Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET, October 7, 2021
Venue: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Houston -4
BetMGM: Houston -4.5
Caesars: Houston -4
Houston: 4-1 (2-0 American Athletic Conference)
Tulane: 1-4 (0-1 AAC)
Larry Ness had a DOMINANT 8-1 run in college football this past weekend for a net profit of $6,950. Games went as planned for the most part, but Larry had everything go his way. Now he gets another week in what should be an interesting slate of games. Catch Larry’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.
Houston - Tulane preview and analysis
Houston: won 45-10 at Tulsa on Oct. 1
Tulane: lost 52-29 at East Carolina on Oct. 2
The Houston Cougars' offense is starting to come alive, and that lends itself horribly to the Tulane Green Wave when the teams meet on Thursday in New Orleans.
Houston comes in winners of four straight after a five-touchdown win at the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Cougars jumped out to a 28-3 halftime lead highlighted by three rushing touchdowns from Alton McCaskill. Quarterback Clayton Tune also threw the first of two touchdown passes.
It was also a banner day for the Houston defense holding the now 1-4 Golden Hurricane to 289 total yards and forcing three turnovers. Houston picked off Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin three times and held him to nearly 50 percent completion.
After losing by 17 on opening weekend against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Houston has put up at least 40 points in three of the last four. The lone time the Cougars didn't was an 8-point win over the Navy Midshipmen. That win looks a tad better after Navy beat UCF this past weekend.
And while Houston's offense has been humming, Tulane's has not. The Green Wave have not been able to capitalize off that strong showing against the Oklahoma Sooners in Week 1.
The only constant has been Tulane's atrocious defense, and not in a good way. The Green Wave have allowed 40 points in three of five games and have given up at least 50 in two of the last three weeks. Tulane is coming off a 23-point loss on the road against the East Carolina Pirates.
East Carolina put up 612 yards of offense and jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead. Tulane cut the lead to eight heading into the third quarter after two touchdowns followed by two-point conversions. But ECU's run game totaled three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to more than certainly cover the +3 and ultimately capitalize off four turnovers.
This is the perfect pickings for Houston. The beginning of the season was a fine time to put up the excuses for Tulane, having played outside of New Orleans at all. But even back to normal, Tulane hasn't played great football. Kind of surprised the line for Houston isn't bigger, but the Cougars should be able to handle business when all is said and done. Houston by 14
Houston is 2-2 in its last four against the spread as a road favorite. In road games, Houston is 7-4 ATS.
Houston is 2-9 in its last 11 ATS after winning the previous week ATS.
Tulane is 9-2 in its last 11 ATS at home.
Players to watch
Houston: Nathaniel Dell was the lone player to have more than two receptions last week against Tulsa. The Cougars’ leading receiver had 82 yards on six receptions. Christian Trahan could help take the pressure off, but it seems Dell has it all good himself.
Tulane: Despite throwing three interceptions last week, Michael Pratt will need to be relied upon to pull off the upset. Tulane’s offense lives and dies by the quarterback; his leading target last week was Duece Watts with four catches for 79 yards. Look for Pratt to find Jaetavian Toles as an under-the-radar target.
Passing: Clayton Tune -- 970 yards, 7 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Alton McCaskill -- 310 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Nathaniel Dell -- 424 yards, 3 TD
Passing: Michael Pratt -- 1,150 yards, 11 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Cameron Carroll -- 204 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Tyrick James -- 289 yads, 2 TD
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