The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-4) host the #23 overall South Florida Bulls (5-0) on Friday night in college football action. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM EST at Chapman Stadium and the game will be available on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, South Florida opened as a 7.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as the Bulls are currently listed at -7.5. The total for the game is sitting at 63.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Tulsa vs South Florida
South Florida improved to 5-0 on the season last weekend after an impressive 58-42 road victory over UMass. The Bulls had a huge game offensively, especially on the ground. RB Jordan Cronkite rushed for 302 yards and three touchdowns on just 23 carries – he also averaged a ridiculous 13.1 yards per carry. Cronkite has already amassed over 600 rushing yards and five touchdowns in just five games. QB Blake Barnett has also been fantastic so far this season, throwing for 1,313 yards and nine touchdowns. His favorite targets appear to be Randall St. Felix and Tyre McCants, as the duo has combined for 651 receiving yards and three touchdowns. As a whole, South Florida is currently averaging 37.2 points per game (32nd) on 487.4 total yards (20th).
Unfortunately, the Bulls haven’t been quite as impressive defensively, allowing opponents to average 25.2 points per game (60th) on 422.8 total yards. While they have been fairly solid against the pass, giving up an average of just 210.0 yards per game through the air (46th), they have struggled a bit against the run. Opponents are currently averaging 212.8 yards per game on the ground (113th), which is obviously a huge concern for South Florida moving forward.
Tulsa lost their fourth consecutive game last weekend, falling 41-26 on the road against Houston. The Golden Hurricane looked like they were well on their way to pulling off the huge upset against a Cougars team that was averaging 50 points per game. Tulsa was up 23-17 heading into the fourth quarter before Houston exploded for 24 points to improve to improve to 4-1. Although they managed to hold Anthony Russo to just 112 yards passing, the Golden Hurricane did throw two back-breaking pick sixes that ultimately proved to be too much to recover from. QB Luke Skipper has struggled with his accuracy all season long, as he has already thrown six interceptions while completing just 58.6% of his passes. The receiving duo of Keenan Johnson and Justin Hobbs have played quite well, combining for 527 yards and three touchdowns. Tulsa has also looked great on the ground, averaging 206.8 yards per game on the ground. RB Corey Taylor II leads the rushing attack, racking up 411 yards and four touchdowns in five games.
Like South Florida, the Golden Hurricane have struggled defensively, allowing opponents to average 31.2 points per game on 380.8 total yards. They have been almost as bad against the run, as they are currently giving up an average of 207.4 yards per game on the ground (110th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Tulsa +7.5
This should be a pretty entertaining game between two teams that really struggle to defend against the rush. Jordan Cronkite could have a second consecutive monster game, as Tulsa has been giving up 200+ rushing yards per game. However, the Golden Hurricane should also be able to have a big game on the ground, as the Bulls have also been getting torched on the ground all season long. It is important to remember that while Tulsa has struggled moving the ball through the air, they are still averaging 200+ yards rushing per game. While I think that the Bulls will ultimately be able to prevail on the road to improve to 6-0, I think it will be a 3-7 point victory.
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South Florida is just 1-5 ATS over their last six conference games. Meanwhile, Tulsa is 6-2 ATS over their past eight games in October. It is also important to note that the Bulls have failed to cover in seven out of their past eight games when favored by at least a touchdown.
I think this spot is particularly tough because of my lack of trust in freshman QB Seth Boomer, who is slated to make his second consecutive start over Luke Skipper. However, Tulsa has covered six out of their last eight games as an underdog of more than seven points. While South Florida is a perfect 5-0, they also won 2/5 of them by less than 7 points – against Illinois and ECU, who are hardly powerhouses. While I don’t exactly love siding with a team that has had so much trouble finish games this year, I do think they can keep this one close enough to cover the spread. I’ll take Tulsa to cover at home.