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Conference USA: NCAA Football Gambling Predictions | Futures

NCAA Football Betting Futures – 2011 Conference USA Season Preview

Look out for Conference USA. Sure, this conference isn’t elite yet, but it’s certainly on the rise. Last year, both UCF and Tulsa cracked the AP Top-25 season-ending poll, marking the first time in 15 years that Conference USA boasted two nationally ranked teams.

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Interestingly enough, neither UFC nor Tulsa opens with the top odds to win the conference. That honor goes to Houston at +175. This is it for the Cougars. Quarterback Case Keenum has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.

Conference USA Football Predictions

He’s posted video-game like numbers during his career at Houston and, if his surgically repaired knee doesn’t fail him, will break the all-time NCAA passing yardage and touchdown mark this season.

Keenum alone is reason to pick Houston. Another reason: the Cougars only face one FBS opponent that had a winning record last season.

Central Florida is close behind at +250. This is another team to like because of its quarterbacking situation. Jeffrey Godfrey led all freshmen last season in passing efficiency and completion percentage. Better yet, he has a very experienced offensive line to protect him.

Considering that UCF also led Conference USA in total defense for three straight seasons, you’d think the Knights would have the top odds to win.

Southern Mississippi also has +250 odds. See the trend forming here? The Golden Eagles will also rely on a solid quarterback to pace them. Austin Davis threw for 20 scores with just six interceptions last season; he also ran for 10 scores. One question mark is that Southern Miss is switching its defensive scheme.

The Golden Eagles did allow 29.5 points per game last season and were poor against the pass, but that’s understandable in this conference. This team had the country’s No. 13 run defense last year.

Do we know for sure that the new scheme is a good idea?

Do the teams above have anything that SMU (+650) doesn’t have? The Mustangs return 18 starters from last season. That includes quarterback Kyle Padron, 2010 C-USA rushing leader Zach Line and the entire offensive line. SMU was a respectable 43rd in the nation against the pass last season. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

So why is Tulsa all the way down at +800 despite being a top-25 team last season? I suppose it’s head coach Todd Graham’s departure for Pittsburgh. Aside from that….am I missing something here?

Tulsa has the reigning Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year in G.J. Kinne; it has the man who led the country in all-purpose yards last season, Damaris Johnson; it returns 18 starters; and it won its last seven games of 2010.

The only problem is a glaring one: Tulsa was dead last in the entire FBS in pass defense last season, allowing 319 yards per game.

That’s scary in a pass-heavy conference.

THE FREE 2011 CONFERENCE USA FOOTBALL PICK

 I was about to hop on Tulsa’s odds and endorse them as a great value pick to win Conference USA. Good think I decided to quickly glance at their non-conference schedule. It includes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State.

In Oklahoma and Boise State, Tulsa may face what could be the top two teams in the country.

Instead, I like Central Florida. I think Godfrey can keep improving as a quarterback and, unlike most of the other pivots in the conference, he should have a decent defense backing him up.

 Pick: Central Florida +250

CappersPicks.com brings you the only college football handicapping guide you’ll need. Use the College football previews for the 2011 NCAA football season to help you with your college football handicapping at our top sportsbooks online this season.

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


Comments

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who wins the Conference USA in 2011 fellas? I want to hear from you!

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