Here’s Our Expert Houston Cougars 2016 Season College Football Betting Preview
OffenseHouston (13-1 SU, 9-5 ATS) was downright explosive on offense in Year 1 of the Tom Herman era as they ranked 20th in total offense (484.5 ypg) and 10th in scoring (40.4 ppg). The Cougars lost two starters on the offensive line and its leading receiver from a year ago, but Tom Herman has seven returning starters, including gifted dual-threat senior signal-caller Greg Ward Jr. Ward Jr. had an absolutely jaw-dropping campaign in 2015 and joined Clemson’s Watson as the only two quarterbacks in the country to throw for at least 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards last season. The Cougars should also get a big-time boost in the rushing attack as highly-rated recruit Duke Catalon takes the field for the first time after transferring from Texas. Despite losing two starters on the offensive line, the Cougars appear well capable of replacing them. Na’Ty Rodgers, a top-10 junior college recruit, takes over at the all-important left tackle while youngsters Josh Jones and Alex Fontana will battle for the starting spot at right tackle.
DefenseThe Cougars ranked a respectable 53rd in total defense (383.5 ypg) and impressive 20th in points allowed (20.7 ppg) but have just six returning starters. Houston lost a whopping four defensive backs from their 2015 team, including talented cornerback William Jackson III and leading tackler Elandon Roberts, a player that Herman and many others believe was the heart and soul of the defense. Safeties Adrian McDonald and Trevon Stewart and their 26 combined interceptions the past three seasons are all gone, so Herman has his work cut out in shoring up his secondary. At linebacker, Steven Taylor, (10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss) will be back lead a solid unit that lost just one starter. As far as the defensive line is concerned, the Cougars return experience in the forms of Cameron Malveaux, B.J. Singleton and Nick Thurman, but it is top-10 national recruit Ed Oliver, a player that picked Houston over LSU and Texas, that the Cougars are hoping turn into a star. The Cougars also got some good news when defensive coordinator Todd Orlando agreed to a new deal to return after reportedly being wooed by Wisconsin in the offseason.
By The Numbers
- Houston is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games
- Houston is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 7 games