Last Updated Aug 04, 2022, 05:52 PM
2022 Houston Cougars Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions
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2022 HOUSTON COUGARS BETTING ODDS, PREDICTIONS, PREVIEW
Dana Holgorsen and the Houston offense got a lot of credit for the Cougars’ turnaround in 2021. After going 7-13 in his first seasons at Houston, the Cougars went 12-2 and won 11 straight games following a season opening loss to Texas Tech. However, the defense was a bigger factor in the team’s success. Houston was ranked 18th in Defensive SP+ and ranked ninth in total defense, allowing just 318 YPG. The Cougars lost two First Team All-AAC players along the defensive line, but this is still expected to be one of the best defenses in the conference.
Fellow all-conference defensive linemen D’Anthony Jones and Derek Parish will be the leaders up front. There is a lot of hype surrounding sophomores Nelson Ceaser and Chidozie Nwankwo, and there is a lot of depth up front for Houston. The Cougars allowed just 3.6 YPC and 112.5 YPG on the ground in 2021 and should have similar success barring a spate of injuries.
If there is a weakness on this defense, it’s at cornerback. Hasaan Hypolite and Gervarrius Owens are one of the best safety tandems in the AAC, but the Cougars will have to replace both their starting cornerbacks. Alex Hogan transferred over from Texas Tech last year and should be one of the starters, but no one has really stood out.
The offense suffered a big blow in April when Alton McCaskill tore his ACL in spring practice. McCaskill was the top running back last year, running for 961 yards (5.1 YPC) and 16 touchdowns, but he is expected to miss the entire 2022 campaign recovering from the injury. Ta’Zhawn Henry was the No. 2 running back last season, and he will take over the starting job.
Second Team All-AAC quarterback Clayton Tune had a brilliant 2021 campaign. Tune struggled through his first three seasons with Houston, but he broke through in a big way last year by completing 68.2% of his passes for 3,546 yards (8.4 YPA) with 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He should be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference once again in 2022, and some observers are considering him a longshot Heisman Trophy contender in Holgorsen’s offense. However, there are three new starters on the offensive line alongside First Team All-AAC left tackle Patrick Paul and former four-star prospect Tank Jenkins.
Tune will have the benefit of throwing to a future NFL receiver in Nathaniel Dell. Dell had 90 receptions for 1,329 yards with 12 touchdowns last year on his way to First Team All-AAC honors. KeSean Carter is the only other experienced receiver on the roster though, so Houston hit the transfer portal to find new talent. The Cougars added Cody Jackson from Oklahoma, Joseph Manjack from USC, and Sam Brown from West Virginia to bolster this unit.
Houston has the most favorable schedule in the AAC. The Cougars avoid playing both Cincinnati and UCF in conference play, and that more than makes up for having to play Memphis and SMU on the road. They have a manageable non-conference schedule too although the first two games might be tricky, so the Over is the play here.
Best Bet: Over 9 Wins (-120)
2022 HOUSTON COUGARS SCHEDULE
- Sat., Sept. 3 - at UTSA
- Sat., Sept. 10 - at Texas Tech
- Sat., Sept. 17 - vs. Kansas
- Sat., Sept. 24 - vs. Rice
- Fri., Sept. 30 - vs. Tulane
- Fri., Oct. 7 - at Memphis
- Sat., Oct. 22 - at Navy
- Sat., Oct. 29 - vs. USF
- Sat., Nov. 5 - at SMU
- Sat., Nov. 12 - vs. Temple
- Sat., Nov. 19 - at ECU
- Sat., Nov. 26 - vs. Tulsa
WIN TOTAL ODDS
- Over 9 (-120)
- Under 9 (+100)
HOUSTON COUGARS ODDS TO WIN AAC CHAMPIONSHIP
The Cougars made it to the AAC Championship Game last year and are in great position to win their first conference title since 2015. Houston has a strong defense and an experienced quarterback, and the schedule breaks very well for them. That makes Houston probably the best value on the board to win the ACC.
HOUSTON COUGARS ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
This program can start thinking of national championships next year after Houston joins the Big 12. The Cougars do play two Power Five teams and a good Group of Five team in UTSA in non-conference play, but no one is going to be impressed by wins over Texas Tech and Kansas. The preseason polls have the Jayhawks and Red Raiders pegged to finish at the bottom of the Big 12.
HOUSTON COUGARS 2022 HEISMAN CONTENDERS & ODDS
Clayton Tune (QB) +8000
Nathaniel Dell (WR) +10000
Tune and Dell should earn all-conference honors in 2022, but neither player is likely to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. Alumnus Andre Ware was the last player from a Group of Five school to win this honor back in 1989, but that was a weak year and he only just beat out Indiana running back Anthony Thompson.
2021 HOUSTON COUGARS BETTING RESULTS
- SU: 12-2
- ATS: 8-6
- O/U: 8-6
- ATS-Home: 3-3
- ATS-Road: 5-3
- ATS-Favorite: 6-5
- ATS-Underdog: 2-1