Two teams coming off losing ATS performances on Opening Weekend meet when Georgia Tech and Tulane break in the new Yulman Stadium on the Tulane campus Saturday afternoon (4 pm ET). Here's our handicapping breakdown of this contest, with a free college football pick, for what it's worth.
The G-Tech/Tulane Betting Line
As of Tuesday morning every book we checked was chalking Georgia Tech at -10 over Tulane. Also, those who think the Wave has a chance to win this game outright can get upwards of +320 on some of the college football betting odds.
Georgia Tech opened this season with a 38-19 victory over FCS Wofford, failing to cover the spread as 29-point favorites. The Yellow Jackets didn't take the lead for good until kicking a field goal at the first-half buzzer, then outscored the Terriers from there 28-10. On the day the Wreck ran for 226 yards, but gave up 271 yards on the ground, 92 on one play. But Tech also got 282 yards out of just 11 Justin Thomas completions, while holding Wofford to 55 yards through the air.
Georgia Tech returned just 10 starters this season from a team that went 7-6 last year. Six starters are back on offense, including three along the offensive line, but they had to replace last year's starting quarterback, top two rushers and their leading receiver. And only four starters return on defense, just one up front and one in the secondary.
On the homey side of this match-up Tulane opened this season with a 38-31 overtime loss at Tulsa two Thursdays ago. The Wave led 14-0 and 21-7 in the first half, and 28-20 with seven minutes to go. But they allowed the Hurricane to tie the game with three minutes left, then lost in the second OT. They also missed out on the cover, losing by seven as four-point road dogs.
With help from two long touchdown runs Tulane out-rushed Tulsa 254-154, but allowed Hurricane QB Dane Evans to throw for 438 yards and four scores.
In his first college start Green Wave QB Tanner Lee hit on 22 of 44 throws for 262 yards, with three TD passes and one interception.
The Wave got back 13 starters this year from a team that went 7-6 last year. Seven starters are back on offense, including three along the offensive line. But they lost last year's leading rusher and leading receiver. And six starters are back on a defense that only allowed 21 points per game last year, including three-quarters of the secondary.
These two Southern teams used to play quite regularly, but haven't met since 1982.
Last year these teams played one common opponent; in Week 4 Tulane lost at Syracuse 52-17, losing ATS as 17-point road dogs; three weeks later Tech squeezed the Orange 56-0, breezing to the cover as seven-point chalk.
Yellow Jackets-Green Wave Betting Trends
Georgia Tech is only 5-8-2 ATS on the road the last three seasons.
Tulane is 7-3 ATS over its last 10 games.
Free College Football Pick
This is a tough one; Georgia Tech only has 10 starters back, but runs that option offense Tulane probably hasn't faced. And while the Wave has 13 returning starters, and a brand-new home-field advantage, they haven't had much luck against Big 5 conference competition recently, losing games to Syracuse, Ole Miss and Duke in the last three seasons by an average score of 44-19. But sometimes we're suckers for the emotional angle, so we'll go with the home dogs in their new stadium for our free college football pick in this spot.