The points will be plenty in the Conference USA title Game between Southern Miss and Western Kentucky, two teams that average more than 40 points per Game. With an undefeated Conference record, the Hilltoppers get to play at home for this one where they were a -7.5 point favorite in midweek at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Southern Miss hasn’t made it to the title Game since 2011, while WKU made it here in just its second season in C-USA. The Golden Eagles had to win last week to grab first in the West division and they did so by taking down Louisiana Tech 58-24. OUtside of a road loss at Marshall, USM carved through the conference. Even in non-Conference play, they showed up against tough teams such as Mississippi State and Nebraska.
The same can be said about Western Kentucky, who didn’t really have a tough Conference Game, outside of a 41-38 win over LA. Tech back in the second week of the season. The Hilltoppers won at Vandy and almost took down Indiana early on. The Eagles have a better ATS record, mainly because they weren’t expected to be as good as this WKU team laden with veterans on the offensive side.
Led by quarterback Brandon Doughty, who has been even better in his senior season, the Hilltoppers are scoring 44 points per Game. Doughty has been incredible, completing 72.5% of his passes for 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Not many can match those numbers. Taywan Taylor (15 TDs) is his favorite target, but in any given week WKU has a slew of receivers that can lead the team. The dynamic part about this offense is that they can also run the ball. Anthony Wales leads the way with 933 yards and 7 TDs, with D’Andre Ferby being a solid backup with 9 TDs. Wales has surpassed 110 yards in six of his last seven Games.
Southern Miss probably has a better defense than WKU and that could be the difference maker to at least cover the Game for the Golden Eagles. They gave up 50 points to Texas State a while back, but holding Louisiana Tech to just 24 points on the road is impressive. They’ll need to hold Doughty to less than 40 points to win this Game.
But then again, the Golden Eagles are no slouch on offense either, having surpassed 55 points in three straight Games. The over/under is hanging around 70 points, but that could easily hit if both offenses get going.
USM has a similar attack to WKU, but maybe to a lesser degree. Quarterback Nick Mullens has 35 TDs and 9 INTs on the year completing 64.2% of his passes. They throw a ton, but also have a solid ground Game led by Jalen Richard (1,065 yards, 13 TDs) and Ito Smith (983 yards, 7 TDs), who both average at least six yards per carry. Mullens also has multiple receivers to turn to.
Western Kentucky has been in a number of high-scoring Games this year and this should be another one, maybe similar to that LA. Tech Game earlier in the year when they won 41-38.
To back that up, the over has hit six straight times for the Hilltoppers against teams with a winning record. The Golden Eagles are 10-2 ATS on the year and are hungry for another road upset.
Our Pick – So Miss +7.5