Houston -6.5 2.2% play
Since 2000 teams making their season debut are 85-59-2 ATS vs opponents who have already played a game. Houston has been practicing and tackling for 9 straight weeks, and they've had 3 games canceled due to opponents having issues with COVID. Dana Holgorson, "we're prepared, eager, and motivated." This is a team that brings back a ton of experience including 19 starters, and many Power 5 transfers.
Speaking of experience Tulane is going to a Freshman QB, their dynamic running game, which lost their three leading rushers, all seniors, from a season ago, and lost another guy in the Summer to injury as well as this seasons leading rusher in Tyjae Spears. They also start two freshman tackles, and its clear there are red flags with this team. It is nice that they beat a bad Southern Miss team 66-24, two weeks ago, but they were down 14-0 to start that game. They were also down 18 against South Alabama in week 1 and had to come back, and they had 24-0 lead against Navy at the half that they blew to lose 27-24 to a Navy team that looks worse and worse, week by week. The fact is Tulane has had issues for long stretches in all 3 of their games, and now they'll face a Houston team that is eager to play, and has a ton of film on them to be able to put together a strategy. Houston also got out to big leads in each of the last two meetings 31-9 last year, while they lost on a 50 yard TD pass with 3 seconds left, and 28-7 the year before.
Overall there are enough red flags for me to doubt Tulane, and Houston could come out a bit rusty, but I think that gets evened out by the fact that Tulane is on the road, playing some young guys at pretty important positions, and have shown a pattern of getting down early.
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