Houston vs. Tulane odds, line, start time: Top picks, predictions from proven computer model on 23-10 roll

In a battle between two of the three teams tied for first place in the AAC West, the Houston Cougars host the Tulane Green Wave on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. Both teams have a loss to SMU, the other divisional team at 4-2 in league play, so whomever loses will be eliminated from contention for a spot in the AAC Championship. With so much on the line, the Cougars are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Houston vs. Tulane odds, down from an open of 10.5. The Over-Under, or total projected points, opened at 68.5 and now stands at 68. Both teams are 4-5 against the spread this season, so before you make your Houston vs. Tulane picks, you'll definitely need to see the projections from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

The model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. Over the past three years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,210 profit for $100 bettors on its top-rated point-spread picks. 

The model was red-hot on top-rated picks last week. It nailed Ohio State (-3.5) over Michigan State in a game where the Buckeyes covered with plenty of room to spare in a 26-6 rout. Picks like that helped it go an impressive 23-10 overall on all top-rated picks, and anyone who followed it finished way, way up. 

Now, it has simulated every possible play for Houston vs. Tulane 10,000 times. We can tell you it's leaning Under, but it's also locked in an against the spread pick that's hitting over 50 percent of the time. You can only see that one at SportsLine.

The model knows Houston enters the game having lost its last two despite being favored by 14 at SMU and by 3.5 at home against Temple. So it's understandable that bettors might be wary of laying over a touchdown with the Cougars, especially without star defensive lineman Ed Oliver. 

Tulane is coming into the game averaging 280 yards rushing during its three-game winning streak, and defending the run has not been Houston's strong suit since Oliver went out against Navy. In their last four games, the Cougars are giving up over 265 yards per game on the ground. If Tulane can establish their rushing attack, it could be a long day for Houston.

However, that doesn't mean Tulane will keep it within the spread on Thursday.

The Green Wave give up nearly 280 yards per game through the air and D'Eriq King and Houston have one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation. Houston averages over 315 yards passing and has thrown for a staggering 38 touchdowns this year. 

If Houston can turn the game into a shootout, it won't bode very well for Tulane. The Green Wave have scored more than 40 points only three times this season, while the Cougars have done so in every game but one (31 against SMU) this season.

So, which side of Houston vs. Tulane hits against the spread in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Houston vs. Tulane you need to jump on, all from the model that has returned more than $4,000 in profit for $100 bettors.

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