Louisiana Tech is 2-1 against Western Kentucky over the last three seasons, going 2-1 against the spread, including a 55-52 home victory over the Hilltoppers earlier this season. The Bulldogs hit the road to WKU for the Conference USA Championship Game on Saturday afternoon in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Point spread: The Hilltoppers opened as 7.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 46.4-35.0 Hilltoppers (College football picks on every game)
Why the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs can cover the spread
With a division title already in pocket, Louisiana Tech took its foot off the gas and lost for the first time since September last week, 39-24 to Southern Miss. The Bulldogs took a 14-10 lead on the Eagles early in the second quarter on a fumble return for a touchdown, but they let things slide from there as their seven-game winning streak came to an end.
However, a performance like that might just set Louisiana Tech up for a bounce-back effort this week.
Prior to the loss to Southern Miss, the Bulldogs had outgained their previous six opponents and outrushed their previous seven.
Finally, as mentioned above, Louisiana Tech beat the Hilltoppers eight weeks ago 55-52, and that game wasn’t quite as close as that score would indicate. The Bulldogs led 49-24 at one point in the third quarter and outgained Western Kentucky by 134 yards.
Why the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers can cover the spread
The Hilltoppers ride a six-game winning streak into this conference championship bout after mashing Marshall last week 60-6. Western Kentucky took an immediate lead when Kylen Towner (37 yards per kickoff return this season) took the opening boot back for a touchdown, and it hit the end zone three more times before the first quarter was done. WKU later pushed that advantage to 48-0 on its way to an easy cover at -28 on the road.
On the evening, the Hilltoppers outgained Marshall 462-230, accumulating 229 yards on the ground and 233 through the air.
Western Kentucky has now outgained and outrushed each of its last five foes, going 4-1 ATS in the process.
Finally, while the Hilltoppers lost that game to Louisiana Tech two months ago, they rallied from 25 points down to within a field goal, and they got the ball back with two minutes to go but lost a fumble.
Western Kentucky owns home-field advantage, but Louisiana Tech basically took last week off and could be primed for a rebound. For what could turn into another crazy contest, the smart money takes the Bulldogs and the points.
The total has gone over in five of Western Kentucky’s last seven games.
The total has gone over in five of Louisiana Tech’s last six games against its conference.
Louisiana Tech is 9-0 ATS in its last nine games after losing as a favorite.
All college football lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the Odds Shark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds-tracker app.