The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are off to a 2-0 start as they begin the post-Coach Schiano era. But they'll run into a tough test Thursday night when they travel to Tampa to take on the Bulls of South Florida (7:30 pm Eastern, ESPN).
With just one college game on the schedule for Thursday
night we'll try to get the max out of the situation and hit the two-pick parlay
on this game. Which way are we going to place our college football picks on the side and total? Read on.
It may be very early in this college football season, but
this game might go a long way toward deciding who wins the Big East Conference
this year. As of a week or so ago South Florida was getting right around 7/2 on
most Big East championship betting boards, while Rutgers was getting around
11/2. So these two teams figure to figure into the Big East race down the line.
The Bulls, who returned 15 starters this year from a team
that went 5-7 last year, are off to a 2-0 start to this season. Two weeks ago
they beat FCS Chattanooga 34-13, and last week they rallied late to win at
South Florida didn't have to work too hard to beat the
Moccasins, but vs. the Wolf Pack the Bulls fell behind 21-6 and trailed 31-20
late in the game. USF then scored twice in the last three minutes on BJ
Daniels' TD passes, the second with just 30 seconds to go, to steal the
Rutgers, meanwhile, also with 15 starters back after going
9-4 last year, is off to a 2-0 start for new head coach Kyle Flood, who
replaced Greg Schiano, who coaches in Tampa as head man with the Buccaneers
now. The Scarlet Knights opened with a 24-12 win over Tulane, then last week
tossed a 26-0 shut-out at FCS Howard.
The Knights ran for 151 yards against the Green Wave and 191 yards
against the Bison.
Florida: The Series
Rutgers has taken five of the last six games in the series
with South Florida. Last year the Knights trailed the Bulls 17-3 midway through
the fourth quarter up in New Jersey, but rallied to tie the game and then won
in overtime 20-17. That was one of three games USF lost last year by exactly
Knights-Bulls Betting Lines
Earlier this week many online sportsbooks opened South
Florida at -9 and even -10 for this game, with a total of 46. But as of
Thursday morning most CFB betting shops had dropped the Bulls to -7.5, and the
total to 44.5.
Capper David Lawrence had actually posted a play on South Florida when the lines were at -10, and given the gurrent drop in price, it looks as if the public could be getting great value here.
USF blew last year's game vs. the Knights, so the Bulls
might have revenge on their minds Thursday night. And Daniels looks like he
could have a great senior season. So we're going with South Florida on the side for this game. Picking the total,
though, is tough. This game was 17-3 halfway through the fourth quarter last
year, so for that reason, and a couple others, we were leaning toward the
'under.' Then again, we're trying to hit a two-teamer here, and we don't want
to get caught in the position where we absolutely can't win. Like, if Rutgers
scores 20 points. So instead we'll add the 'OVER' to our sports picks as well.
Free College Football Picks: According to our sportsbooks both the Bulls at -7.5 and the
'over' 44.5 are priced at -110. Hooking the two gives us the standard two-pick
payout of 2.6-to-1.