College Football Week 1 Picks: UTSA Roadrunners vs. Houston Cougars

UTSA Roadrunners vs. Houston Cougars
Friday, 8/29/14, 9:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -12.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -10.5
Opening Total:  54.5
Current Total:  56.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Houston Cougars will open up TDECU Stadium Friday night
The Houston Cougars will open up TDECU Stadium Friday night

UTSA will open its fourth season of play and first as a full-fledged member of the Football Bowl Subdivision at TDECU Stadium Friday night, which is important to consider when making your college football picks.  The Roadrunners come into this affair riding a five-game winning streak, as they prepare to open up a schedule on the road for a third consecutive year.  The program will be looking to gain revenge from a 59-28 defeat to Houston as 2.5-point home favorites last year, as it actually won the statistical battle by two yards in that affair.

The Roadrunners have won all three of their season openers dating back to their inaugural 2011 campaign, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football betting lines.  UTSA’ 37-man senior class tops the nation and its 21 returning starters is also the most in FBS.  One position where the squad is not experienced is under center, as projected starter Tucker Carter has appeared in just five games off the bench—completing 23 of 33 passes for 190 yards.

Houston has won five of its last six season openers, as it returns on campus to play at its new facility that was constructed on the footprint of its former home.  The Cougars will be led offensively by quarterback John O’Korn, who led all true freshmen nationally last season with 28 passing touchdowns, with his success also playing a big part in the team’s plus-25 turnover margin.  Defensively, the unit forced 43 turnovers for the entire 2013 campaign, while it has forced multiple turnovers in 20 of its last 21 games dating back to 2012.

The Cougars have a real playmaker in sophomore free safety Trevon Stewart, who led the entire country with 10 combiend turnovers—six fumble recoveries and four interceptions.  Twenty eight full or part-time starters return for Houston, with every leader in a major statistical category being part of that group.  O’Korn should continue to put up big numbers because no team has racked up more offensive yards than Houston since 2006.

Sports bettors will likely back the Roadrunners due to their 9-2 ATS mark on the road the last two-plus seasons.

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