Western Kentucky vs. Central Arkansas - 8/29/19 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Western Kentucky vs. Central Arkansas - 8/29/19 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Central Arkansas at Western Kentucky

Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 6:30 PM (Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium )

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -9.5 O/U: 54.5

TV: ESPN+

The Central Arkansas Bears and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will open their college football seasons with a matchup on Thursday.

The Bears are coming off of a winning season in 2018, going 6-5 overall and 5-4 in Southland Conference play. That left Central Arkansas in a four-way tie for fourth place in a conference that was a logjam of mediocrity at the mid level.

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Expectations are higher for the Bears this season behind second-year head coach Nathan Brown, as many expect them to be one of the top teams in the conference and possibly unseat Nicholls as champions.

As for the Hilltoppers, they’re coming off a disappointing campaign in 2018, going 3-9 overall and 2-6 in Conference USA play for a sixth-place finish (tie) in the East Division.

This will be head coach Tyson Helton’s first season at the helm, and he’s joined by first-year offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis and third-year defensive coordinator Clayton White.

The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games and the over is 5-2 in their last seven on turf.

Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games in August and the over is 8-1 in their last nine home games. The under is 5-1 in Western Kentucky’s last six non-conference games as well.

Western Kentucky has an uphill battle toward making some headway in the conference this year. The Hilltoppers will likely be looking up at Marshall, FIU and Florida Atlantic in the standings but do have the goods to flirt with another winning campaign.

As for the Bears, they seem to have a bit more comparative stability in their leadership roles and should come out of the gate strong here. I like Central Arkansas to bang out a cover at least.

Andrew’s Pick Central Arkansas Bears +9.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.