Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Thursday sports card features college basketball along with two games in college football. The previously scheduled Thursday game in the NFL between Washington and Pittsburgh has moved to Monday at 5 PM ET, given the delays in getting the Steelers game played with Baltimore last week.

There are no preseason college basketball tournaments on Thursday, but there is some afternoon action. North Carolina State plays UMass-Lowell at 4:30 PM ET in the mini-bubble at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Wolfpack are 15.5-point favorites with the total set at 152 (all odds from BetOnline). ESPNU has the broadcast. 

UConn plays USC on the neutral court at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 PM ET. The Huskies are 1-point favorites with an over/under of 142.5. This game is on ESPN. 

The ESPN nightcap at 9:30 PM ET has Florida playing Boston College at the Mohegan Sun Arena neutral court. The Gators are a 7.5-point favorite with the total at 142.  

The final college basketball game on Thursday's card takes place out west, on the Pac-12 Network, with California hosting Arizona State.  The Sun Devils are 7.5 point road favorites, with a total of 147.5.

In college football, the card kicks off at 6 PM ET with Louisiana Tech visiting North Texas. The Bulldogs have not played since October 31st when they upset UAB in overtime by a 37-34 score as a 12-point underdog. That victory raised Louisiana Tech’s record to a 4-3 mark.

North Texas saw their two-game winning streak snapped last week in a 49-17 loss at the University of Texas-San Antonio as a 1.5-point underdog. The Mean Green fell to a 3-4 record on the season. 

These Conference USA opponents played last season on November 19th, with Louisiana Tech winning at home by a 52-17 score as a 5.5-point favorite. The Bulldogs opened as a small favorite, but North Texas is now a 2-point favorite with the total at 66. This game is on the CBS Sports Network. 

The second college football game on the CBS Sports Network takes place at 9:30 PM ET. Air Force plays at Utah on Thursday night in a showdown between two Mountain West Conference teams. 

The Falcons decided to embark on a season in the fall well before their other Mountain West Conference reconsidered their initial decision to postpone games. Air Force opened their season on October 3rd with a 40-7 victory over Navy. They waited another three weeks for their conference brethren to begin their seasons but lost that game at San Jose State by a 17-6 score. The Falcons lost at home to Boise State the next week by a 49-30 score but then had COVID issues that result in them not playing for three weeks before hosting New Mexico, who they shut out by a 28-0 score. Air Force goes into this game with a 2-2 record along with a 1-2 mark in conference play. 

Utah State won their first game of the year last week with a 41-27 upset victory over New Mexico as a 6-point underdog. The Aggies gained 452 yards on offense while holding the winless Lobos to 348 yards in what was their best performance of the season on both sides of the football. Sophomore quarterback Andrew Peasley led the way in his first career start by completing 14 of 21 passes for 239 yards with three touchdown passes along with another 118 rushing yards with a touchdown on the ground. 

Air Force is an 11.5-point favorite with the total set at 51.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2021 Al McMordie's BigAl.com. All Rights Reserved.