Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Charlotte 49ers Pick
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. Charlotte 49ers (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
When: Tuesday, December 1, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Point Spread: WKU +1.5/CHAR -1.5 (BetNow - Deposit $100 get $100 FREE! Deposit $1K get $1K FREE! The ULTIMATE bankroll booster!)
Total: O/U 47.5
Welcome to a truly unique start to December: Tuesday morning football. This usually only happens during the bowl season, but with COVID continuing to wreak havoc on the college football season, Western Kentucky and Charlotte decided to do something unique and play on a Tuesday morning, seeing as how there’s nobody allowed in the stands anyway.
However, the 49ers might have miscalculated in this one because while they’ve been out of action, the Hilltoppers have been building momentum. Western Kentucky has played three games in November and won two of them, with the one exception being a tight loss against Florida Atlantic. On the other hand, Charlotte last played on Halloween and got blown out in that game by Duke. The last time they were on the winning end of a game was Oct. 24 when they handled UTEP, but since then, COVID has ravaged the program. Had the game not been moved to Tuesday, it would have been canceled, as Charlotte wouldn’t have passed protocols in time to play Saturday. So let’s put on the coffee and see if we can start December off with an early victory here in C-USA.
How the Public is Betting the Western Kentucky/Charlotte Game
The public has given the slight edge to Western Kentucky in terms of tickets, with 54 percent coming in on the Hilltoppers. However, sharps seem to be backing Charlotte, as the line has jumped from even to -1.5 for the 49ers. The total hasn’t budged.
Quarterback Kevaris Thomas is questionable with an undisclosed issue. Tight end Dalvin Smith is out for the season with a leg injury.
Charlotte reports no injuries.
When Western Kentucky Has the Ball
Don’t expect a lot here. The Hilltoppers have been winning with defense and only have 18 offensive touchdowns on the season in 10 games. Even though they scored 38 points in their most recent game against Florida International, that was because the defense took an interception and a fumble back for a pair of touchdowns and set up another score by forcing a turnover on downs.
Western Kentucky doesn’t have much of an offense in terms of either the ground game or the passing game, with the passing game being their biggest weakness. Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome hasn’t thrown for more than 190 yards, nor has backup Thomas. Outside of that defensive-fueled outburst, the Hilltoppers haven’t topped 20 points since the third game of the season.
In this game, running the football would seem the ideal path to victory, as Charlotte’s run defense has been shredded for more than 200 rushing yards per season. But the running game hasn’t been anything special either, as top running backs Gaej Walker and Jakairi Moses have combined for just two touchdowns on the season. Moses does average over five yards per carry, which allows the Hilltoppers to control the clock even when they’re not scoring. But against a team that scores 28 points per game, that might not be enough.
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When Charlotte Has the Ball
Charlotte’s offense isn’t anything to write home about either, as the 49ers have a scoring total that’s inflated by getting to play two weak opponents in UTEP and North Texas. Outside of that, the 49ers have been held to 20 points or less in each of their games, despite facing some less-than-stellar defenses. Case in point, Duke was just shredded by Georgia Tech for 56 points, yet Charlotte could only get 19 points on the Blue Devils.
In order to get a win here, Charlotte needs to establish Aaron McAllister early and let him attack the Western Kentucky front seven. McAllister is the main speed back for the 49ers and has returned a kickoff for a touchdown, making him a threat to change the game any time he touches the ball. The 49ers might need that, because Chris Reynolds isn’t likely to change the game through the air. Reynolds isn’t a running quarterback and only has 1,100 yards through the air, and neither wide receivers Victor Tucker and Micaleous Elder have topped 300 yards on the season.
Charlotte has tended to do pretty well in Conference USA, as the 49ers have covered in four of their past five league games. They’ve also tended to beat the teams that they should beat, as they’ve managed to cover in eight of their past 11 matchups against a team with a losing record. However, Western Kentucky has actually been pretty effective on the road. The Hilltoppers have covered in six of their past eight contests as a road underdog and eight of 12 road games overall, and in those games, their lack of offense has tended to push them well under the total. Fourteen of the Toppers’ past 19 road games have seen the under cash, including four of the past five games overall.
These teams have little history, as this is only their fourth meeting overall, but they do have an interesting quirk: in all three games between them, the loser has ended up with exactly 14 points.
It’s a good thing the teams picked Tuesday because a storm will run through Charlotte early in the week, but things will clear out for Tuesday morning, leaving a 46-degree day with wind coming eight miles per hour and blowing west.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
This looks like a defensive struggle, and Charlotte at least has an explosive weapon that can move the ball when necessary. The 49ers have put up points against weaker opponents, and I don’t think they’ll have any real problems slowing down the Western Kentucky attack. I think this will be a low-scoring contest that goes in the 49ers’ favor.
I’ll take Charlotte here to get the early morning victory and start December off right. Are you still laying -110 odds on your bets? If so, you should SERIOUSLY consider taking 5 minutes and making the switch to -105 reduced odds betting! Betting at a cheaper rate will save you thousands of dollars over the years! Find this beautiful offer at BetAnySports! We’ve advertised them for over 10 years with ZERO complaints!