UCF Knights vs Houston Cougars - Week 9 NCAA Football Expert Picks

Houston Cougars Player Rushes

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 4:32 PM GMT

Are The Cougars for real? their recent 0-5 ATS record is making bettors have doubts, this week they face UCF and they are in a position to make a statement. Expert Capper Joe Gavazzi provides his CFB pick.

Central Florida vs Houston (-9) Noon ET ESPNU

Each week in this space, I ask the question FAUX or FO'REAL? Today's team in question is the Houston Cougars who, after talks of the National Title and 5-0 SU start, have come crashing back to earth in the month of October. We will soon be examining the Cougars' situation. But, before I can tell you whether they are FAUX or FO'REAL, let's look at a UCF team that may be one of the most improved in the nation.

Entering last season, under veteran HC O'Leary, the Golden Knights were on a 3-year run of 31-9 SU. But, as O'Leary grew long in the tooth and the injury situation mounted, the Knights threw in a 0-12 SU, 2-9 ATS stinker, in which they were outscored by an average of 38-14. Enter 1st year HC Frost, the former Nebraska signal caller, who earned his coaching chops in the Chip Kelly system. He has revived the Golden Knights with a record of 4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS. Last week, despite being outrushed 171-83 by UConn, this team held on for a 24-16 victory. That was a solid bounce back performance, after allowing Temple to score on the final play of the game for a 26-25 home loss two weeks ago. Now, the Knights take to the road, where they well remember the 59-10 home beat down by this Houston team last season, in which they allowed 600 yards.

For Houston, the question becomes FAUX or FO'REAL? The Cougars have plenty of reason to toss the towel, despite their 6-2 SU record. Three weeks ago, Houston was 5-0 SU with a win over Oklahoma to open the season. Still having an opportunity for a Marquee victory against Louisville, November 17th, there was plenty of motivation for the Cougars. Then, they ran into the Navy option at Annapolis, where the Middies' running game controlled matters in a 46-40 upset as 17 point dog. The Cougars had a lethargic bounce back against Tulsa the week after, recording a 38-31 victory. There was still hope on the horizon when the big news in CFB last week centered on whether Houston would be included in the Big 12 Conference. That inclusion would surely mean that highly sought after Houston HC Herman would be rewarded with a $6 million contract and an opportunity to compete for the National Title in a Power 5 Conference. The Big 12's decision to stand pat at 10 teams had as much negative influence on the Cougars, as any of the 10 Big 12 teams whose future is clearly in doubt. With the letdown obvious, Houston traveled to SMU where, as 23 point road favorite, they allowed the Ponies to prance 38-16. SMU scored the first 21 points. Houston could gain only 303 total yards against an SMU team who already allowed 500+ yards 3 times in the season.

FAUX or FO'REAL? My answer to the question is that THIS HOUSTON TEAM IS FOR'REAL and at this value, price will prove to be one of the best bets on the board this weekend. I invite you to put the College Football ODDS in your favor and join me in my College Football PICK on Houston this Saturday afternoon.

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Free College Football Pick: Houston Cougars -9

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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