Rutgers Vs. South Florida: Betting Odds, Preview And Prediction

GAINESVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback B.J. Daniels #7 gives the ball to Moise Plancher #3 of the South Florida Bulls during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 11 2010 in Gainesville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It may be early in the college football season but Thursday night gives us a national TV game that might go a long way toward deciding who wins the Big East Conference.

The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers visit the South Florida Bulls (7:30 pm ET, ESPN) and Las Vegas has seen this matchup regularly go in favor of Rutgers in recent years, according to the matchup stats.

"The Knights are on a 5-0 ATS run against SFU and they have won six of seven meetings straight up," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com, the NCAA football lines provider to SBNation.

This game has seen some line movement. Earlier this week, many online sportsbooks opened South Florida as a favorite of nine and even 10 points, but as of Wednesday morning most CFB betting shops were listing the Bulls at -7.5 for Thursday's game.

Also, the total on this game opened at most places at 46, but has since fallen to 45 at shops such as Top Bet.

USF, which returned 15 starters this year from a team that went 5-7 last year, is off to a 2-0 start to this season. Two weeks ago the Bulls dispatched of FCS Chattanooga 34-13, then last week came from behind to win at Nevada 32-31.

South Florida had a relatively easy time of it against the Moccasins, but fell behind 21-6 and 31-20 against the Wolf Pack. The Bulls then scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes on BJ Daniels' TD passes, the second with just 30 seconds to go, to steal the victory.

On the other side of this matchup Rutgers, also with 15 starters back after going 9-4 last year, is off to a 2-0 start for new head coach Kyle Flood. The Knights opened with a 24-12 win over Tulane, then last week blanked FCS Howard 26-0.

Rutgers hasn't exactly lit the world on fire offensively through its first two games, but the Knights have rushed for 151 and 191 yards in their two victories.

Rutgers has won five of the last six games in this series. Last year up in Jersey the Knights trailed 17-3 midway through the fourth quarter, but rallied to tie the game and won it 20-17 in overtime. That was one of three games last year the Bulls lost by exactly three points.

Free Pick: South Florida blew last year's game vs. Rutgers, so redemption might play a part in this game. We'll give the points and take the Bulls Thursday night.

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