin Senal, Deatrcik Nichols and Auggie Sanchez. Sanchez has plenty of experience (37 starts) and led USF in tackles last season with 120. Bruce Hector also returns, and he tied Sanchez with the team lead in total sacks (6). The secondary will feature Nichols, Ronnie Hoggins, Abraham, and Tajee Fullwood. It should be fine despite the losses of both Hassan Childs and Nate Godwin.

The defense is strong enough to put the clamp on a weak Huskies team that just can’t manage to get wins in its AAC games at any rate. Though there have been some outstanding upsets early on this college football season, the Huskies are a program that cannot manage to get it right in recent history against a ranked opponent. This one is unlikely to surprise many.

UConn faces Virginia, SMU and Memphis the next three weeks, and South Florida will go on to play Illinois, Temple and East Carolina over its next three weeks.

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