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2018

Tulsa

College Football

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Tulsa took a massive fall in Philip Montgomery’s third season in charge, partly due to a new quarterback situation with the other half of it being a porous defense. The Golden Hurricane finished at just 2-10 with one conference win and while better things are expected, a bowl is still unlikely in 2018. Their early over/under at 5Dimes Sportsbook was sitting at four wins with slightly more money on the over to go with long +10000 odds to win the AAC.

The only reason Tulsa can hit the over this year is because of the offense, which at least has two experienced starters in Luke Skipper (3 TDs, 4 INTs, 4 rush TDs) and Chad President (3 TDs, 2 INTs, 9 rush TDs), who is returning from an ACL injury. Skipper expects to start the season, but there’s a decent chance President returns at some point as long as he’s healthy. Top running back D’Angelo Brewer is gone, but the line still has some studs in Tyler Bowling and Chandler Miller and that could lead to another solid year on the ground after going for close to 250 yards per game. Shamari Books (687 yards, 10 TDs, 5.8 ypc) will likely see the majority of touches and could push 1,500 yards, similar to Brewer last year. The hope is that either Skipper or President is better as a passer because the tools are there. Both Justin Hobbs (55 receptions) and Keenen Johnson (44 rec.) return at wide out and will be a big help in improving the passing game. Even if that doesn’t happen, Tulsa should still move the ball consistently behind the line.

The problem is that the defense was destroyed in every game last season, allowing 37.5 points and more than 525 yards per contest. There are glaring issues everywhere even if some of their best players return, including safety McKinley Whitfield and linebackers Diamon Cannon and Cooper Edmiston. Making matters worse is that only one starter is back on the line, although it can be argued that new faces are needed from a group that allowed 265 rushing yards per game. There’s more experience in this group than a year ago, but turning that experience into improvement isn’t guaranteed.

If the Hurricane want to reach four wins, they’ll need to win both early home games against Arkansas schools as the other three on the road will be difficult. The good news is that Tulane and UConn come to Tulsa, and those are the other two likely wins for this team. To hit the over, the Hurricane need better quarterback play and a better overall defense. If that happens, stealing a game at Temple or Houston isn’t out of the cards, but the other possible win is the game against SMU in the season finale. If all goes well, that will be for a bowl game.

 

2018 Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Central Arkansas

Sept. 8 at Texas

Sept. 15 vs. Arkansas State

Sept. 20 at Temple

Oct. 4 at Houston

Oct. 12 vs. South Florida

Oct. 20 at Arkansas

Oct. 27 vs. Tulane

Nov. 3 vs. Connecticut

Nov. 10 at Memphis

Nov. 17 at Navy

Nov. 24 vs. SMU

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