5 Best College Football Bowl Predictions Against The Spread: December 20-24

5 best predictions against the spread for college football’s early bowl games – December 20th through the 24th. Which games appear to be the best bets against the spread?

5 best predictions for college football bowl games – Monday, December 20 through Friday, December 24. What games appear to be the best bets and the best picks?


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CFN Experts Picks: Bowls Dec 17-27
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Results So Far ATS: 85-67-2

One massive miscalculation later …

I blame missing EVERYTHING against the spread during an epically bad Saturday on the stress and strain of having to scramble to find ESPN after the YouTube TV/Disney kerfuffle, and …

I can’t blame this multi-billion conglomerates. It was all my fault for totally whiffing on my belief that Conference USA was going to get rim-rocked this bowl season – except, of course, for my pick of Marshall to cover against Louisiana. (It didn’t.)

Picking bowl games takes a different skill set from the regular season. Logic, reason, and normal rules don’t always apply – hello, Jackson State and BYU.

So I’m done with you, Conference USA. You win.

I’m staying away from the against the spread calls of Old Dominion vs Tulsa in the Myrtle Beach Bowl (I like Tulsa -9, of course), UTSA vs San Diego State in Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (I like SDSU -2.5, of course), and Miami University vs North Texas in the Frisco Football Classic (I like MU, of course).

I always stick with my picks, I take my beating, and then I move on. But there were things that have gone the right was so far.

The point totals went just fine over the first several games, so I’m mostly going with those for these bowls during the week before Christmas.

Pray for me.

Click on each game for the preview 

5. Missouri vs Army: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

LINE Army -4
ATS PICK Missouri

Oh, I am well aware that you pick against Army at your own risk.

I’m an adult, I take responsibility for my own actions, and I will almost always take my chances with SEC team over a Group of Five-level team.

Especially if that SEC team is getting points.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on San Diego State and its amazing defense in the 2017 Armed Forces Bowl – and then Army won.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on Houston in what should’ve been an easy in in the 2018 Armed Forces Bowl – and then Army won 70-14.

Yeah, I’m still smarting from going hard on West Virginia against the spread in the 2020 Liberty Bowl – and Army lost, but only by three.

Army is 4-1 in its last five bowl games from 2010 on, but there’s a strange part to that. None of the four bowl wins were against Power Five programs, and Army didn’t actually beat West Virginia last year.

In fact, Army hasn’t beaten a Power Five program since the win over Duke in 2017. Before that you have to go back to a 2012 win over Boston College.

I’m fully aware – and love – what Army does, and I know bowls go against what we all believe in our core to be true, but you’re getting points here. You’re not even asking the Power Five team to win big.

4. Hawaii vs Memphis
3. Miami University vs North Texas
2. San Diego State vs UTSA
1. Kent State vs Wyoming
CFN Experts Picks: Bowls Dec 17-27

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 4 Hawaii vs Memphis

Miami University vs North Texas: Frisco Football Classic Prediction, Game Preview

Miami University vs North Texas: Frisco Football Classic Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might or might not win.

Miami University vs North Texas: Frisco Football Classic Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch, Thursday, December 23


Miami University vs North Texas: Frisco Football Classic Bowl How To Watch

Date: Thursday, December 23
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Records: Miami University (6-6), North Texas (6-6)

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Miami University vs North Texas Frisco Football Classic Bowl Preview

If you’re going to make up a bowl game at the last possible second out of thin air – just because – you’re not going to send two boring teams that might grind down in a defensive slugfest. No, you want big plays, offense, and two teams that will be jacked to get the opportunity.

There were two more bowl eligible teams than slots available with a San Francisco-based bowl canceling this year, so the Frisco Bowl Classic – not to be confused with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl – was invented just before all of the matchups were announced.

In comes North Texas after overcoming a 1-6 start to win five straight to get here. The running game went wild late in the season with over 320 yards in three of the last four games.

Miami University probably would’ve had a slot somewhere else, but the extra bowl locked it in. It won four of its last six games thanks to a high-powered passing game that rolled for 200 yards or more in every game but the opener against Cincinnati, and bombed away for over 1,400 over the last four games.

Can the RedHawks stop the run? Sort of, but not really. Can the Mean Green stop the pass? Sort of, but not really. So let’s have some fun on a Thursday afternoon.

Why Miami University, North Texas Will Win
Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History
Frisco Football Classic Top Players To Know

NEXT: Why Miami University Will Win, Why North Texas Will Win, Frisco Football Classic Bowl Prediction

UTSA vs North Texas Prediction, Game Preview

UTSA vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

UTSA vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 27


UTSA vs North Texas How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 27
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
How To Watch: ESPN+
Record: UTSA (11-0), North Texas (5-6)
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UTSA vs North Texas Game Preview


Why UTSA Will Win

There are just three unbeaten teams left in college football – UTSA is doing something right.

It had one of its biggest challenges yet against UAB last week, and it passed even though the offense didn’t work right – the passing game picked up the slack in the 34-31 win.

North Texas is on a roll with four straight wins, but overall the passing game isn’t efficient enough, the defense hasn’t quite been able to hold up against the decent attacks, and UTSA is great at holding up when needed against the big offenses.

It survived WKU, it held up against Illinois – not a great offense, but the Big Ten – and it has been able to find ways to win.

It doesn’t beat itself. There aren’t a lot of penalties, the turnover margin isn’t a problem, and …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 13

Why North Texas Will Win

UTSA doesn’t need this game. North Texas does.

The Roadrunners are playing the winner of the WKU-Marshall game for the Conference USA championship. Staying healthy is the most important part of this, but for North Texas, it’s all about getting the win to go bowling.

It’s been an impressive turnaround for the Mean Green. Just when it looked like all was lose with a 1-6 record and three road games coming up, the offense clicked – at least it did after the win over Rice – the balance was there, and the team fought back to get in this position.

However …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 12

What’s Going To Happen

The home win over UTEP was nice, but the other three wins – Rice, Southern Miss, FIU – didn’t exactly come against a bunch of killers.

Don’t expect UTSA to go all out here with bigger things to come, but of course it wants to beat North Texas. Of course it wants to be 12-0 and with an outside shot at the New Year’s Six game from the Group of Five champs.

It’ll push hard to keep its perfect season alive, and it’ll do it with the defense that will give up yards, but won’t break enough.

College Football Schedule: Week 13 Predictions, Lines

UTSA vs North Texas Prediction, Lines

UTSA 37, North Texas 20
Line: UTSA -10, o/u: 59.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Get a 2nd opinion on the UTSA vs North Texas game from our friends at Winners and Whiners. Click here for their in-depth analysis and predictions on the side,total, 1st half, and exotics.

Must See Rating: 3

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1: “Why don’t we have Thanksgiving food the rest of the year?”

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North Texas vs FIU Prediction, Game Preview

North Texas vs FIU prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

North Texas vs FIU prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 20


North Texas vs FIU How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 20
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Riccardo Silva Stadium, Miami, FL
How To Watch: ESPN3
Record: North Texas (4-6), FIU (1-9)
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North Texas vs FIU Game Preview


Why North Texas Will Win

Where did this come from?

All of a sudden, North Texas went from being mired in a lost season to being two wins away from a bowl appearance. The regular season finale is against UTSA – there might be a hard stop to the fun next week – but it can make this interesting by getting though the free space game.

FIU is a total mess. Head coach Butch Davis is done, interim head man Ron Cooper has to try piecing things together for a team on a nine-game losing streak. The last six losses have all been ugly blowouts, there are too many turnovers, nothing is happening on defense, and the scoring pop from earlier in the year has gone away.

North Texas has cranked up the offensive efficiency, the ground game should be able to go off, and …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 12

Why FIU Will Win

Maybe the change in coaches and the drama could serve as something of a positive.

It’s been one of the strange phenomenons over the season. With the distractions and pressure gone, teams have been playing well in the first game after losing the head coach.

There are some positives with FIU. The passing game can push the ball down the field, the North Texas defense is hardly a rock, and if the O can chill on the turnovers after giving it up eight times in the last three games, this might be close.

NFL Expert Picks: CFN Week 11

What’s Going To Happen

FIU will play a little bit better, but it won’t quite be enough.

There’s a reasonable chance FIU can pull off a win next week against a miserable Southern Miss team, and this will be a step towards that. The Mean Green offense will be too solid and too productive in the second half, but FIU will have its chances to make this interesting.

College Football Schedule: Week 12 Predictions, Lines

North Texas vs FIU Prediction, Lines

North Texas 38, FIU 24
Line: North Texas -10, o/u: 57.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Must See Rating: 2

5: Tummyache Soak
1: Adele 30

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UTEP vs North Texas Prediction, Game Preview

UTEP vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

UTEP vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 13


UTEP vs North Texas How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 13
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
How To Watch: ESPN+
Record: UTEP (6-3), North Texas (3-5)
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UTEP vs North Texas Game Preview


Why UTEP Will Win

Time to get back on track.

The Miners have the Conference USA world there for the taking, but losses to Florida Atlantic and UTSA in back-to-back weeks all but ended that.

Whatever. UTEP is going bowling.

The Miners continue to be the best in the league at third down defense, the line is getting into the backfield, and the offensive front is giving everyone time to work.

North Texas might have cranked up the offense against a sad Southern Miss team, but the passing game isn’t efficient, the defense doesn’t come up with third down stops, and the running game that’s been so strong now has to go up against a UTEP defense that’s been a rock until dealing with UTSA.

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Why North Texas Will Win

The Mean Green running game is rolling.

They have a slew of smallish, quick backs who can all come up with yards in chunks, and they did that with 321 yards last week, they’re averaging a Conference USA-high 228 yards per game, and the O is working with 12 touchdowns over the last four weeks.

The defense has’t been great, but it’s not getting gouged. As good as UTEP is, it’s not putting up big numbers – it hasn’t scored more than 28 since September 4th.

NFL Expert Picks: CFN Week 10

What’s Going To Happen

North Texas is trending up with two straight road wins, and offense that’s finally starting to do what it wants, and with a schedule that’s more manageable. It lost six straight games before the recent two wins, but it was supposed to lose all six.

UTEP is playing well on the lines, the downfield passing games are there, and it’ll grind through with a good day from the run defense to stop the current slide.

College Football Schedule: Week 11 Predictions, Lines

UTEP vs North Texas Prediction, Lines

UTEP 28, North Texas 26
Line: UTEP -1, o/u: 55
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5

Must See Rating: 2.5

5: House of Gucci
1: Yellowstone

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North Texas vs Southern Miss Prediction, Game Preview

North Texas vs Southern Miss prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

North Texas vs Southern Miss prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, November 6


North Texas vs Southern Miss How To Watch

Date: Saturday, November 6
Game Time: 3:00 ET
Venue: MM Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS
How To Watch: ESPN+
Record: North Texas (2-6), Southern Miss (1-7)
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North Texas vs Southern Miss Game Preview


Why North Texas Will Win

Look at North Texas rising up and coming up with something big.

Rice shocked UAB, and just as it seemed like the program was about to make a nice step forward, the Mean Green – for them – pitched a relative defensive gem with a 30-24 win.

There’s good pressure coming from the front, and now it gets to go against a Southern Miss offense that’s an absolute disaster.

The Golden Eagles haven’t come close to running for 100 yards in any of the last six games, they’re dead last in the nation in scoring, they’re among the worst in the nation at keeping defenses out of the backfield, and North Texas might look like the 1985 Bears against this bunch.

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Why Southern Miss Will Win

It’s not like the North Texas is all that great.

It didn’t dominate Rice, but it was good enough to get the win. Overall, it can be thrown on without too much of a problem. It’s giving up 8.5 yards per throw, it’s only picked off four passes – just one in the last seven games, and Southern Miss has to take advantage of all of it.

There might not be a whole lot happening on the ground for the Golden Eagles, but throw, throw, throw some more, and …

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

The defense should be able to get off the field.

There might be a ton of problems on both sides of the ball, but Southern Miss is great at third down defense and overall it’s not getting gouged in any one way. This is the week the defense rises up to overcome the miserable offense.

It’s not going to be anything beautiful, but at home in a turnover-filled game, the USM fans will take it.

College Football Schedule: Week 10 Predictions, Lines

North Texas vs Southern Miss Prediction, Lines

Southern Miss 20, North Texas 17
Line: North Texas -5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1

Must See Rating: 2

5: Belfast
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North Texas vs Rice Prediction, Game Preview

North Texas vs Rice prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines, and why each team might – or might not – win this Saturday.

North Texas vs Rice prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 30


North Texas vs Rice How To Watch

Date: Saturday, October 30
Game Time: 2:00 ET
Venue: Rice Stadium, Houston, TX
How To Watch: ESPN3
Record: North Texas (1-6), Rice (3-4)
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North Texas vs Rice Game Preview


Why North Texas Will Win

The Rice offense isn’t good enough to keep up if North Texas can get out to a huge start.

Shocking win over UAB aside, the Owls still only came up with 346 yards of total O, there isn’t enough of a running game, and the passing attack isn’t built to bomb away to keep up in a firefight.

The 30 points scores last week against the Blazers were the most against any FBS team, with only one other game with over 17.

North Texas has its issues, but the offense is versatile, balanced, and it wouldn’t have a problem getting into a back-and-forth battle, but …

College Football Expert Picks, CFN Week 9

Why Rice Will Win

The North Texas defense isn’t good enough.

The offense might have enough parts to come up with over 200 yards both running and passing if everything goes right, but the line allows way too many plays behind the line. It’s that other side that’s the issue.

The run defense stuffed Liberty last week, but it allowed over 300 yards through the air for the second straight game in yet another loss. The Mean Green are allowing 35 points per game, they’re turning the ball over way too much, and Rice should be able to take control of all of that because …

College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews, Week 9

What’s Going To Happen

Slower and steadier should win the race here.

Rice is terrific at owning the time of possession battle, and it should be able to grind a bit – even if the running game isn’t great – by converting on just about every important third down.

The Owls will show off decent balance with one of the most efficient and effective offensive days of the year. All of a sudden, Rice will win four of its last five games as it makes a sneaky push for a bowl game.

NFL Expert Picks, CFN Week 8

North Texas vs Rice Prediction, Lines

Rice 34, North Texas 27
Line: Rice -2.5, o/u: 56
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5

Must See Rating: 2

5: The French Dispatch
1: Finch

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Liberty vs North Texas Prediction, Game Preview

Liberty Flames vs North Texas Mean Green prediction, game preview, how to watch, lines: Saturday, October 23

Liberty vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 23


Liberty vs North Texas How To Watch

Date: Saturday, October 23
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
How To Watch: ESPN+
Record: Liberty (5-2), North Texas (1-5)
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Liberty vs North Texas Game Preview


Why Liberty Will Win

Can the Flames quickly bounce back from the inexcusable 31-28 clunker against ULM?

The offense was fine and the running game was great, but the turnovers were too much to overcome.

North Texas doesn’t move the ball consistently enough, the defense doesn’t generate third down stops, and there shouldn’t be any problems for the Flames to gear it back up with a good balance to tear off yards in chunks.

The ground game should take over fast – North Texas allowed over 300 yards to Missouri a few weeks ago. But …

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Why North Texas Will Win

The turnovers.

North Texas has a problem with them – especially interceptions – but Liberty has had the bigger issue over the last few weeks with three against Middle Tennessee not being a big deal, and three against ULM being a killer.

QB Malik Willis might still be dynamic and fantastic, but he’s not playing all that well. The Mean Green defense has to bother him, and on the other side, DeAndre Torrey and the running game have to keep going.

North Texas leads Conference USA in rushing, but …

Week 8 College Football Schedule, Predictions, Game Previews

What’s Going To Happen

That’s American Athletic Conference North Texas to you, at least in the near future.

Liberty will run for over 300 yards as it doesn’t force Willis to shoehorn in any passes – he won’t be needed to bomb away. North Texas will make this interesting with enough offense to matter, but the defensive side won’t be able to hold up.

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Liberty vs North Texas Prediction, Line

Liberty 52, North Texas 20
Line: Liberty -21.5, o/u: 60.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
10 Best Picks Against The Spread: Week 8

Must See Rating: 2

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American Athletic Conference Expansion: Charlotte, FAU, Rice, UAB, UNT, UTSA. 10 Quick Thoughts

College Football Daily Cavalcade: American Athletic Conference expanded with Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, UNT, UTSA, UAB. 10 Quick Thoughts

College Football Daily Cavalcade: The American Athletic Conference has expanded by adding Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, UTSA, and UAB. What does it all mean? What’s next?


College Football Daily Cavalcade: American Athletic Conference Expansion

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …

It had a dream to get bigger with a slew of Big 12 takes, but it ended up expanding with thoughts on Conference USA.

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Not that it applies to other areas of our world or anything, but sometimes, you take the win and move forward.

The American Athletic Conference expanded with UAB, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, and UTSA. What does it all mean? Here are 10 quick thoughts on the big move.

1. So now with these six, the American Athletic Conference, at least for football, will look like this when it all starts once they’re in – a specific date hasn’t been finalized.

Assume the league goes back to two divisions looking something like this …

East: Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Navy, Temple, UAB, USF

West: Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UTSA

2. Beyond everything else, it’s a happy day – at least for everyone other than Conference USA.

It’s a good business move for the American Athletic Conference in a take-the-win sort of way, and for the schools, this is massive.

It’s a step up from C-USA for Rice and North Texas, and it’s a giant validation for the other four schools.

3. Remember, UAB football was in a self-induced coma in 2015 and 2016.

It’s a minor miracle that it still has a program, much less it getting to have a moment like this.

Florida Atlantic football started from scratch under the late Howard Schnellenberger and joined the FCS world back in 2004, UTSA has only been in the FCS since 2012, and Charlotte is still new to football, becoming a major college program in 2015. Now they’re all in the American Athletic Conference.

4. It might have been a necessary business move for the American Athletic Conference, but it’s a gigantic step back to what was potentially on the table a few months ago. No program-shaming here, but UAB, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, and UTSA doesn’t move the national needle even a little bit.

5. There’s no replacing new Big 12 members Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF.

Think of expansion as Moneyball – the American Athletic Conference couldn’t replace Damon and Giambi. It has to hope that the six newly-added schools can add up to overcome some of the revenue hit. It won’t, but it’s a needed move to strengthen the league’s membership. But …

6. Things are a whole lot different than they were a few months ago.

When the Big 12 appeared to be mortally wounded with Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC, there was a real thought that the American Athletic Conference would go get Big 12 schools, not the other way around.

The AAC went from – at least in the sports media sewing circle – possibly pulling in West Virginia and maybe Iowa State and Oklahoma State to losing three of its biggest schools and adding five from Conference USA.

7. Again, not to dog the six programs coming in, but this cements the Mountain West as the sixth best conference in college football – at least until the Pac-12 wakes up.

The AAC landing Florida Atlantic gives USF a natural rival, and the state of Texas becomes more emphasized, but these six aren’t going to entice the big schools from the Mountain West to possibly flip leagues.

The AAC landing Big 12 schools wasn’t realistically going to work, but chatting up San Diego State – with the Pac-12 not claiming to be interested in expanding right now – and Boise State, and some of the others from the Mountain West in an attempt to become a giant national conference wasn’t crazy.

The six schools the AAC just landed don’t up the brand enough for the Mountain West schools to be interested.

8. Don’t assume this is slowing down.

At some point, the Big 12 will realize that going after USF – Tampa, rivalry with UCF, massive enrollment – makes a whole lot of sense, and the AAC hanging on to Memphis is a mild upset.

Conference USA still has a few attractive schools – most notably Marshall and Southern Miss. The American Athletic Conference might keep moving here, and going after FIU – to have three schools in Florida – might make sense.

9. So now what for Conference USA?

It just lost five of its 12 members, and others wanted to go, too – UTEP isn’t all that happy right now. That leaves FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, UTEP, and WKU.

Raiding the Sun Belt would be an instant reaction, but the easier move might be to entice a few of the independents to join in. Adding Army, UConn and UMass would at least give the conference some bulk, but the big get – even with a whole slew of issues – would be Liberty. However, the Sun Belt is about to go hard after all the independents, too. And …

10. Get ready for some schools from the FCS world to start becoming factors.

James Madison, North Dakota State, and Sam Houston State are among several schools on the verge of stepping up. There’s nowhere else for the Sun Belt and Conference USA to go, so we might see as many as ten new schools in the FBS world in the near future.

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Marshall vs North Texas Prediction, Game Preview

Marshall vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 16

Marshall vs North Texas prediction, game preview, how to watch: Friday, October 15


Marshall vs North Texas How To Watch

Date: Friday, October 15
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
How To Watch: CBS Sports Network
Record: Marshall (3-3), North Texas (1-4)
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Marshall vs North Texas Game Preview


Why Marshall Will Win

How does Marshall want to get the offense going?

The North Texas defense is far better than it was last year, and it’s had a few surprising moments – like against the Missouri passing game in last week’s 48-35 loss – but the Herd should be able to move the ball however it wants to.

Want to run? Missouri, SMU, and Northwestern State all cranked it up on the ground against the Mean Green.

Want to throw? Everyone but Mizzou hit 200 yards without a problem, and best of all for the Herd, the secondary doesn’t pick off passes with none in the last three games.

But …

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Why North Texas Will Win

Marshall has a giant turnover issue.

It didn’t give it away in the loss to Appalachian State, but that was an anomaly. The O turned it over three times in each of the first three games, six times in the clunker to Middle Tennessee, and twice last week against Old Dominion.

North Texas doesn’t generate a whole lot of takeaways lately – just one in the last three games – but if it can make the big plays like it did when it came up with four turnovers in the first two games, it might have this.

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What’s Going To Happen

This is a strange North Texas team that could use a bit of a lucky break.

It at least made the score look okay against Missouri, and it hung around against Louisiana Tech, but it couldn’t get a key third down stop.

Marshall needs to make its own lucky break – it HAS to stop turning the ball over.

But it’ll give it away a few times to see this interesting. The defense that should be a whole lot better than it’s been, though, will come through with a few key stops when it absolutely has to.

Marshall will move the ball, and in a strength-in-numbers way, enough of those drives will end in scores to overcome the mistakes.

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Marshall vs North Texas Prediction, Line

Marshall 34, North Texas 20
Line: Marshall -11, o/u: 66.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2

Must See Rating: 2

5: Caramel apple anything
1: Pumpkin spice anything

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