Free Week 14 Prediction: Golden Eagles vs Hilltoppers Odds
Week 14 College football betting sees the Southern Miss Golden Eagles taking on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Saturday December 5th at L.T. Stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9-3) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (10-2)
Date: Saturday, December 5th
Time: 12:00 PM
Venue: L.T. Stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky
NCAA Football Spread: Western Kentucky -7.5
NCAA Betting Total: 74.0
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Following a slow start, Brandon Doughty has gotten the Western Kentucky offense firing on all cylinders.
The fourth ranked scoring offense in the country should get its toughest matchup since LSU as Southern Miss will try to upset the Hilltoppers in this Conference USA Championship game.
Southern Miss is nearly as strong on offense as the Hilltoppers – ranking ninth in the country in scoring. This showdown should feature a lot of points as well as a spotlight for some highly talented players to showcase their NFL potential.
The first of those highly talented players is Golden Eagle running back Jalen Richard. With six rushing touchdowns in the last three games, Richard is poised for a big game in this conference championship game.
A top 50 run defense in the Hilltoppers shouldn’t be expected to slow Richard down too much.
The Golden Eagles have won six straight games since their loss at Marshall on October 9th. They have the 10th best passing offense in the country and will be able to see how they match up with the nationally recognized Hilltopper offense.
Quarterback Nick Mullens will have a chance to see how he can match up Doughty. He’s thrown for nearly 4000 yards along with 35 touchdowns and shouldn’t be phased by the Hilltoppers’ suspect passing defense.
Doughty and the Hilltoppers are going to put up points – no question. The Golden Eagles best chance to win isn’t trying to slow the game down.
That doesn’t play to their strengths. Their strength – similar to Western Kentucky – is the passing game. Sure, Southern Miss has Richard who can open up the passing game.
But, the Golden Eagles can’t come away with too many empty possessions. If they are faced with third-and-long too often, they’ll be forcing Mullens into making too many pressure plays.
A few mistakes or short possessions and the Golden Eagles will find themselves buried.
The Hilltoppers will not waste too many possessions so Southern Miss can’t do that. It normally is bad to try to get into a shootout with a team like Western Kentucky, but that might be the only chance Southern Miss has.
The average College Football fan probably doesn’t know who Brandon Doughty is. Well, if you don’t, you should. The kid is an incredible passer that will likely be playing football on Sundays in the next few years.
Doughty has taken this team to a 10-2 record with their two losses coming to Power 5 schools Indiana and LSU – both on the road.
The Hilltoppers have breezed through C-USA competition winning all eight conference games with an average margin of victory of 27.1 points per game.
The Hilltoppers are averaging 44.2 points per game and 362 passing yards per game – good for 4th and 6th in the nation, respectively.
Their high-powered attack may finally meet its match as the Golden Eagles have a similar high-powered offensive attack.
The defense has been playing better – particularly of late. The Hilltoppers have given up an average of 18 points per game in their last three after allowing 33.5 points per game in the four game stretch prior.
That defensive success will certainly be tested by the Golden Eagles but if Doughty plays at the level he has been lately, it is difficult to imagine any way the Hilltoppers let this one slide. Doughty has thrown for three or more touchdowns in 10 straight games.
He’s completed 60 percent or more of his passes in every game this season including six games where he completed more than 75 percent.
The Hilltoppers have started to gain more recognition throughout the country by coaches and rankings.
If they could put together a convincing win against Southern Miss to win the Conference USA Championship, they should find themselves up against one of the big boys in a relatively well-known bowl game.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
• The Hilltoppers are 12-4 SU in their last 16 conference games.
• The Over/Under is 12-3-1 in the Hilltoppers last 16 games following a SU win.
• The Hilltoppers average margin has been +19.2 points per game for all games in 2015.
Free Week 14 NCAA Football Prediction
The real pick to take here is the over. Both of these teams have been consistently excellent on offense and consistently average on defense. Their commitments are to putting more points on the board than their opponent.
Don’t expect that to change in this one.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Over 74.0
The Hilltoppers should do enough to win this one convincingly but it certainly will feature plenty of points. Doughty and Mullens will go back and forth with the Hilltoppers prevailing in the end.
Week 14 Free Score Prediction: Western Kentucky 47 – Southern Miss 38
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