Is the right team favored to win the C-USA?
If not, then where does the value lie?
As it sits right now, UTSA is the favorite at +125. UAB follows at +300 and Western Kentucky is +380. North Texas chimes in at 70/1 odds. Potential sneaky value.
First though, the Mean Green needs to prove itself. The opportunity comes this week as UNT hits the road to try and knock off UTSA in a battle of C-USA unbeatens. Sure, the Mean Green are undefeated in league play, but they’ve certainly played the bottom echelon of squads in the conference. College football betting odds currently (Wednesday evening) list the Roadrunners as 10-point favorites in this matchup.
Despite the two-possession spread, this game is one of the best Group of Five games to watch this week.
UTSA can currently hang its hat on a win over a solid WKU team. It followed that up with a 30-10 win over FIU last week.
There isn’t quite an impressive win on UAB’s résumé so far. That’s not the Blazers’ fault though, they just haven’t faced the toughest opponents. They did drop their two biggest tests to date in losses to Rice and Liberty. Things will become more interesting and challenging as the Blazers visit WKU this weekend. They’re 1.5-point underdogs right now, as the line continues to creep in their favor.
So, yes, two C-USA games this weekend feature the top four favorites to win the conference, albeit just three weeks into league play. Regardless, this feels like a week where maybe one or two of these teams will set themselves apart. Once Week 9 rolls around we can expect a little bit of C-USA drama. And the odds will shift to reflect it.
Last week, we wrote about WKU’s ups and downs this season and about the Hilltoppers’ prolific offense. But what have been the strengths behind UTSA and UAB during the 2022 campaign?
Like the Hilltoppers, UTSA has mainly leaned on its passing offense for success. With Frank Harris under center (328.6 passing yards per game), he feeds a three-headed monster at wideout in De’Corian Clark, Zakhari Franklin, and Joshua Cephus. Clark and Franklin rank first and second in the conference with 96.9 and 93.4 receiving yards per outing. Both have also hauled in seven touchdowns. Cephus ranks sixth in the league with 86.3 YPG and two scores.
The Roadrunners will beat teams through the air, but the same can’t be said for UAB.
Unlike UTSA, the Blazers get things done on the ground. If you’re reading this, you probably know who DeWayne McBride is. But in case you don’t, here’s a glimpse of what his season has been like:
McBride currently leads the nation in rushing yards per game with 155.6 YPG, and his 11 touchdowns on the ground rank fourth in the country. This is after missing the first game of the season.
The Blazers rely on Jermaine Brown Jr. to counter McBride. Brown is fifth in the conference in rushing with 69.7 YPG. On top of its success in the run game, UAB ranks No. 1 in the league in total defense (319.2 YPG) and scoring defense (17.3 PPG).
UAB is the type of team that wears its opponents down.
The Roadrunners were voted to finish first in the league by the media in the C-USA preseason poll. The Blazers were tabbed as runner-ups. This weekend will leave us with more of a clear outlook on what to expect going forward, and who should probably be the favorite to win the conference. The case can be made for any team with longer odds, especially if North Texas pulls an upset on Saturday.
Just make sure to get your futures tickets in on whichever team you want to roll with before those respective odds shorten.