College Football Week 5 Odds: Tulane At Houston Preview

Written By Brett Gibbons on September 27, 2022
Tulane Houston odds

The Tulane Green Wave (3-1, 0-1) visit the Houston Cougars (2-2, 0-0) on Friday night from TDECU Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPN. In this article, we’ll dissect the latest Tulane at Houston odds and a betting preview for the game.

Houston is a home favorite while Tulane is on the moneyline and the over/under is currently set at points.

Tulane At Houston Odds

Tulane At Houston Odds Movement

Most books offer Houston just under a field goal favorite, but some have the line a half-point in favor of Tulane at +2. However, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook offer Houston -2.5 with juice on UH. This is a possible indicator that the line could flash at three points in time. The difference between +2.5 and +3 may not look like much numerically, but it represents the largest single half-point bump in college football. 17% of college football games end in exactly a three point differential, known as the “push rate.”

Houston backers are wise to jump on the -2 offered at BetRivers Sportsbook or Unibet midweek while Tulane backers are really looking for that +3.

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Sizing Up Tulane’s Schedule

Tulane’s first four weeks of 2022 need a lot of context. They’re two special teams plays away from being 4-0 and should probably be 2-2. One week, they force four three-and-outs from Kansas State (including three on seven second-half possessions); the next, they’re having punts and field goals blocked in a loss to Southern Miss. The way their last two games shaped out, nothing happened for 60 full minutes of football and when the clock showed 0:00, one team had more points than the other.

It really is that silly.

Kansas State went just 2/15 on third down in that game while Tulane went 1/12. The next game, the Green Wave dominated yards per play (5.9 vs. 4.9) and time of possession (36:01 to 23:59), but lost the game on special teams. The up-and-down nature of this Tulane team is truly astonishing.

That said, they do two things really well: Not turning the ball over on offense and not committing penalties. Their Week 5 opponent, Houston, is second in the nation in penalty yardage per game through four weeks.

Playing The Mean

A dangerous proposition in betting college football (or really any sport, for that matter) is playing based on a team’s absolute pinnacle or performance. The odds that the team plays their best game of the season statistically is 8.3% (or one in 12, since you can only have one best game). Equally likely does the team you’re betting on play their worst game of the season, using the same logic. Therefore, 83.3% of the time, the team you’re betting on is going to play somewhere in between their best football and their worst football.

Well, duh. So how does that help evaluate these two teams?

The odds are, Tulane’s best defensive game is in cement– forcing Kansas State into a 43% three-and-out rate in the second half is a Herculean effort. It’s hard to know if we’ve seen either 8.3% from Houston yet, but their consistent effort against UTSA, Texas Tech, and Kansas gives us a pretty rough idea of what to expect from the Cougars on a weekly basis: A slightly-above average offense (56th in points per drive) and a below average defense (95th in points per drive allowed).

Tulane At Houston Forecast

There hasn’t been a more nondescript offense this year than Tulane. They’re 52nd in points per drive nationally (2.59), but that factors in games against UMass and Alcorn State. Against their two latest opponents, that number drops to 1.64 (about 95th nationally). Against a middling defense like Southern Miss (71st in points per drive), there’s not much to be threatened by in Tulane’s offense.

Conversely, there’s a lot to be threatened by on Houston’s offense. QB Clayton Tune already is pushing up on 1,000 yards passing while receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell has 380 yards and three TDs in four games. I’m taking the more talented home team under a field goal before the line crosses three points. After that, I’m hands-off.

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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons