Free NCAA Football Prediction: Red Raiders vs. Cougars Odds
Looking for Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Houston Cougars free picks? College football betting sees the Red Raiders taking on the Cougars on September 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week # predictions like this Texas Tech Houston free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 1
Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0) vs. Houston Cougars (0-0)
Date: Saturday, September 4, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Venue: NRG Stadium
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Texas Tech -1 / Houston +1
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Texas Tech -115 / Houston +105
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 64
Week 1 college football sees the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Houston Cougars meet at NRG Stadium.
It’s the Tyler Shough! Wait, let me rephrase that… It’s Tyler’s Show!
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have a new QB in town who transferred in from Oregon! Tech head coach Matt Wells and OC Sonny Cumbie know that they have exactly what they were looking for to sit under center and toss the rock around the field.
The Houston Cougars are also expected to be among the AAC leaders in 2021 after a down 3 – 5 campaign a season ago. Cougar headman Dana Holgorsen enters year-3 of the experiment and if the shit doesn’t change soon… He gone! Let’s be clear that a 3rd losing season will almost assuredly put him on one damn hot seat. Let’s just say that 7 wins in two years are simply not going to cut it, but the growl looks like it might come back for the Cougs in 2021.
The Red Raiders are favored by -1 point in this Big 12 vs. AAC matchup.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Tech head coach Matt Wells is in similar shape to that of Dana Holgorsen. Winning? Yeah, not so much, as 4 wins as been the peak of either of Wells’ first two seasons in Lubbock. (4 – 8 2019 and 4 – 6 2020)
Oregon transfer QB Tyler Shough has full control of Wells’ offense this season. The rock will be put in the air just a bit this year in Lubbock, so expect a lot of excitement this year.
The Raiders have 82 starts on their starting front line, and watch out for Troy transfer WR Kaylon Geiger! The dude can ball and he isn’t even the go-to guy yet. Erik Ezukanma is expected to have a monster season. He could have 400 yards from the first 3 games alone should things be going well for the Red Raiders out of the gate.
Keep in mind, Tech gets SF Austin and FIU before their conference opener with Texas on September 25. The stats should be padded nicely for everyone on this roster going into the Longhorns affair which kicks off their Big 12 schedule.
The linebacking corps for Wells is outrageously talented and easily the strength of this defense. There are upperclassmen and leadership all over the place and their backfield is no slouch either.
Not only do they get back 8 defensive starters, but the transfer portal also brought in some talent. Marquis Waters was a 3-year starter who comes over from Duke, and Reggie Pearson snuck into the program from Wisconsin to support the passing game defense.
As long as the new pass-oriented offense doesn’t give up too many turnovers, this defense should be about to come together be a difference-maker for Tech.
Dana Holgorsen knows all too well that should a third straight losing season come to fruition, the chatter will be like nails on a chalkboard. The dude came over with all these expectations and a 4 – 8 2019 and a 3 – 5 2020 just doesn’t work here.
Houston was a constant post-season contender and always in the mix for a conference title before Holgorsen rolled into town. Let’s make it clear that even being accepted to play in a Bowl Game last year was hysterical. Additionally, the 28 – 14 loss to Hawaii in the New Mexico Bowl favored by -8 points didn’t help matters much either.
Well, the line setters sure seem to think that it will all change seeing that they posted an O/U team total of 8.5 wins in 2021. The Cougars sit behind Cincinnati and UCF on the odds table to win the AAC title in 2021 as well. If you are convinced the Cougs can rebound and win more games this season than they have the last 2 years combined? You can grab a nice +1200 payout for your troubles. Can it happen?
Clayton Tune brings the expectation level up this season, and #3 wants to prove why he is worth his weight in salt. Turnovers and poor decision-making over the last couple of seasons have cost him and his team some wins. The 10 INTs last year almost all seemed to come right when Houston didn’t need a turnover to ruin a drive. Apparently, we are hearing that Tune worked pretty damn hard with OC Shannon Dawson in the Spring and the O-line actually might be okay this year.
The offensive line for the Raiders has also been a reason for not being to keep the chains moving the last 2 years. That is either going to get better because of all the experience that returns upfront this year, or it could just mean they haven’t figured out how to work together yet. We all know it can go one of two ways. Sometimes bringing back the same guys who didn’t get it before can be risky. Other times, the guys do something about it and learn from experience and get it to work after long, hard practice and film sessions.
There is a commitment level to make and all signs are pointing to Houston having it together this season. Trusting in Holgorsen might be a concern for the bettors out there, and oh, I hear ya!
Houston’s schedule is also a part of the process, and man, do they have one light slate this season. If Houston can’t win 8 or 9 games with this schedule? Holgorsen will indeed be bagging groceries at Walmart come 2022 if you get my drift.
It will take a Herculean effort from a lot of new faces, however. Do not be mislead by seeing 9 starters back on offense. It really only takes a handful of starts to make that list and that can be misleading. UH lost most of their big-name talent offensively and this is a problem. Their top two wideouts are gone, their #1 RB is gone, and should Tune struggle again it could get hairy with who goes in to handle the snaps.
Buyer beware… just sayin’.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Red Raiders are 16-6-1 ATS in their last 23 games in September.
- Under is 4-0 in Red Raiders’ last 4 non-conference games.
- Under is 9-1-1 in Red Raiders last 11 games as a favorite.
- Cougars are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games on field turf.
- Cougars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Cougars last 6 vs. Big 12.
Free Week 1 NCAA Football Pick
The Red Raiders are the favorites in this matchup by just a single point and a 64 is showing on the total. To me? That seems a little high for an opening game this season.
4* Free Week 1 NCAA Betting Pick:
I am going leaning towards the Under 64 in this tilt at NRG Stadium, but I do see Tech winning in the end. A big venue, ESPN will be there and pressure is on both head coaches to have a BIG season. This game is so much bigger than either coach would like to make it out to be, but we know better. This is not just another game for either program and jobs will be on the line for two struggling programs the last 2 years.
4* Free Week 1 NCAA Betting Pick: Texas Tech -1
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