Free Week 9 Prediction: Golden Panthers vs Hilltoppers Odds
Looking for FIU Golden Panthers vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers free picks? Week 9 betting sees the FIU Golden Panthers taking on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday October 27 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, KY. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this FIU Western Kentucky free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Week 9
(5-2) FIU Golden Panthers vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-6)
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Venue: L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY
NCAA Football Spread: FIU -3.5
NCAA Betting Total: 54
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The FIU Golden Panthers are looking to become bowl eligible after winning five of their last 6 games.
FIU has held their opponents to just under 23 points a contest this season, good for 43rd in the nation. The passing defense has been tremendous as well, ranking 34th in the country in passing yards allowed per game.
Head Coach Butch Davis went 8 – 5 in his first season at FIU, and he has his squad at 5 – 2 as he did in 2017. This year’s team could go further than 8 wins with the schedule set in front of them, and they are road favorites this weekend on the road.
The Hilltoppers have fallen to 1 – 6 this season, and face an uphill battle to claim bowl eligibility. It is unlikely that this team will go 5 – 0 to finish out the 2018 campaign, especially when you lose a game the way the Hilltoppers lost last weekend to Old Dominion.
Western Kentucky has appeared in bowl game five of the last six years, but that run may come to an end in 2018. The Hilltoppers have made it to bowl season in all four years as Conference USA members since joining in 2014.
FIU Golden Panthers
Most major magazines and college analysts alike had FIU finishing in the lower portion of the Conference USA East Division. The loss of QB Alex McGough was supposedly going to be hard to replace, but junior QB transfer James Morgan has proved otherwise.
Morgan played two season’s at Bowling Green, but had trouble finding his own receivers all too often. His TD to INT ration over the two seasons was 25 – 22, and his mobility, or lack there of, didn’t scream out that he would grasp the FIU offense. Morgan has thrown 16 TD passes and only 4 picks this year, and has started all 7 games for the Golden Panthers in 2018.
Morgan found 9 different receivers in FIU’s 36 – 17 win over Rice this past weekend. He has now thrown 8 TD passes over his last three outings without an interception.
The FIU offense ranks 30th in the nation scoring 35.9 points per contest.
Junior wide receiver C.J Morton leads all receivers with 495 yards on only 23 receptions this season. Five different receivers have caught at least 13 passes, as Morgan has been able to spread the ball around.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Drew Eckels project is likely done with, as the Senior QB out of Daytona Beach, Florida has spent more time in physical therapy than he has on the field. He’s been with the program for five years, and has never really seen much playing time.
True freshman Davis Shanley has gotten the bulk of the snaps this season for the Hilltoppers. Shanley almost led Western Kentucky to a win last weekend, although they came up short, losing 37 – 34.
Western Kentucky took a 24 – 17 lead to the half against Old Dominion, but gave up 18 fourth quarter points. The last three of those points came in an unbelievable fashion, after the wildest ending to a football game we have seen this season.
The Hilltoppers had a 34 – 27 lead as ODU drove down for the last drive of the game looking for a tying score, at least. Old Dominion scored with 9 seconds left to pull the game to 34 – 34, and overtime was seemingly on its way. Western Kentucky ran two plays and got within field goal range to try a 52-yard, game-winning kick with no time left to play after a defensive penalty extended the game.
Hilltopper kicker Alex Rinella lined up for an attempt, which came up short of the goal posts. ODU put Isaiah Harper back there just in case, and he ran the ball back 83 yards as time ran out. A face-mask penalty on the Hilltoppers on the return, gave ODU a chance to kick a 26-yard field goal instead, and through the uprights it went.
You can’t make this stuff up, and if you haven’t seen the ending to the ODU / Western Kentucky game last weekend, you should go on Youtube and go see for yourself how that game ended, 37 – 34.
While FIU should come away with their sixth win of the season, the total has more value behind it. The 54 listed as the number to reach will surely be hit with plenty of time to spare.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
- Over is 5-0 in Hilltoppers last 5 games in October.
- Over is 6-1 in Hilltoppers last 7 home games.
- Golden Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Hilltoppers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in October.
Free Week 9 NCAA Football Pick
The play is on the Over 54, expecting a bit of a shoot-out between two teams going in different directions.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Florida International is favored at -3.5, with a 54 showing on the total. Free ATS or O/U final score pick provided below!
The final score of this game should see FIU reach into the high 30’s, as their team total will also be a nice option. I will call for a 41 – 23 final score, which will easily take us over the 54 on the total.
Week 9 Free Score Prediction: FIU 41 – Western Kentucky 23
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