Week 5 College Football Odds: Tulane Green Wave at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Paul James tore his ACL and is out for the season.
Paul James tore his ACL and is out for the season.

Spread: RUT -12
Total: 55
M/L: RUT -450; TUL +355

Betting Odds courtesy of Bookmaker

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are 3-1 on the season, but the lone loss came in Big-Ten play to Penn State, and it was just by a field goal. Wins over Washington State, Howard and Navy have all come impressively, though the Washington State was a narrow one in a 41-38 shootout. Playing Tulane this week should help the Knights attain another double-digit win.

Senior QB Gary Nova is what makes it happen for Rutgers. He’s improved all four seasons at Rutgers, and thus far is having the best season of his NCAA career. Nova has thrown for 906 yards on the season while posting a career-high 63.3 percent for completion. Troubling is his six interceptions, but it has been matched by six TDs and an average completion of 10.07 yards.

In Rutgers’ backfield, Paul James and Desmond Peoples have been very good. James has 363 yards on the season and an average rush of 5.8 yards per carry. He’s also scored five TDs including a 56 yard run for a touchdown.

The kicker? James suffered a torn ACL last week and will miss the remainder of the season. That cripples Rutgers.

Peoples hasn’t been as impressive, but 4.5 yards per carry on 46 rushes gets the job done, while James can power it in within the red zone.

WR Leonte Carroo has been the No. 1 target for Nova, already having caught 18 receptions for 335 yards, including a 76-yard TD pass, as one of his tow TDs. RB James has also caught for 120 yards and two TDs, while John Tsimis has 110 yards and two TDs. The Knights are a dangerous dual-threat team that will give Tulane all it can handle this week.

Again, missing James kills any chance the Knights had of posting a respectable conference record this season.

The Tulane Green Wave is 1-3 on the season, with the lone victory having come against Southeast Louisiana. More telling has been the double-OT loss to Tulsa in Week 1 and losses to Georgia Tech and Duke. The Duke contest was a blowout, as expected. The Blue Devils are much stronger than in school history, and racked up 47 points against a weak Tulane defense that has allowed 35.8 points per game thus far. The offense, meanwhile, has managed just 25 points per game.

Tanner Lee has not been good at QB, but Tulane has no other options behind him. Lee has thrown just 47.4 percent for completion and has more INTs (9) than TDs (8). His QB rating is low comparative to other college QBs, at just 106.3.

In the backfield, Sherman Badie has been effective, but not enough so to save the Tulane offense. Badie has rushed for 349 yards on 48 carries, good for a 7.3 yard average. He’s also rushed for two TDs, including a 90 yard rush. Behind him, no other back has averaged more than 4.5 yards per carry, except Dante Butler, who has carried just 13 times on the season. The Green Wave have a lack of options and a poor QB. There’s really just little doubt that Rutgers takes care of business and hands Tulane another double-digit loss. College football oddsmakers agree, setting the line 13-points in favor of Rutgers.

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