The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will look to even their road mark when they take on the Conference USA West Division-rival North Texas Mean Green on Thursday at Denton, Texas on CBS Sports Network. Louisiana Tech (4-3), which is 1-2 on the road this season, tied for first in the division with UAB at 6-2 and was 10-3 overall in 2019. North Texas (3-4), meanwhile, is 2-3 at home in 2020 after tying with Rice and Texas-San Antonio for fourth place in the West at 3-5 and was 4-8 overall last year. The Mean Green were 4-2 at home a year ago, while the Bulldogs were 3-3 on the road.
Game time from Apogee Stadium is set for 6 p.m. ET. Both defenses have been challenged this season with North Texas allowing 535.3 yards per game, while Louisiana Tech is allowing 420.7. After opening at +3, the Bulldogs are now one-point favorites in the latest Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 65.
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- Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas spread: Louisiana Tech -1
- Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas over-under: 65 points
- Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas money line: Louisiana Tech -115, North Texas -105
- LT: Louisiana Tech is 55th in the nation in passing yards per game at 242.4
- NT: The Mean Green has a top-five offense and is fifth nationally, averaging 536.9 yards per game
Why Louisiana Tech can cover
The Bulldogs' rushing attack is led by senior running back Israel Tucker, who leads the team in carries and yards. He has rushed 82 times for 336 yards (4.1 average) and two touchdowns. Although he has not hit the 100-yard mark in any game, he has been effective, rushing 19 times for 70 yards against Texas-San Antonio, and 16 times for 47 yards and two scores against UTEP. In his four-year career at Louisiana Tech, Tucker has carried 251 times for 1,095 yards and seven TDs. He also has 33 receptions for 212 yards (6.4 average) and one score.
With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc with the Bulldogs' schedule, senior running back Justin Henderson, who was the perfect complement to Tucker, has opted out and declared for the NFL Draft. In his place steps junior running back Greg Garner, who has carried 16 times for 69 yards (4.3 average) and a TD. He has seen action in five games this year with six carries for 40 yards (6.7 average) against Southern Mississippi. He scored his lone touchdown in a 66-38 victory over Houston Baptist on Sept. 26.
Why North Texas can cover
Offensively, senior running back DeAndre Torrey leads the Mean Green in rushing, carrying 98 times for 600 yards (6.1 average) and five touchdowns. His best game was on Oct. 17 against Middle Tennessee, when he carried 13 times for 143 yards (11.0 average) and two touchdowns. He also carried 19 times for 102 yards (5.4 average) and one TD in a win over Rice on Nov. 21. For his career, Torrey has rushed 346 times for 1,957 yards (5.7 average) and 22 touchdowns. He also has 43 receptions for 311 yards (7.2 average) and three scores.
Although North Texas has struggled on defense, junior linebacker KD Davis has been a difference-maker. He leads the Mean Green with 48 tackles, including 24 solo, and is tied for second on the team with three sacks for 13 yards. His best game was Oct. 3 against Southern Mississippi when he registered 14 tackles, including six solo, and one sack. For his career, he has 141 tackles, including 64 solo, with 6.5 sacks and one pass breakup.
How to make Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the model suggesting both teams will combine to score nearly 70 points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
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