The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have never beaten the Tulane Green Wave, so how should we formulate our college football picks when the two teams prepare to face off Thursday night?
Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Conference USA matchup at Joe Ailett Stadium, with the opening kickoff schedueld for 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 3.
Scoring some points
Tulane hasn’t faced any world beaters during the 2013 campaign, but the offense has scored 73 combined points—the most for the program in its first two games since 1998.
The Green Wave suffered a 41-39 setback to South Alabama as 4.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total of 48.5.
On the defensive side of the football, the team has forced nine turnovers thus far, while picking up at least one in 15 consecutive games dating back to last season.
A new look
Louisiana Tech isn’t expected to match its 9-3 record from a year ago, as it welcomed back just six starters—the second fewest among FBS teams nationally. The Bulldogs are also learning a new way of doing things under first-year head coach Skip Holtz.
The Bulldogs bounced back from a season-opening loss to NC State, as it came away with a 27-14 victory over Lamar as 28.5-point home favorites last Saturday.
College football handicappers need to be aware that the Green Wave have won all eight previous games in this series, but the last meeting came back in 1998.
Tulane has one of the best place kickers in all of college football with Preseason First-Team All-American Cairo Santos, while it has covered the number in four of its last six tries as a underdog of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons.
Potential trouble in the backfield
One of the strengths that the Bulldogs were hoping to rely on this year was their depth at running back, but that position has some injury problems to be concerned about, especially with the quick turnaround for this contest.
Kenneth Dixon left last week’s game with a knee injury, but Tevin King filled in admirably in his absence.
Dixon is listed as questionable on the injury report, while the program may be cautious with its approach to his backup. King ran 20 times for 182 yards last week, but is just a year removed from a torn ACL injury that ended his 2012 campaign.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Green Wave with their college football picks, as the Bulldogs have failed to cover the number in their last seven games overall.
College Football Picks: Tulane Green Wave +7.5