This weekend will be one of your final chances to get into any kind of action as far as college football is concerned. Both games aren't looking to be blowouts and lines have moved quite a bit as the games get closer to kickoff.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles @ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Spread: -7.5, WKU (OddsShark)
Over/Under: 72 pts
The Skinny: As far as betting against the spread, Southern Miss is 10-2 this year and Western Kentucky is 7-4. The line started at -7, for WKU but has opened up as the week has progressed. Considering Southern Miss' record ATS and the possibility to it opening up even more, I would put my money on Southern Miss (+7.5). The O/U is low at 72 points and I would jump all over that. Sure, both teams have better-than-average defenses, but USM and WKU average over 85 points combined and neither defense is a world beater. Especially when considering the Hilltoppers are 89th in the nation against the pass and Southern Miss is 9th in the nation in passing. If you're going for straight-up the odds are clearly in favor for WKU with a 76.8% chance of winning.
If I Were You: Take Southern Miss ATS and the OVER. Championship games can be wacky, but their record ATS is not to be ignored.
Prediction: Southern Miss 35 - WKU 45
The Spread: -7, Houston (OddsShark)
Over/Under: 56 pts
The Skinny: This one is a little trickier. I am one of those who believes that traveling long distances does something to the away team. Houston should know that better than anyone. The last time that Temple traveled this distance to play a quality opponent they were blown out 44-23 by USF. Also, with Matt Rhule on his way out the door, it might be a distraction as the Owls prep for a Houston team that demolished Navy last week who, up until that time, was undefeated in-conference.
The common theme however is that combined, Temple and Houston, are 16-8 ATS. Pretty good trend there, huh? But wait, to complicate things further, Houston is 3-4 at home and Temple is 4-2 on the road ATS. Yeesh. The spread is looking like a toss up with the teams combining for a record of 7-6 ATS in this game scenario. The Over/Under is a bit clearer with Temple going UNDER 4 of their last 6, and Houston 4 of their last 5 games.
If I Were You: I like Houston's chances (-7), at home against a Temple team that traveled all the way from Philly with a teensy-tiny distraction coming from Matt Rhule's employment search. I'm also taking the UNDER because the trend is undeniable with both teams combining to go UNDER 8 of their last 11 games. Temple learned a hard lesson from that rough road loss to USF and will be better prepared, but Houston is a tough team to beat at home when they're rolling. Also it is important to note that Houston's Kenneth Farrow is day-to-day with a foot injury that could keep him out of this game, but Brandon Wilson did just fine scampering for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns against Navy.
Prediction: Temple 21 - Houston 31