Two teams struggling just to make a bowl game will meet this week as the Connecticut Huskies host the Missouri Tigers. Game time is 6:30 EST on Saturday, October 28 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Fans can watch the game on CBS Sports Network.
Oddsmakers list Missouri as 11-point favorites on the road. The over/under for the game is 75.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.
Missouri vs Connecticut Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds
Last week, Missouri managed to snap a five-game losing streak by beating Idaho 68-21. That win aside, it’s been a long season for the Tigers, who are arguably the worst team in the SEC.
Of their five losses, only two have come by less than 20 points, and only one of those was by single digits. An easy schedule down the stretch gives the 2-5 Tigers a shot at a bowl game, but only if they can beat UConn.
The Huskies are actually riding a two-game winning streak, knocking off Temple and Tulsa the past two weeks. Of course, UConn still needs three more wins to qualify for a bowl game.
With games left against South Florida and Central Florida, both undefeated teams, the Huskies need to beat Missouri to have a realistic chance of getting to six wins. Even then, it’ll be an uphill battle.
Free NCAA Football Pick Against the Spread: Connecticut +11
A two-win team favored by double-digits on the road? I’m not buying it. Randy Edsall has his team playing well, and more importantly, he has his team believing in themselves after back-to-back wins. I don’t know if the Huskies have the talent to beat Missouri, but they’ll stay in this game. I’ll lean toward Connecticut to beat the spread.
On paper, Missouri has a potent offense. But those numbers have been skewed by a 72-point game against Missouri State and a 68-point game against Idaho. Take away those two games and the Tigers are averaging just 18 points every time out. Quarterback Drew Lock appears to have impressive numbers as well. But if you take away those two games, he has just 10 touchdown passes and six interceptions this season.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
To be fair, the UConn defense is not on the same level as some of the SEC defenses the Tigers have faced this year. But the Huskies have improved the past couple of weeks after giving up 70 points against Memphis. Tulsa, a team averaging 33 points per game, was held to just 14 points against UConn last week.
Missouri, much like Connecticut, has one of the worst defenses in the country. But unlike the Huskies, the Tigers aren’t showing much improvement on that side of the ball. Last week’s game against Idaho was the first time the Tigers held an opponent under 30 points all season, and that includes their season opener against Missouri State.
I’m not expecting the UConn offense to run circles around the Missouri defense. But Bryant Shirreffs is an experienced quarterback who’s having a nice season. He’s completing 68% of his passes and limiting his turnovers. Against a porous defense, he’s capable of having a big day and helping the Huskies put points on the board.
The bottom line is that Missouri’s offense is not nearly as good as the numbers suggest. Also, the Missouri defense isn’t good enough to hold down the Huskies for 60 minutes. Even if the Tigers are able to create explosive plays on offense, their defense won’t allow them to run away with the game. The Huskies have a real chance to win this game, and should at least do enough to beat the spread.