Indiana (-9): On the surface many will point to the Hoosiers loss of QB Nate Sudfeld and RB Jordan Howard as a reason that they’ll surely decline this year. I’m not so certain that’ll be the case though. In at QB now steps JC transfer Richard Lagow and he’ll enjoy some very nice weapons returning at his disposal at RB and WR. At WR Simmie Cobbs Jr, Ricky Jones, and Mitchell Paige, all return to make life on Lagow a little easier. Those 3 combined for 171 catches, 2625 yards and 15 TD’s last season and form a very nice trio. While I’ll admit the loss of Sudfeld hurts a bit, I think the system and weapons in place are good enough that Lagow can step in and have some nice success. Also we can’t overlook the fact that RB Devine Redding is also back for Indiana. While Howard was the stud last year Redding was no slouch in his own right as he rushed for over 1000 yards and 9 TD’s. Last year Indiana was admittedly awful on the defensive side of the ball, but this year 7 starters return including the entire secondary. I’m not saying all of the sudden they’ll be an excellent defensive team or anything, but there is reason to believe that with the increased experience there should be some improvement on this side of the ball. Florida International brings back almost their entire offense from 2015 including QB Alex McGough. The passing game for FIU should be pretty solid this year, but on the ground there is really nothing to get excited about. Defensively the Panthers could be in trouble this year too, they only return 5 starters from a unit that was already pretty shaky to begin with. I’m tempted to take the over here too, but I’ll just stick with the Indiana play.
Tulane (+17): I just can’t pass on a chance to get 17 points against Wake Forest in what should be a pretty low scoring game. This honestly feels like the kind of game where if Tulane can just find their way to 14-17 points or so, that they’ll probably cover. Frankly the Deamon Decans don’t have a ton of impact players on the offensive side of the ball and it’s tough to see them covering this number unless they really shut down Tulane. Offensively Wake Forest returns QB John Wolford who is very, very mediocre and he doesn’t have many weapons at his expense with the very average crew of RB’s and WR’s returning. As far as Tulane goes they’ll hand the starting QB job to Glenn Cuielette, but we’ll probably see some of Darius Bradwell who is a talented and heavily recruited dual threat option too. At RB Dontrell Hilliard and his 5.6 yards per carry average return and he should serve as the workhorse in the backfield for the Green Wave. I don’t expect Tulane to win this game, but I do think they can hang around long enough to cover. Ultimately I just don’t think Wake Forest has enough firepower to really get this game out of hand.