College Football Picks: Mid-Major Game Day Predictions Week 10
by Dave Schwab - 10/31/2011
This week, all eyes are sure to be focused on the biggest game of the year when No.1 LSU takes on No.2 Alabama this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. This is easily the most anticipated major conference matchup this week, but there are a couple of conference matchups in the mid-majors as well that bear watching as well.
Each week, we pour through the pertinent facts and figures in these ‘under-the-radar’ contests in an effort to provide a couple solid plays. Last week we cashed-in on Houston’s impressive 73-34 victory over Rice as a 27-point home favorite and on BYU’s 38-28 loss to TCU as a 12.5-point road underdog. We went to work early on this week’s mid-major college football schedule and uncovered three more gems for you to consider.
Tulane Green Wave vs. SMU Mustangs (-24)
Tulane stumbles into this Conference-USA West matchup with a six-game losing streak. Last week’s 34-13 loss to East Carolina as a 15.5-point road underdog dropped it to 2-7 on the year both straight-up and against the spread. The Green Wave are ranked 111th in the nation in points allowed and 95th in scoring.
SMU jumped-out to a 5-1 start, but losses in its last two games has it at 5-3 SU (4-4) overall and 3-2 SU in the conference. The most disheartening thing about the losses to Southern Miss and Tulsa is that fact the Mustangs were outscored a by a combined score of 65-10 and did not come anywhere close to covering the college football odds in either game.
The road team in this series is a perfect 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Green Wave is a perfect 5-0 ATS in its last five trips to SMU, and the last time they met there they covered as 19.5-point road underdogs in a narrow 26-21 loss. There is no way Tulane wins this game, but it will keep things close enough to cover.
Prediction: SMU 38, Tulane 17
UL-Monroe Warhawks vs. UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (-5)
UL-Monroe is coming off a tough 31-28 overtime loss to Western Kentucky this past Saturday as a six-point home favorite to add another setback to what has been an extremely disappointing season. The Warhawks are now 2-6 SU (3-5 ATS) and out of the race in the Sun Belt Conference at 1-3 SU.
In another part of the state, UL-Lafayette is right in the thick of things at 7-2 SU (6-3 ATS) overall and 5-1 SU in the conference. The Ragin’ Cajuns are coming off a huge 45-20 victory over Middle Tennessee last Saturday as three-point road underdogs. Next week they face Arkansas State in a game that could go along way at deciding this season’s conference title.
The Warhawks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips to Lafayette. The Road team in this series is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings and the underdog is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 games between the two. UL-Lafayette gets the win at home, but gets caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown with the Red Wolves in a surprisingly tight game.
Prediction: UL-Lafayette 27, UL-Monroe 24
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (-3.5)
Louisiana Tech has reversed its ill-fortunes from a 1-4 start with three straight victories that have it 4-4 SU on the year and 6-2 ATS. The Bulldogs are 3-1 SU in the WAC after knocking-off Utah State, 24-17, as 6.5-point road underdogs two weeks ago and San Jose State, 38-28, this past Saturday as seven-point home favorites.
Fresno State is headed in the opposite direction with three losses in its last three games to fall to 3-5 SU (4-4 ATS) overall and 2-1 SU in the conference. These Bulldogs also beat Utah State, 31-21, as 2.5-point home favorites, but fell to Nevada, 45-38, as 12-point road underdogs on Oct. 22.
In a matchup of Bulldogs, Louisiana Tech is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and 4-0-1 ATS in its last five trips to Fresno. The underdog in this series is 7-0-1 ATS in the last eight meetings. Stick with the road Bulldogs this time around as they get the outright win in this one.
Prediction: Louisiana Tech 35, Fresno State 31
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