C-USA Betting Preview | 2021 NCAA Football
The Marshall Thundering Herd and the UAB Blazers met in the 2020 C-USA Championship. It was Marshall’s first trip to the C-USA Championship since 2014 and their 3rd in program history. Marshall won the C-USA regular-season title with a 4-1 record in conference play.
The Blazers beat Marshall in the championship game for their 2nd C-USA title in 3 years. UAB won its 1st conference title in program history in 2018. They’ve played in 3 straight championship games dating back to that game.
Heading into this season, the C-USA is wide open, but there are a few front runners. Marshall and UAB return with solid teams in 2021, as well as UTSA and Western Kentucky. Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech aren’t far behind either.
Let’s take a look at the C-USA schedule, betting odds and breakdown the odds of some of the top teams in the conference.
2021 C-USA Football Schedule
Saturday, October 30 FIU at Marshall North Texas at Rice Charlotte at WKU Southern Miss at Middle Tennessee UTEP at Florida Atlantic Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion
Saturday, November 6 Marshall at Florida Atlantic Louisiana Tech at UAB Middle Tennessee at WKU Louisiana Tech at UAB Middle Tennessee at WKU North Texas at Southern Miss Rice at Charlotte Old Dominion at FIU UTSA at UTEP
Saturday, November 13 UAB at Marshall Southern Miss at UTSA WKU at Rice UTEP at North Texas Charlotte at Louisiana Tech FIU at Middle Tennessee Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion
Saturday, November 20 Florida Atlantic at WKU Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech UAB at UTSA Marshall at Charlotte North Texas at FIU Rice at UTEP Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee
Saturday, November 27 WKU at Marshall Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic Louisiana Tech at Rice UTSA at North Texas FIU at Southern Miss UTEP at UAB Charlotte at Old Dominion
Saturday, December 4
C-USA Championship Game (at top team’s home field)
2021 C-USA Championship Betting Odds
- Marshall +240
- UAB +300
- UTSA +333
- Western Kentucky +700
- FAU +800
- Rice +1600
- Southern Miss +2000
- Louisiana Tech +2500
- North Texas +2500
- Old Dominion +2800
- Charlotte +3300
- FIU +3300
- Middle Tennessee +3300
- UTEP +12500
#1. Marshall Thundering Herd | +240 to Win C-USA Title
Marshall had one of the best defensive teams in the nation last season. They only allowed 13 points per game, ranking #1 in the FBS. Precisely what a team with an average offense needed to finish with the best record in the C-USA.
Unfortunately for the Herd, they lost two defensive monsters in the offseason. Tavante Beckett and Darius Hodge are both on NFL rosters in 2021. Beckett led the team in tackles, and Hodge led in tackles for a loss and sacks.
Sophomore linebacker Eli Neal is back, though. Neal was 2nd on the team in tackles, 3rd in tackles for a loss, and tied for 4th in sacks with 1.5.
Defensive lineman Koby Cumberlander also returns to bolster the defense. He was 2nd in sacks last season. Only Hodge had more. Expect to see both of these guys in NFL uniforms in the next few years.
Action247 Sportsbook has the Thundering Herd’s win total set at 8.5 this season. The odds on over 8.5 are slightly better than the under at -149 and -164.
Their odds to win the C-USA title are at +240, the best in the conference. The odds Marshall wins the National Championship are a completely insane +500000.
#2. UTSA Roadrunners | +300 to Win C-USA Title
The Roadrunners are coming off a 7-5 season in 2020. They were 5-2 in conference play. After head coach Jeff Traylor’s first season at the helm was derailed by Covid-19, he’s ready to hit the ground running in 2021.
Senior quarterback Frank Harris returns for his 3rd season and 2nd as the starter. Harris threw 1,640 yards last season and put 12 in the endzone. He also threw six interceptions. Having a 12/6 touchdown to interception ratio isn’t great and something he will have to clean up.
The Roadrunners’ defense was slightly better than their offense in 2020. They ranked 67th in points per game on offense and 41st in points allowed. Much of their defense is returning, so expect at least a slight improvement in that phase.
UTSA’s regular-season win total is set at 7.5 wins, according to Action247 Sportsbook. The odds for over 7.5 wins are -213, and under is -120. They have +300 odds to win the C-USA, tied with UAB for 2nd best odds in the conference. They have the same odds as Marshall and UAB to win the National Championship at +500000.
#3. UAB Blazers | +300 to Win C-USA Title
The defending C-USA Champions head into the 2021 season tied with the 2nd best odds to repeat as champs. They’re already off to a good start at 1-0 after beating Jacksonville State in a mid-week game.
Senior quarterback Tyler Johnston III balled out in UAB’s first contest, and we expect him to continue that all season. Johnston led the C-USA in passing yards per attempt in 2019. He was also 10th in the nation that season.
UAB also had a solid defense in the 2020 season. They ranked 26th in the FBS. Nothing like the 13 points that Marshall averaged, but their opponents averaged 21.4 points per game.
Action247 Sportsbook has the Blazers win total at 6.5 wins. They have the second-best odds to win the conference at +300 and are +500000 to win the National Championship.
#4. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | +700 to Win C-USA Title
Western Kentucky, a long shot to win the National Championship much like the rest of the C-USA, but their win total is set at only 5.5 this season. The Hilltoppers look like at least a 6 win team.
The Hilltoppers are coming off a 5-7 season where they went 4-3 in the conference. They also had a stout defense in 2020. It ranked 40th in the FBS and allowed just over 25 points per game.
Offensively, they had a few issues. They ranked 115 out of 128 in points per game, averaging only 19.
Houston Baptist transfer QB Bailey Zappe looks to come in and change that. Zappe played in only four games with Baptist last season. He threw for 1,833 yards, 15 touchdowns, and one interception in 141 completions.
We would take the over on the 5.5 wins. Action247 has them at +700 to win the C-USA, and we don’t mind those odds either. Look for big things out of the 2021 Hilltoppers.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.