The Thursday night ESPN college football game features an undefeated team ready to grab the national spotlight.  The Rice Owls vs. Houston Cougars should be an intriguing game as the Cougars want to prove that they deserve to be considered one of the top teams in the country.

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To no surprise the opening college football odds have the Cougars listed as 25.5 point favorites.The betting public hoped on the Cougars early as 79% of the early money came in on the home chalk. The line has already been bet up to 27 in some offshore sportsbooks.

Houston is led by Heisman candidate Case Keenum who has a pair of talented targets in Tyron Carrier and Patrick Edwards. The explosive offense can play with any team in the country and is always capable of putting up big numbers.

Rice on the other hand is a miserable team that is struggling to win ballgames. When they lose it is usually by a big margin as they lost three of the last four games by at least 24 points. The Owls defense is porous and will be no match for the high-octane spread of the Cougars.

The sports betting trends are in favor of Houston in this prime time matchup. The Owls are 3-10-1 ATS against a team with a winning record, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games as a road underdog, and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater.

The Houston Cougars are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games when playing a team with a losing road record, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.

Laying double digits is not an angle I like to take in any college football game, but Houston has the edge in this game. They have more talent at nearly every position and they want to prove a point to the college football betting community. Lay the points with the home team in this blowout on national television.

Thursday night college football pick: Houston Cougars -27

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