Louisiana Tech vs FIU Odds & Picks: Panthers Worth a Bet? (October 28)

Louisiana Tech vs FIU Odds & Picks: Panthers Worth a Bet? (October 28) article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie.

Louisiana Tech vs FIU Odds

Friday, Oct. 28
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Louisiana Tech Odds
-105o / -115u
FIU Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Florida International travels to match up against Louisiana Tech in a Conference USA showdown between two of the nation's bottom-tier teams.

Florida International has pulled off some thrilling upsets over the last month. The Panthers upset New Mexico State by two touchdowns as 16-point underdogs to open October and then defeated Charlotte by 19 as 14-point underdogs last week.

Those victories have propelled Florida International to a 3-4 record on the season. Despite those victories, the Panthers are still appropriately ranked 130th, according to ourCollin Wilson’s Power Ratings.

They will have a chance at another upset victory this week as they face Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs have had their own set of challenges, opening this season just 2-5 while being outscored by 16 points per game.

More importantly, the Bulldogs will be starting third-string quarterback Parker McNeil in this matchup.

With an injury to its quarterback and a nonexistent defense, how does Louisiana Tech cover this number?

Louisiana Tech's season has officially hit rock bottom.

Let’s start with the defense. The Bulldogs are allowing 43 points and over 520 yards of total offense per game this season to FBS foes, ranking among the country's bottom two teams.

Opponents are averaging an astonishing 6.8 yards per carry and 286 rushing yards per game. They’re not much better at defending the pass, allowing 7.5 yards per attempt and 235 yards per game.

Every FBS opponent has exceeded 31 points against the Bulldogs, and that trend should continue in this matchup.

The offense, particularly McNeil, has carried this program through the first two months. McNeil has thrown 15 touchdowns while averaging nine yards per pass attempt. But both he and backup Matthew Downing were injured against Rice, which will potentially for true freshman Landry Lyddy to start under center.

Lyddy threw for two touchdowns in his six pass attempts against Rice, but those were mainly just 50-50 jump-balls that the receiver came down with.

The rushing game won’t provide Lyddy any comfort, as the Bulldogs average just 2.4 yards per carry against FBS competition. The group ranks 126th in the nation, averaging only 71 rushing yards per game.

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Florida International Panthers

Florida International played its best game of the season last time out in its 34-15 victory over Charlotte. The Panthers jumped out to a 34-0 lead before half while totaling 450 yards in the matchup.

Quarterback Grayson James put together his best performance of the season, throwing for 300 yards while completing 26-of-34 passing. He also rushed the ball 10 times to total 53 yards and found pay dirt twice. 

FIU's offense certainly didn’t look like the same unit that ranks 124th in the country in scoring (15 PPG). We saw the Panthers methodically move the ball up-and-down the field to rack up 27 first downs.

I’m anticipating a similar effort against a defense that hasn’t been able to stop a nosebleed.

The Florida International defense isn’t anything to gloat about either. The unit allows 33 points per game and just shy of 390 total yards per contest. It's held up against the run, holding opponents to 3.8 yards per carry but has been exposed through the air at times, allowing 7.5 yards per attempt.

But now, it will likely face a third-string quarterback in Lyddy who will be a bit of a wild card this week.

Luckily for the Panthers, they can lean on their pass rush that ranks seventh in the country. That unit will be able to apply constant pressure to the freshman as it matches up against the 119th-rated pass-blocking unit.

Louisiana Tech vs FIU Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Louisiana Tech and FIU match up statistically:

Louisiana Tech Offense vs FIU Defense
Rush Success111101
Line Yards12282
Pass Success83101
Pass Blocking**1197
Finishing Drives9193
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

FIU Offense vs Louisiana Tech Defense
Rush Success124125
Line Yards127124
Pass Success8048
Pass Blocking**129116
Finishing Drives12079
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12999
PFF Coverage8398
SP+ Special Teams10559
Seconds per Play25.8 (47)24.1 (25)
Rush Rate46.9% (101)45.0% (115)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Louisiana Tech vs FIU Betting Pick

Louisiana Tech is in a boatload of trouble entering this matchup if its starting quarterback doesn't play. McNeil is the sole reason the Bulldogs have been somewhat competitive in their losses. If he's out of the lineup, that puts a lot of pressure on a freshman third-string replacement.

And he’s going to be under duress all night long against the Panthers' seventh-ranked pass rush.

Although the Florida International offense has struggled this season, we saw it put the pieces together last week against Charlotte. It should be able to replicate that effort against a LA Tech defense that's allowing seven yards per play.

Louisiana Tech’s also defense ranks 129th in the country in tackling, according to PFF.

The Panthers have come away with two dominant victories over the last two weeks as double-digit underdogs. It wouldn't surprise me to see them pull off another upset this week. 

Pick: Florida International +6.5 ⋅ Play to +6

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