Autonation Cure Bowl Prediction
Are the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers a good bet to cover the spread Saturday afternoon when they take on Georgia State in the Cure Bowl at 2:30 p.m. ET?
ODDSMAKERS LIKE: Western Kentucky. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Hilltoppers are 7-point favorites to beat the Panthers, who opened as a 5-point underdog. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 50.5 but is now up to 53.5.
THE PUBLIC LIKES: Western Kentucky. As of Saturday morning, 67% of the betting tickets are on the Hilltoppers and 84% of the money is also on WKU.
HISTORICAL TRENDS LIKE: The Hilltoppers are just 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games overall, are 1-4 against the number in their last five games against Sun Belt opponents, and are winless at 0-4 at the betting window in their last four non-conference games.
On the other side, the Panthers haven't covered a point spread in their last four games overall. They're also 1-4 against the number in their last five games playing on fieldturf and have failed to cover in five of their last seven games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
WHO WE LIKE: Western Kentucky. The triple-option could give the Hilltoppers some trouble but I can't back a Georgia State team that can't score. They're averaging under 20 points per game and can't move the ball through the air, averaging 114.9 passing yards per contest. I just don't trust the Panthers defense enough to back Georgia State, even though they're getting a full touchdown at the betting window.
This is also a contrast in styles, as Western Kentucky averages 333.7 passing yards per game, which ranks ninth in the nation. If the Hilltoppers can turn this game into a shootout then the Panthers have no shot. And I see Western Kentucky scoring today.
AUTONATION CURE BOWL PREDICTION: WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS -7