BYU vs. Louisiana Tech Updated Odds, Predictions & Pick: Back the Underdog Bulldogs in Provo? (Friday, Oct. 2)
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Wilson and BYU
- BYU has hopes of an unbeaten season and a spot in the College Football Playoff.
- The Cougars draw a Week 5 matchup against a fast-paced Louisiana Tech offense coached by Skip Holtz.
- Collin Wilson breaks down Friday night's college football matchup, including odds and his pick for the game.
BYU vs. Louisiana Tech Odds
|BYU Odds||-24 [BET NOW]|
|Louisiana Tech Odds||+24 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-1550/+925 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||61 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
BYU steamrolled another opponent last week in Troy, electing to take a knee at the Trojans’ 5-yard line to the delight of those who bet the under. The Cougars have now outscored their first two opponents, 103-10, and have posted the highest offensive success rate in the country. There are rumblings of a potential undefeated season being enough to earn BYU a berth in the College Football Playoff.
The playoff lobby got a bit more crowded with all 10 FBS conferences starting play, but first the Cougars get a visit from head coach Skip Holtz and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech comes to town following two wins straight up and against the spread. The ending to its win over Southern Mississippi will go down as one of the best college football finishes in 2020.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
After a postponed opener with Houston due to COVID-19, Louisiana Tech won a squeaker over Southern Miss in its 2020 debut. Then, the Bulldogs hosted a track meet with Houston Baptist while working on an offense that struggled in success rate and explosiveness to start the season. Louisiana Tech had 21% of drives scored as explosive, well above the national average of 12%. The biggest result in the box score is allowing no explosive drives from Houston Baptist, who previously put up more than 1,100 yards of offense between games against Texas Tech and North Texas.
Louisiana Tech has been playing at a fast tempo at 24.8 seconds per play. More importantly, Holtz’s offense has run 90% of plays through the 10 formation, electing to throw on 60% of those downs. The Bulldogs have ranked top 20 through two games in passing success rate, an attack led by quarterbacks Luke Anthony, who had six touchdowns against Houston Baptist. Finishing drives has been a positive for the offense, but a negative for the Tech defense.
Head coach Kalani Sitake made plenty of friends with under bettors by deciding to take a knee at the Troy 5-yard line in a blowout victory last weekend. The BYU coach was quoted about not needing style points and playing the game the right way. It will be interesting to see if running up the score comes into play later in the season, as Louisiana Tech and Houston on Oct. 16 represents the last true challenges to an undefeated season for the Cougars.
BYU saw no resistance on offense through games with Navy and Troy. Quarterback Zach Wilson leads an arial assault that has more 40-yard receptions than any other team in the country. That’s especially impressive considering BYU has run 68% of the time out of 12 personnel and 53% of the time from 11 personnel. Wilson has been just as effective when blitzed, with almost no pressure allowed from his offensive line.
The BYU defense ranks fourth in success rate and against explosiveness. In the Action Network’s latest Havoc Ratings, the Cougars have been one of the more disruptive defenses. In just 101 defensive plays, BYU has 10 passes defensed and 14 tackles for loss.
Pace continues to be slow for BYU, as the Cougars now average 28.8 seconds per play. Neither Navy or Troy put up much of a defensive effort, as there may be value in taking the BYU under once they face a team with a defense that can get stops on 3rd down and in the red zone.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
The Action Network projected total is 57.5, leaving little room for value. BYU will continue to be a run-heavy team at a slow pace, while Louisiana Tech will predominately throw at a faster tempo. There may be value on the Bulldogs, as our Action Network projection of BYU -16 would indicate a play on Louisiana Tech. Backing Holtz-coached teams as a road underdog has been paying bettors handsomely since the 2011 season.
The best line available is Louisiana Tech +24 at PointsBet.
The Bet: Louisiana Tech +24
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