Louisville at Houston Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
Louisville was a big winner over the weekend, and I don’t even mean the Cardinals’ victory over Wake Forest. Well, that was nice but the Cards really were big winners because of so many upsets at the top of the polls and now Louisville is No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 as it visits a very good Houston team that once was ranked No. 6 in the polls earlier this season. Louisville is a two-TD favorite for Thursday’s game on college football odds.
How To Bet Louisville at Houston NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
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Why Bet on Louisville?
With three of the top four teams in the CFP rankings falling on Saturday — Clemson, Michigan and Washington — the door swung open for the Cardinals to secure a coveted spot in the national semifinals. Louisville needed a 34-point fourth quarter to subdue stubborn Wake Forest, but in doing so secured its highest ranking ever.
Against Wake, the Cards won 44-12. Brandon Radcliff rushed for three touchdowns during Louisville’s 41-point second half on a relatively quiet night for Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson.
Louisville (9-1, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 12-0 behind three lost first-half fumbles before shutting down the Demon Deacons, holding them to just 37 yards after halftime. That opened the door for Radcliff to run 11 times for 141 yards and TDs of 55, 7 and 19 yards. Jackson rushed for a game-high 153 yards on 22 carries, but he was held to 145 yards passing. He had one TD pass.
It was Jackson’s fourth game this season and seventh of his career with over 150 yards on the ground, ranking second behind Howard Stevens on the season and career lists. Jackson achieved the 12th 100-yard rushing game of his career, tying him with Howard Stevens for second most at Louisville. Jackson set Louisville record for total yards in a season, with 4,232. Teddy Bridgewater previously held the record with 4,048 yards in 2013.
Louisville’s 34 points in the fourth quarter are the most since the program had 35 against Washington- Tennessee on Oct. 8, 1913. UofL’s 41 second-half points are tied for the third most in school history and are the most since a 61-10 win versus Florida Atlantic in 2005. Louisville shut out Wake Forest in the second half, limiting the Demon Deacons to 37 yards in the second half.
Why Bet on Houston?
This is the home finale for Houston and thus also likely for Coach Tom Herman, who is expected to be hired at either Texas or LSU this offseason. The Cougars (8-2) come off a 30-18 win over Tulane. Greg Ward Jr. threw for two touchdowns and ran another. Houston never trailed, getting a touchdown on its opening possession when Tulane’s Parry Nickerson fumbled a punt return in the end zone and it was recovered by Jeremy Winchester. Houston also got a safety in the fourth quarter. Ward finished with 189 yards passing and connected with Chance Allen and Steven Dunbar for touchdowns. His rushing TD came midway through the first quarter from the 5.
Ward Jr., has been dealing with a right shoulder injury the entire season, Herman said Monday, but it is not expected to limit him in Thursday’s showdown. Herman said Ward has been receiving “constant maintenance treatment" on his throwing shoulder since suffering the injury in the season-opening win over Oklahoma. Ward aggravated the injury Saturday against Tulane when he dove on a spiked ball.
The Cougars own the nation’s second-longest active home winning streak at 14, which goes back to the final month of the stadium’s inaugural season in 2014. Navy owns the nation’s longest home winning streak at 15, taking over the top spot Saturday after Clemson lost to Pittsburgh to end its streak at 21. It will mark just the seventh time the Cougars have hosted a top-five opponent. The last occasion saw them narrowly lose to second-ranked Texas 9-3 on Nov. 5, 1983. Houston won at Louisville 34-31 early last season as Ward outplayed Jackson, who was still an unknown player and not even the Cards’ full- time starting QB yet.
Louisville at Houston Expert Pick: Louisville
Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. ACC.
Cougars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Take the points — although Louisville will win — and go over the total in NCAA football betting.