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Thursday's NCAAF action: What bettors need to know

Troy Trojans at Arkansas State Red Wolves (-7.5, 66.5)

Troy boasts one of the best non-BCS QBs in Corey Robinson. The senior has passed for nearly 500 yards over his first two games, connecting on five touchdowns, including four in the Trojans’ 66-3 blowout of Savannah State last weekend. Senior transfer Wilson Van Hooser is expected to be in the receiving corps and returning kicks after missing Week 2 with a concussion.

Arkansas State was mauled by Auburn, 38-9, last weekend but takes on a familiar foe in Troy Thursday. The Red Wolves have defeated the Trojans SU and ATS the past two seasons, covering as favorites in each of those games. Arkansas State and QB Adam Kennedy were able to move the ball against Auburn but got shut down in the red zone.

WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 80s, 17 percent chance of thunderstorms, winds west 4 mph.

LINE: Arkansas State opened at -10.5 and has been bet down to -7.5. The total is at 66.5.

TRENDS:


* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Trojans are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five conference games.
* Red Wolves are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference games.

Tulane Green Wave at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-7.5, 57)


Tulane couldn’t complete the comeback against South Alabama in Week 2 and was disappointed with its defensive performance, giving up 31 points in the first half. Head coach Curtis Johnson has shuffled his stop unit in hopes of sparking a sense of urgency versus Louisiana Tech. He is also looking to run the ball more after picking up only 45 yards on 27 carries last week.

The Bulldogs took a licking from North Carolina State in the season opener and picked up an easy victory over FCS Lamar in Week 2. Louisiana Tech welcomed RB Tevin King back after he missed last season with a knee injury, rushing for 182 yards last week. Fellow RB Kenneth Dixon, who ran for 1,194 yards and 27 TDs last year, injured his knee versus Lamar and could be a game-time decision Thursday.

WEATHER: Temperatures in low 90s with partly cloudy skies and winds blowing north at 1 mph.

LINE: La. Tech opened at -7.5. The total has moved from 57 to 57.5.

TRENDS:

* Green Wave are 0-4 ATS in their last four games in September.
* Bulldogs are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Over is 21-8 in Bulldogs’ last 29 home games.

TCU Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders (+3, 63)


Trevone Boykin replaced Casey Pachall as the starter last season and did just enough to get Texas Christian into a bowl game. He’ll take over at quarterback again Thursday, when the 24th-ranked Horned Frogs open Big 12 play on the road against Texas Tech. Boykin went 3-6 as a freshman in 2012 after Pachall left the team to seek treatment for substance abuse addiction and replaced him again Saturday, when Pachall broke his left arm in a win over Southeastern Louisiana.

Pachall is expected to miss eight weeks, but Boykin threw for a career-high 332 yards and four touchdowns in his third career start against the Red Raiders, who went on the road to upset TCU 56-53 in triple overtime last season. The win turned out to be a high point for Texas Tech, which went on to lose four of its last five regular-season games. The Red Raiders have opened 2-0 for the ninth straight year, averaging 51 points behind walk-on freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield.

WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 80s, partly cloudy skies, winds blowing SE at 9 mph.

LINE: TCU opened as a 3-point favorite and is as high as -3.5 at some books. Total has moved from 62 to 63.

TRENDS:


* Horned Frogs are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
* Red Raiders are 5-0 ATS in their last five games in September.
* Over is 6-0 in Red Raiders' last six games overall.

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