Louisville Cardinals (9-1) at Houston Cougars (8-2)
College Football: Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm (TDECU Stadium)
The Line: Houston Cougars +14.5 -- Over/Under: 68.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The 6th ranked Louisville Cardinals will travel to TDECU Stadium to take on the Houston Cougars this Thursday night in College Football action.
The 6th ranked Louisville Cardinals won their 5th straight game and improved to 9-1 (7-1 AAC) on the season after defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 44-12, this past Saturday. Louisville was down by a 12-3 margin at halftime however, scored 34 points in the 4th quarter to help pull away from Wake Forest. Louisville outgained Wake Forest by a 491-214 margin and rushed from an incredible 346 yards. Leading the way for the Cardinals was RB Brandon Radcliff who had 3 TD’s and 141 rushing yards on 11 carries. On the season, Louisville is averaging 49.6 ppg on 583.2 yards per game (313.2 passing, 270.0 rushing). Offensively, Louisville is led by Heisman Trophy favorite, Lamar Jackson who has accounted for a remarkable 46 TD’s (27 passing; 19 rushing). Jackson is averaging 289.8 passing yds/g and is the Cardinals leading rushing at 133.4 rushing yds/g. RB Brandon Radcliff (10.7 att/g, 76.8 yds/g, 6 TD) and RB Jeremy Smith (4.4 att/g, 30.8 yds/g, 7 TD) have been major contributors in the Cardinals backfield. James Quick (3.6 rec/g, 60.8 yds/g, 6 TD), Jamari Staples (3.4 rec/g, 52.6 yds/g, 2 TD), Cole Hikutini (3.8 rec/g, 52.6 yds/g, 6 TD), and Jaylen Smith (2.2 rec/g, 48.7 yds/g, 6 TD) are the leading receivers for Louisville. Defensively, Louisville is holding their opponents to an average of 21.3 ppg on 303.3 total yards per game (210.5 passing, 92.8 rushing).
The Houston Cougars won their 2nd straight game and improved to 8-2 (5-2 AAC) on the season after defeating the Tulane Green Wave, 30-18, this past Saturday. Houston used a big 1st half to take a 28-10 lead at halftime and was able to hold on for the victory without scoring any offensive points in the 2nd half. Houston was outgained by Tulane by a 341-287 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 2-1 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was QB Greg Ward Jr. who completed 18 of 30 passes for 189 yards and 2 TD’s while also adding a rushing TD. On the season, Houston is averaging 37.6 ppg on 452.4 total yards per game (283.8 passing, 168.6 rushing). Offensively, Houston has been led by QB Greg Ward Jr. who has accounted for 25 TD’s (16 passing, 9 rushing). Ward Jr. is averaging 289.8 passing yds/g and 47.7 rushing yds/g. Duke Catalon has been the main threat in the backfield for the Cougars and has 2 TD’s while averaging 68.5 rushing yds/g. Linell Bonner (7.6 rec/g, 86.0 yds/g, 2 TD), Chance Allen (4.4 rec/g, 63.7 yds/g, 3 TD), and Steven Dunbar (4.3 rec/g, 58.5 yds/g, 5 TD) are biggest threats at the receiver position for Houston. Defensively, Houston is holding their opponents to an average of 21.3 ppg on 303.3 total yards per game (210.5 passing, 92.8 rushing).
The Cardinals are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 29-13-1 ATS in their last43 road games. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. ACC opponents however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Louisville surprisingly couldn’t get their explosive offense going until the 4th quarter against Wake Forest however, the Cardinals did show how dangerous this team can be with Lamar Jackson leading the way. Houston enters this game with a solid 8-2 record however, the Cougars just don’t seem to have the same energy as they did at the beginning of the season and has struggle getting convincing wins against some of bottom teams of the AAC. This line has yet to be released but I’m currently leaning towards taking Louisville to cover a reasonable spread here as I think Cardinals will come out playing hard in this one knowing that their right back in the CFF Playoff picture once again.
Update: I would have liked to get this number under 2 TD's but as I just haven't seen that great of football out of Houston since thier loss to Navy, I'm sticking with Louisville to cover this spread. Take Louisville to cover.