Houston vs. UCONN - 9/29/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UCONN Huskies (2-2) at Houston Cougars (4-0)
College Football: Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm (TDECU Stadium)
The Line: Houston Cougars -26.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Connecticut Huskies will travel to TDECU Stadium to take on the 6th ranked Houston Cougars this Thursday night in College Football action.
The Connecticut Huskies dropped to 2-2 (0-1 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Syracuse Orange, 31-24, this past Saturday. Connecticut had a difficult time stopping the Orange passing attack as they allowed Syracuse’s QB, Eric Dungey, to throw for 407 yards and 2 TD’s. Connecticut was outgained by Syracuse by a 469-425 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 1-0 margin. Leading the way for the Huskies was WR Noel Thomas who had 111 yards on 14 receptions. On the season, Connecticut is averaging 21.3 ppg on 354.5 total yards per game (215.3 passing, 139.3 rushing). Offensively, the Huskies have been led by duel-threat QB Bryant Shirreffs who has completed 66.9% of his passes for 2 TD and 2 INT while averaging 204.8 passing yds/game. Shirreffs is also the 2nd leading rusher for the Huskies as he is averaging 46.75 rushing yds/gam. Also in the Connecticut backfield is Arkeel Newsome (13.0 att/game, 52.75 yds/game, 2 TD) and Ron Johnson (10.0 att/game, 34.0 yds/game, 4 TD). Noel Thomas is the go to receiver for the Huskies as he is averaging 10 rec/game for 97.0 yds/game. Defensively, Connecticut is holding their opponents to an average of 22.5 ppg on 381.0 total yards per game (261.8 passing, 119.3 rushing). Connecticut has struggled a bit with turnovers this season as they currently have a minus 4 turnover margin.
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The 6th ranked Houston Cougars had little issues with the Texas State Bobcats and improved to 4-0 (1-0 AAC) on the season after a convincing 64-3 victory. Houston jumped all over the Bobcats in this one as they held a 43-3 lead at halftime and was once again outstanding on the defensive side of the ball. The Cougars outgained Texas State by a 563-142 margin and had an incredible 30 first downs in the victory. Leading the way for Houston was Greg Ward Jr who had 289 yards and 2 TD through the air and added a TD and 39 yards on the ground. Offensively, Houston is led by their duel-threat QB Greg Ward who has completed 65.7% of his passes for 5 TD and 2 INT while averaging 312.0 yds/game. Ward also is averaging 37.67 rushing yds/game and has 3 rushing TD’s. Houston’s main threats at WR have been Linell Bonner (5.3 rec/game, 70.0 yds/game, TD), Steven Dunbar (4.0 rec/game, 57.3 yds/game, TD), and Chance Allen (3.0 rec/game, 45.3 yds/game, TD). Leading the way in the backfield has been Duke Catalon (16.0 att/game, 75.0 yds/game, TD) and Kevrin Justice (11.33 att/game, 49.67 yds/game, 2 TD). Defensively, Houston is holding their opponents to an average of 10.5 ppg on 228.8 total yards per game (191.8 passing, 37.0 rushing). Houston’s defense has forced 7 turnovers on the season and the Cougars currently have a plus 2 turnover margin.
The Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on turf and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games. The Cougars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
Connecticut once again looks as if they have a solid defense that will allow them to stay in games, however, it’s looking the Huskies will again be about a .500 team as their offense can really struggle to score points. Houston has already picked up convincing wins against Oklahoma and Cincinnati this season has arguably one of the top defenses in all of College Football. Connecticut handed Houston their only loss during the 2015 season however, I feel that this is just going to motivate the Cougars to come out real strong in this one. It’s always tough having to cover this many points against a solid Connecticut defense however, as I don’t see Connecticut scoring more than 10 points in this game, I think Greg Ward Jr. and the offense will be able to enough to have Houston cover this spread. Take Houston to cover.