If you like points, this is the Game to watch. This may be Conference-USA, but both Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech have battled against bigger Conference schools (Vandy, Texas Tech, Arkansas). The first time they met, there was a total of 107 points in a three-point Game. The Hilltoppers are a -10 point home favorite.
These teams met back in early October with Louisiana Tech walking away with a 55-52 win at home. Both quarterbacks did whatever they wanted with Mike White and Ryan Higgins both tossing five touchdowns. The difference was that WKU turned it over a couple times before making a late run in the Fourth quarter.
This spread is big for a number of reasons, mainly because Western Kentucky has demolished every Conference opponent at home this season. They’ve had zero problems winning their last five Games with a margin of at least 25 points in all of them. Most importantly, they beat Old Dominion 59-24, who finished with the same C-USA record as them.
It wasn’t as easy for LA. Tech, as both of their Conference losses came on the road. In their last Game, they had trouble scoring on a Southern Miss team that had a losing C-USA record at the time. That 39-24 loss is another reason why the Hilltoppers are favored by double digits.
Mike White has picked up where Brandon Doughty left off for WKU, tossing 31 touchdowns to just five interceptions. It helps that he has a lot of the same targets, namely Taywan Taylor and Nicholas Norris, who have combined for 149 receptions, 2,495 yards and 27 touchdowns. And when you pass like that, you can usually run the ball well and that’s what Anthony Wales has done. Once again, Wales is averaging 7.0 yards per carry, but has doubled his TD total with 21 this season.
Considering how the last Game went between these teams and how the LA. Tech defense has played on the road, WKU should be in line for at least 40 points if not 50 again. The question will be if the Bulldogs can Scoreon the road.
After a hot start in the first half of the season, Ryan Higgins has kind of cooled off for Louisiana Tech and that culminated in the last Game when he threw three interceptions. That said, he still has 34 TDs and just seven picks on the season and destroyed this secondary in the first meeting. Like White, Higgins also has two dominant receivers with Trent Taylor and Carlos Henderson combining for 176 receptions, 2,666 yards and 26 touchdowns. The difference between the offenses is that the Bulldogs haven’t been able to run as well with Jarred Craft at 5.9 yards per carry and really struggling in the last two Games. again, he did fine in the first meeting, but will that happen on the road?
It’s also notable that WKU’s defense has played better as of late and at home. They gave up just 24 points to ODU a few months ago and then seven to North Texas. That said, it’s hard to see this Game not being another shootout.
The Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall and 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Hilltoppers are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall and 5-2 ATS in their last seven following an ATS win. As expected, most trends between these teams are on the over and it could easily push the 80 points the over/under was sitting at early in the week.
Our Pick – Western Kentucky -9.5