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Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. South Florida Bulls Betting Picks and Predictions

22 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Friday, October 23rd
Time:7:30 PM ET
Venue:Raymond James Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:Tulsa -10.5
Total:50.5

The 1-1 Tulsa Golden Hurricane will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 1-4 South Florida Bulls at 7:30 PM ET in Raymond James Stadium. You can watch the game on ESPN. The Bulls come in as 9.5-point home underdogs and we’re looking at a 52.5 over/under. The Golden Hurricane are coming off a win over the UCF Knights and they’ll look to knock off a second consecutive Florida team on the road in this one. Let’s dive into how this one will go and who will cover the spread. 

When The Tulsa Golden Hurricane Have The Ball

The Golden Hurricane have only played two games to this point and both teams were ranked 11th when Tulsa had to meet them on the road. They narrowly lost to Oklahoma State 16-7 before beating the UCF Knights 34-26. Tulsa has a great argument to be ranked and a convincing victory here will make it tough to keep them out. 

Senior QB Zach Smith threw for over 3,000 yards and 19 TD’s a season ago. He’s been solid through two starts with 438 passing yards and four scores. His job is to get his weapons the ball in space and keep the ball out of the defense’s hands. He’s thrown a pick in each game, so he does need to tighten things up just a bit. He also ran a bit more last season, but that hasn’t been necessary just yet. 

The receiving corps is packed-full of talent and it all starts with Keylon Stokes in the slot. He leads the squad with 10 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. Sam Crawford Jr. and Josh Johnson are excellent complimentary pieces that can go over 100 yards if any defense pays too much attention to Stokes. All three of these receivers have game-changing ability and you can expect Smith to throw the ball at least 30 times in this matchup. 

Tulsa can run the ball too. Deneric Prince and TK Wilkerson are each over 100 yards through two games and are massive backs at 215+ pounds. They make it tough on defenses and help keep the Tulsa attack balanced. Look for Tulsa to run the ball a lot early as they look to establish respect and open things up for later in the game. 

When The South Florida Bulls Have The Ball

After opening the season with a win over Citadel, the Bulls have lost four straight games by a combined score of 163-68. With that said, they lost by just two points last week to a solid Temple team and looked a lot better on both sides of the ball than they did in weeks prior. If USF wants to keep this game close, they’ll have to play a clean game against a very talented Tulsa team. 

If there’s an advantage for South Florida, it might be their strength of schedule. There won’t be an aspect of this Tulsa team that scares USF after they’ve gone through top-10 teams in Notre Dame and Cincy to start the season. Still, the Bulls were slaughtered by both of those teams and they’ll have to play a lot better if they want to cover those 10.5 points. 

This offense loves to run the ball and they’ve combined for 726 rushing yards and eight touchdowns through five games. Johnny Ford and Kelley Joiner are both averaging 4.6+ YPC and each are over 200 yards on the season with a combined four scores. Senior QB Noah Johnson makes an impact in short-yardage spots and he’s run for three touchdowns on just 21 rushes. South Florida must run the ball with success if they want any chance to keep this game close. 

Sophomore QB Jordan McCloud is extremely talented, but he’s also raw. He has all the tools to be a superstar, but too often makes the big mistake or doesn’t make the big pass. He’s thrown for 749 yards and four touchdowns with just two interceptions through five games. The Bulls will need a big performance out of McCloud if they want to keep this one close. 

Spread Prediction

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane is one of the best unranked teams in the College Football landscape and I fully expect them to be ranked two weeks from now. They’re an all-around balanced squad that refuses to shoot themselves in the foot. The defense is consistent and extremely aggressive, constantly hunting for turnovers. Offensively, Tulsa has too many weapons to handle. They can run and pass the ball with efficiency and the USF Bulls defense hasn’t shown the ability to stop anyone. 

The Bulls rank 71st in pass defense, allowing nearly 300 yards per game through the air. WR Keylon Stokes will be the best player on the field and he’s going to do damage here when Tulsa isn’t enforcing their will defensively. I love Tulsa in this matchup and it’s my favorite Friday night bet. Use this game as a bankroll boost before the weekend kicks off. 

The Pick: Tulsa -10.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

The South Florida Bulls will not have much success offensively in this game. They put up a combined seven points against Notre Dame and Cincinnati, and this Tulsa defense isn’t much worse than either of those. I do like Tulsa to have some offensive success, but this isn’t a flashy team that wants to put a lot of points on the board. They want to control the pace of the game and force the opposing team into uncomfortable spots. The Golden Hurricane will run the ball plenty once they have the lead, so don’t worry about the score being run-up late. Give me the under here all the way up to 51. 

The Pick: Under 50.5

Final Score Prediction: Tulsa 35, South Florida 14

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers
  • Tulsa is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • South Florida is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Friday.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tulsa’s last 5 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of South Florida’s last 9 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of South Florida’s last 7 games against an opponent in the American Athletic Conference conference.

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