Central Arkansas Bears (0-0) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 1, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tulsa Golden Hurricane -10.5 -- Over/Under: 62
The Central Arkansas Bears and Tulsa Golden Hurricane meet Saturday in college football action at Chapman Stadium.
The Central Arkansas Bears are coming off a 10-win season and are expected to be a Southland contender this year as well. Breylin Smith is likely going to takeover at quarterback after seven passes last season and one touchdown, while Kierre Crossley returns at running back after leading the charge with 780 rushing yards and four scores. Central Arkansas did lose a lot of production in the receiving department, but Crossley and Carlos Blackman form one of the better running back tandems in the conference and are sure to keep this offense afloat while it adjusts. Defensively, Central Arkansas allowed just 17 points last season, and while some of the key players aren’t returning, the defensive line will remain consistent with Eric Jackson and his 11 sacks back for another season. Chris Terrell also had double-digit sacks last season, so the Bears defensive front is going to be no joke. The Central Arkansas Bears have lost three of their last four season openers.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane won just two games last season, but a lot of those results were competitive and a ton of injuries didn’t help matters. Luke Skipper returns at quarterback after making progress late in the season and receivers Justin Hobbs and Keenen Johnson are back as the top two targets. Tulsa also returns an experienced offensive line, so this Golden Hurricane offense should be much improved and closer to what we’re used to seeing from this program. Defensively, Tulsa was able to build depth last year due to a ton of injuries, and key contributors such as McKinley Whitfield, Cooper Edmiston and Diamon Cannon are all back for another season. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane have gone back-to-back years without a bowl appearance once since 2003, so with a little injury luck and a few young players emerging, this could be a drastically improved season for the program.
The Golden Hurricane are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. The under is 4-1 in Golden Hurricane last 5 home games and 5-1 in Golden Hurricane last 6 games overall.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane should be much improved from a year ago, as injuries played a big part in their season, and even with banged up bodies across the board, they were able to keep games close. The Central Arkansas Bears have a solid squad when playing in conference and did beat Arkansas State back in 2016. However, Central Arkansas did lose some key players offensively and will be breaking in a new quarterback. You have to be able to score points by the boatload usually to beat Tulsa. I'm not sure the Bears are ready to hit the ground running offensively. I'll take Tulsa by double digits.