2015 Record: 13-1
2016 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 9.5*
2016 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
Tom Herman's Houston Cougars were a revelation in 2015, with the ex-Ohio State offensive coordinator and rookie head coach leading UH to a 13-1 record. Houston won American Athletic Conference regular-season and conference titles and wrapped the season up with a blowout win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl. Houston finished the year ranked No. 8 in the country.
I may be the only college football handicapper or analyst that isn't buying Houston this year. They have 11 starters back from last year's group, including stud quarterback Greg Ward. And Herman looks like a very talented guy that will continue the Houston coaching pipeline to major programs (Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin are recent alum).But I think Houston is overrated coming into the season, and this is a team I am actively looking to bet against.
The Cougars lost their No. 1 receiver (by a lot) as well as top running back Kenneth Farrow. Six of their top 10 tacklers are gone as well. The offense is now almost solely dependent on Ward. Hey, he's a good guy to be dependent on. He had 4,100 total yards last year alone. But he's a dual-threat quarterback that is one hit away from the injury list, and if that happens Houston won't recover.
The Cougars start the season against powerhouse Oklahoma and will face athletic, hard-hitting defenses at Cincinnati and versus Connecticut in the first month of the season. Houston opens with nine games in nine weeks (late bye), and they don't have back-to-back home games until mid-November. I think this team is going to get knocked around early in the season and will be worn out by Halloween.
They also close the year with revenge-minded Louisville and at Memphis in back-to-back primetime games against teams they eked out wins against last season.
Houston was charmed in Herman's first season. They had three wins by three points or less, and their three biggest AAC victories (Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple) came despite being outgained. I think that Herman will have a sophomore slump. This team will start the season in the Top 25. They won't end it there. This is an easy 'under' call.
2016 Houston Cougars Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET) Location
Sat, Sep 3rd, 2016 Oklahoma 12:00 PM NRG Stadium
Thu, Sep 15th, 2016 at Cincinnati 7:30 PM Nippert Stadium
Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 at Texas State7:00 PM Jim Wacker Field
Thu, Sep 29th, 2016 Connecticut 8:00 PM TDECU Stadium
Sat, Oct 8th, 2016 at Navy 3:00 PM Jack Stephens Field
Sat, Oct 15th, 2016 Tulsa 1:00 PM TDECU Stadium
Sat, Oct 22nd, 2016 at SMU 1:00 PM Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Sat, Oct 29th, 2016 Central Florida1:00 PM TDECU Stadium
Sat, Nov 12th, 2016 Tulane 1:00 PM TDECU Stadium
Thu, Nov 17th, 2016 Louisville 08:00 PM TDECU Stadium
Fri, Nov 25th, 2016 at Memphis 01:00 PM Liberty Bowl Memorial
All Times EST
*Season Win Total Odds from 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past five years, earning nearly $13,000 in total football profit with four of six winning seasons. Robert tallied over $20,000 in football profit between 2011 and 2015, including his amazing 2013 NFL season in which he hit 62.1 percent (95-58). Robert has produced 14 of 22 winning football months and an amazing 37 of 57 winning football months over the past decade. Robert has eight of nine winning NFL preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 750 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted two of three winning seasons and is 122-92 over the last three years (57.0 percent).
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