This Thursday the North Texas Mean Green (7-3) will host the Florida Atlantic Owls (5-5). Kickoff is set for 9:30 EST at Apogee Stadium and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Taking a look at the Week 12 college football odds, the books have the Mean Green listed as a 3-point home favorite with the total set for 61.5 points.

North Texas vs Florida Atlantic Vegas Odds & Betting Preview

The Owls come into this one off a 34-15 win at home over Western Kentucky, covering as a 17.5-point favorite. While the final score makes it looked like FAU dominated, that only led 10-9 at the half and by just 8 going into the 4th quarter. They were only up 12 until Kerrith Whyte broke one 77-yards for a score (couple first downs and they could have ran out the clock). Either way that’s now back-to-back covers for the Owls after starting the year 1-7 ATS.

The Mean Green enter off a 31-34 upset loss at Old Dominion, where they went off as a 15.5-point favorite. It continued a troubling trend in North Texas losses. The Mean Green were up 28-10 at the half (led 28-0) and could only manage a field goal the rest of the game. ¬†They blew a 21-6 halftime lead at home to Louisiana Tech in a 27-29 loss (failed 2-point conversion late). They also had a 21-10 lead at UAB and lost 21-29. North Texas hasn’t been kind to backers, as they are 1-5 ATS in their last 6, having failed to cover 3 straight.

College Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: North Texas -3

My early lean here would have to be laying the 3-points with North Texas. There’s nothing worst than watching a team you are backing jump out to an early and blow the game, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take with the Mean Green in this one.

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While the Owls do still need 1-more win to get bowl eligible, they got a home game against Charlotte on deck to secure it. I’m not saying they aren’t going to show for this game, I just don’t think they will be as motivated for this contest as North Texas.

This is a bit of a revenge game for the Mean Green, as FAU defeated them in last year’s C-USA Championship Game. In fact, the Owls handed North Texas their only two losses in conference play all of last year. Florida Atlantic outscored the Mean Green 110-48 in those two games.

I would be shocked if a team that returned 52 lettermen and 17 starters didn’t have this game circled as soon as the schedule was released. It might also have a little bit to do with their 2nd half collapse last week against Old Dominion. Not to mention the extra hype that comes with a weekday game and this being senior night (last home game). I expect them to give everything thing they got left in the tank for this one and I just don’t see the Owls matching that intensity.

Not to mention I think North Texas is the better team here. The Mean Green could very easily be sitting at 10-0 right now. They are outscoring teams 40.4 to 18.4 at home this season and FAU is getting outscored 26.0 to 37.8 on the road.

Given all the circumstances, I think it’s a gift to only have to lay 3-points here with the Mean Green, as I feel like it should be closer to a touchdown. I think we are getting value not only from what happened last year in this series, but the Owls having covered 2 straight and North Texas having only covered 1 of their last 6. Give me the Mean Green -3!