|Houston||+4.5 (-110)||+165||Over 56.5 (-110)|
|Tulane||-4.5 (-110)||-200||Under 56.5 (-110)|
First-year coach Dana Holgorsen is off to a 1-3 start with Houston, but fortunately for him and the Cougars, the toughest part of the schedule is behind them.
The Cougars began the season with a 49-31 road loss to No. 4 Oklahoma, then played No. 20 Washington State tough in a 31-24 defeat in Houston last weekend. Houston squeezed in a 37-17 win against Prairie View A&M in Week 2 and will look to even out its record with a win at AAC foe Tulane on Thursday night.
The Green Wave are 2-1, with lopsided victories against Florida International and Missouri State, and a 24-6 loss to No. 10 Auburn. Tulane enters as 4.5-point favorites at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans and will be hungry to avenge last year’s 48-17 defeat to Houston.
I don’t know who needs to see this but Tulane @GreenWaveFB is playing its first ever ESPN-televised game at Yulman Stadium. It’s Thursday night against Houston in a critical battle for the AAC West.
You need to go to this game. I have a list of reasons. Please share. pic.twitter.com/Ys4HdWHwm4
— Fear the Wave (@FearTheWaveBlog) September 16, 2019
The Cougars lead the series 17-6 all time and are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games at Tulane. They’ll need senior dual-threat quarterback D’Eriq King and junior running back Kyle Porter to step up against a Tulane run defense ranked 32nd in the nation at 95 yards allowed per game.
Tulane’s rushing attack is fierce, as well. The Green Wave is 19th in the nation with 256 rushing yards per contest, behind a collective effort led by quarterback Justin McMillan (154 yards, three rushing touchdowns), Darius Bradwell (142 yards), Corey Dauphine (131 yards, two TDs) and Amare Jones (96 yards, three TDs).
Former #LSU QB Justin McMillan has looked lights out tonight against Florida International. McMillan has impressed with both his Legs & Arm.
Tulane Leads 35-7 in the 3rd Qtr… pic.twitter.com/oKpLLTeTJL
— Josh Lemoine (@LsuFBallTruth) August 30, 2019
Receiver Darnell Mooney is the team’s leading receiver with 183 yards and one score, and he’s registered at least one catch in his last 22 games.
Houston has lost four of its last six road games, while Tulane has won its last four at home. The Cougars defense will struggle in New Orleans against a Tulane offense loaded in the run game. Look for the Green Wave to cover the spread and control the clock to keep the total under 56.5.