NCAA Football Betting Favorite: Southern Miss -22.5
Conference USA has loaded its schedule up with quite a few mid-week games at the end of this season. Conference USA’s East Division isn’t competitive at this point. Southern Mississippi leads at 5-1, and they are two games ahead of both East Carolina and Marshall. UAB has won just two games this year, but both of them have been inside the conference. The Blazers have actually won two of their last four games after starting 0-6. Can UAB make this one a contest or will the Golden Eagles win in a rout?
Austin Davis is a fourth-year starter at the quarterback spot for the Golden Eagles. Davis knows this offense well, and he does a nice job making decisions with the football. Davis is much more mobile than most people realize, and he has an accurate arm as well. The Golden Eagles have four running backs that have gotten at least 57 carries this year. Jamal Woodyard has emerged as the team’s top rusher, and he averages 6.6 yards per carry. Ryan Balentine and Kevin Bolden both have five touchdown receptions and more than 40 receptions already this year. Southern Miss is strong offensively because they are so balanced. The Golden Eagles are 16th in the nation averaging 36.8 points per game.
Defensively, Southern Mississippi is much better than most Conference USA teams. Most teams in this conference rely on outscoring their opponent, but Southern Miss has a pretty good defense. The front seven is particularly strong against the run. The Golden Eagles allow only 20.5 points per game.
There hasn’t been much go right for UAB this year. The team’s starting quarterback is out for the year with a hand injury. The team’s best runner has been battling nagging injuries all year long. The Blazers have been able to move the ball through the air this year, but they haven’t been able to punch it in the end zone. Jonathan Perry is the new signal caller for the Blazers, and he has been extremely inconsistent. Perry is a mobile quarterback, but he doesn’t always make good decisions with the ball. The Blazers are averaging just 17 points per game on offense.
Things aren’t any better on the defensive end of the field for UAB. The Blazers defense ranks 115th out of 120 teams in the nation in total defense. UAB is allowing 489 yards and 37 points per game so far this year. The secondary often gets beaten deep, and that could be a problem against a solid quarterback like Austin Davis.
Southern Miss is the much better team, but laying this many points on the road is a dangerous proposition. I think the better play here is the under. Look for the Golden Eagles defense to shine in this one.
Free College Football Pick: UAB/Southern Miss under 61.5
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