College Football Week 0 Upset Alert: Double-Digit Favorite Facing Heat?

Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
college football upset

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs head into their Week 0 matchup with the FIU Panthers as favorites. According to TheLines college football contributor Kelley Ford, Louisiana Tech has an 85% chance to win the game. My aggregated power ratings make the Bulldogs a -11.5 favorite. But, could we be in for a major upset in the first weekend of the college football season?

At -10, favorites historically win 77% of matchups outright. That means, of the 13 projected 10-11 point favorites this season, we can reasonably expect at around three outright upsets. Of course, looking solely at power ratings and projections won’t lead you to any conclusions about which teams could pull the upset. We need a bit of context around college football odds.

FIU at Louisiana Tech Odds

Compare FIU at Louisiana Tech odds from the best sports betting sites below. Click to place a bet now:

Turning Up The Heat For A College Football Upset?

Pun intended – high temperatures in Ruston, La., on Saturday are forecast to shatter records. As of Tuesday, highs could reach 105 degrees, with heat indices well into the 110s. For reference, the highest temperature ever recorded in Ruston is 109. Even though kickoff isn’t until 8 p.m. local, the heat will remain in the 100s.

But, of course, both teams hail from hot and humid climates and should be equally affected by the sweltering summer air.

Under head coach Sonny Cumbie, Louisiana Tech wants to run an up-tempo air raid. Last year, they ranked 42nd in seconds per play and ran the 45th-most plays per game. However, Cumbie preached this offseason how he wants to run a faster offense, and that was evident in their spring game. Although scoring was modified for the scrimmage, the offense showcased serious potential. We likely can expect the Bulldogs to reduce their seconds per play and increase their plays per game with transfer QB Hank Bachmeier.

Running a blistering pace out of the gate is likely in the cards for this team. But, trying to run too quick of an offense in dangerous heat can lead to conditioning issues.

The Bulldogs are already dealing with injuries to their backfield. Starter Marquis Crosby won’t suit up Saturday and backup Tyre Shelton battles a lingering injury. Louisiana Tech lists Charvis Thornton as the starter after the junior received 80 carries last season. Due to the injuries, Bachmeier likely shoulders more of the offensive load. Lacking depth during an extreme weather game could cause serious offensive issues.

Don’t Look (Ahead) Now…

Tricky scheduling spots are useful in finding a college football upset. In this case, Louisiana Tech hits the road in Week 1 to face the SMU Mustangs – an imposing opponent. Although coaches focus on the upcoming weekly opponent, the Bulldogs have likely been preparing for SMU to some degree this preseason. Despite this being the opening game, having a bigger opponent in the window could be cause to overlook the lowly FIU Panthers.

On the other hand, FIU returns home in Week 1 to handle Maine, the 80th-ranked FCS team. The sole focus for the Panthers at the moment is on Louisiana Tech.

FIU ranks 132nd out of 133 teams in both TheLines aggregate power ratings and KFord Ratings. Should Louisiana Tech even play an average game, they should handle the Panthers with relative ease. But, outside factors may heavily influence the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Bulldogs have shown precedent for this upset alert as well. Last season, Louisiana Tech dropped contests to Rice, FIU, and Charlotte – all finished outside the top 110 in power rankings.

FIU at Louisiana Tech Forecast: A Week 0 College Football UPset?

Betting any double-digit underdog outright is risky business. According to the numbers, this isn’t the most advantageous spot to bet FIU () on the moneyline. But, given both the extreme heat and potential look-ahead spot for Louisiana Tech, FIU may be worth consideration.

Leading up to the game, the market favors Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs climbed from a -9.5 favorite through 10 (a key number in football). The number still appears on the rise. Those looking to pick their spots might be savvy to wait until closer to kickoff to get the best number. Granted, fading legitimate market steam is as risky as betting a double-digit underdog outright. It’s not necessarily a viable long-term strategy.

For those looking to bet a longer-shot underdog at decent plus odds, FIU might be your spot in Week 0.

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