By: Stephen Nover     Date: Sep 7, 2018
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Free Sports Game Preview and Prediction: Arizona vs. Houston
Saturday, September 08, 2018 12:00 PM
Play: Total: 72.0/-110 Under
Does Kevin Sumlin know what he has in quarterback Khalil Tate? You wouldn't know it by Sumlin's coaching debut with Arizona last week. The Wildcats were throwing deep and Tate ran just eight times for a measly 14 yards. Given those circumstances, it wasn't that surprising then that the Wildcats lost 28-23 to BYU as 11 1/2-point home favorites. Houston beat Rice, 45-27, in its opener but failed to cover as 25 1/2-point road chalk with the total sailing Over by 17 points. The marketplace has the Cougars pegged as an Over team. They must also be anticipating a huge bounce back game from Tate, who is a strong Heisman Trophy candidate because of his outstanding running ability not his deep passing. I'm recommending an Under play, though, because the market has overreacted pushing this total well above what the oddsmaker set it at. Arizona may have a better game plan, but the Wildcats have offensive line problems and are facing the premier defensive lineman in college, Ed Oliver. How good is Oliver? If the NFL draft took place right now, he would be the first overall draft pick. He finished his sophomore season last year with the most tackles for losses during the first two years in college history. Oliver was his dominant self against Rice with 13 tackles, including 3 1/2 for losses. These teams met opening week last season and there were only 35 points scored in Houston's 19-16 road victory. Tate wasn't installed as the starting quarterback at the time. I certainly expect more than 35 points to be scored this time around, but not enough to reach this overinflated total. (Editor's note: Stephen Nover opened the college football season in style last Saturday winning 75 percent of his premium and free plays. The long-time football guru has a strong play going today in the TCU-SMU matchup and has his Pac-12 Game of the Month heading up his Saturday ticket. Don't miss any of Stephen's winners!)

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