NCAAF · Fri (12/16) @ 11:35am ET
|MIAO Miami (OH)||at||UAB UAB|
|Legion Field Stadium, Birmingham, Alabama|
As we sift through a week’s games, running them through our industrial-size washer and dryer to gauge line discrepancies and determine value, a theme has somewhat emerged in the routine.
Against a bad team, average teams shine and very good teams capitalize on mismatches almost everywhere on the field.
You like wagering on above-average squads? I find more of an advantage betting against the below-average programs, and our recent nice run has been buoyed by this philosophy.
Dust away the many close, or tough, calls this weekend, run them through the mammoth sluice machine, and there’s South Florida. As a bet-against proposition, USF shines like some of the largest golden nuggets ever unearthed.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-4)
The Hurricane is a balanced outfit that doesn’t exactly do anything exceptionally well, although its average of 443 offensive yards places it in the nation’s top-25th percentile.
Fourth-year junior quarterback Davis Brin directs a passing game that averages 8.7 yards a pass and 289 aerial yards, both among the country’s top 25.
Nothing spectacular, until the details are examined. On Sept. 18, he went 31-for-54 for 428 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, in a 41-20 defeat at mighty Ohio State. As a 24½-point underdog, Tulsa covered.
He threw for 355 yards in a triumph over Arkansas State. Golden Hurricane games are 4-1-1 to the Over this season, and its Over streak is four in a row. That’s why we included that Over twist into our betting plan.
The USF secondary will be a sieve to Brin, and receivers Sam Crawford Jr. (19.4-yard average on 19 catches, three TDs), JC Santana (14.8 average) and Ezra Naylor (18.3) will all prosper.
In South Florida’s lax passing defense, Brin could have a career day. The Bulls yield 285 yards through the air per game, a bottom-20 national rate. Worse, it gives up 9.7 yards per pass. Only six defenses are more porous.
The other twist in the Tulsa attack is its solid ground game, led by Shamari Brooks (416 yards on 86 carries), complemented by Deneric Prince (6.1-yard average on 47 carries) and Anthony Watkins (8.3 average).
Prince rattled off TD runs of 62 and 27 yards last year here at Raymond James, when Tulsa thumped USF, 42-13. Santana nabbed a 33-yard TD catch, from then-QB Zach Smith.
Tulsa At South Florida Full Sportsbook Odds
South Florida Bulls (1-4)
Bulls second-year coach Jeff Scott is in a bind at quarterback.
True frosh Timmy McClain has gotten most of the snaps, owns a 58.7% completion rate and has racked up 781 yards. Xavier Weaver (17 catches, 19.3-yard average) is his go-to guy, and Jimmy Horn Jr. is in the mix, too.
However, with McClain’s single TD pass are two picks and three fumbles. Redshirt junior Cade Fortin is 19-for-38, for 132 yards and two interceptions.
It is no wonder that USF runs 58% of the time. Jaren Mangham, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore, beat out two incumbents in camp and has scored nine TDs. He averages only 3.3 yards on his 57 runs, but his nose for paydirt has been a plus.
Brian Battie (5-8, 170) gives foes another look, averaging 6.1 yards on 30 carries. The Bulls gave BYU a scare in Provo, but it’s mostly been a difficult first half of the season.
Sports Betting Recommendation
USF’s past four games have seen 62, 55, 62 and 58 points scored. That combined with Tulsa’s past four sailing over their totals convinced us to include that angle in this plan.
Tulsa’s defense is below average in several areas. While two of our models have the Hurricane winning comfortably, adding an Over play can be considered insurance against a late goof-ball TD—and backdoor cover—by the Bulls.
But we are banking on Tulsa being comfortably ahead by that point.