Houston Cougars (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date and Time: Thursday, September 11, 9:00pm EST
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium - Provo, Utah
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: HOU +18.5/BYU -18.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
This Thursday night, September 11, we will kick off week three of the college football season. So far, there have been some surprises, but there has also been no real major changed in the national top ten. Thursday night we have a Cougars versus Cougars game to check out, when the Cougars from Houston travel to Provo, Utah to battle the 2-0 BYU Cougars. Like I said, BYU comes in at 2-0 while Houston enters this contest at 1-1. The line opens with BYU as an 18.5 favorite at home, while the total points has yet to be set. So far this season, Brigham Young has covered the spread in both of their games, and Houston is 0-2 against the spread. This is a rather big spread that I could see going either way. Thursday night games are always interesting so I am torn on how to bet this one. Lets break it down and see if we can get an idea of which of these Cougars are the best play for the night.
In week one I took BYU to cover a large spread over UConn, and they did. Then this past week, I sat and watched as the Cougars..the BYU ones…destroyed a Texas Longhorns team 41-7. BYU looks good, really really good. Through two games, they have only allowed a total of 17 points which ranks them the 6th best in the nation. BYU has not only played great defense, but they have a pretty decent offense too, especially the running game who is averaging over 220 yards per game on the ground. The rushing attack has been led by Taysom Hill, who is also the BYU quarterback. He is a dual threat that has carried this team offensively through the first two games. The two early wins have boosted the Cougars into the AP Top 25 (ranked 25th) and a win over Houston can almost assure they will jump a couple of more spots. Against Texas, BYU ran for 249 yards and help the Longhorns to just 82 yards on the ground. If they keep up these types of performances, we may be talking about these guys crashing the Final Four party…ok probably not, but it is fun to talk about. The key to this game for BYU is to do exactly what they have been doing. Play tough, hard nosed defense, and control the ball and the clock. If they do that against Houston, I could see them covering this spread and going 3-0 both overall and ATS (Against The Spread).
Houston enters this contest at 1-1 overall and 0-2 against the spread. The Cougars opened their season with a loss against the University of Texas-San Antonio by a 27-7 score. They recovered this past weekend to get back on the winning track beating Grambling State 47-0. OF course, a win over Grambling State should not be a gauge on whether or not Houston improved from week one. The Cougars, after two games are ranked 102nd in rushing, and just 80th in passing. Those numbers are not good…at all. If they do not find a way to move the ball, and fast, BYU will shut them down big time. The key to this game for Houston is to move the ball, somehow, someway. Houston needs to find a way to control the ball and keep this a low scoring affair. If BYU gets up early and Houston is not able to control the pace, it can get out of hand early. The only way I see Houston actually winning this game out right would be if they could keep to a 17-13 type game. If BYU gets more than 21, it may be impossible.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: For some reason, these Thursday night games are always tough to pick. It also appears that the underdogs cover more times than not. Does that mean we jump on Houston? Ehhhh, not so fast. Lets take a close look at this match-up. Last season, when these two teams met on October 19th, BYU found themselves winning a shootout 47-46. In my opinion, this BYU is better than last years, where the Houston Cougars have taken major steps in the wrong direction. BYU has covered the spread in both contests, and Houston has yet to live up Vegas’ expectations. Even though BYU is favored by a big 18.5 points, 73% of the action is on them so far. If you follow my picks and my style, you know that most times I fade the pick that the public makes. In this case, I cannot do that. I actually like BYU here. They are the more mature team, the better coached team, the home team, and the favorite. Houston is the opposite of BYU…they are flat bad right now. I like BYU to get out to a quick start, play hard defense, and go into cruise control early. Look for a 34-10 type game with the BYU Cougars covering this spread!!! PICK BYU -18.5.