Connecticut vs. Houston College Football Free Pick September 29, 2016

Connecticut Huskies vs. Houston Cougars
Take Houston -27½-110
By Brandon Shively

When laying four touchdowns or more in college football, I look for a team to be motivated in order to cover the number and also look for strong matchup edges. Houston has both. UConn gave Houston their only loss last season losing 20-17 as Greg Ward was injured and didn’t start the game. Greg Ward is an electric quarterback and will be 100% heading into this game Thursday night. Houston is converting on 53.4% of 3rd downs this season behind Ward and a balanced offense averaging over 200 rushing and passing yards a game.

We know Houston has had this game circled since last season as revenge is the motive. UConn has gotten outscored 31-0 in the 1st quarter this year (Houston 1st quarter is also an advised 1* Play) and that fits perfectly into my expectations that Houston will build an early lead and mash the gas for the remainder of the game.

Houston’s defense is leading the AAC with 34 tackles for loss while UConn is ranked last in AAC with only 15 tackles for a loss. I see UConn being stuck in a lot of ‘3rd and longs’ which can lead to bad decisions by the QB against a Houston defense that leads the FBS in forced turnovers the last 3 season.

Houston is averaging 44 ppg on the season. UConn’s offense has been one of the nation’s worst over the last 2+ seasons and their offensive line is lacking depth because of injuries this season which has not helped matters. QB Shirreffs is next to last in QB rating in the AAC this year barely edging out SMU freshman QB Hicks just to keep things in perspective. UConn is only averaging 11.8 ppg since 2014 as a road underdog and I don’t see them scoring more than 13-14 points here. I think this game gets ugly quick and the Cougars will continue with a demolition of the UConn Huskies. (1* Houston)

Don’t miss Brandon’s Thursday Night BIG 12 ‘ATS’ Destroyer when Kansas visits Texas Tech as he has a very strong opinion on this game and who WILL cover the spread! Brandon is currently handicapping Saturday’s games and will have his FULL card available Friday afternoon!

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