There is nothing like betting on a college football rivalry game. Here are my picks.

Bet Conference USA Football – Houston vs. BYU

The BYU Cougars will look to keep their surprising early season success going when they host the Houston Cougars in a Week 3 matchup that looks like it could turn out to be the most exciting affair on the entire Week 3 docket.

Thanks to this expert betting preview and analysis on this Thursday night matchup, you’re going to have a great chance to cash in with a potentially winning wager on this Thursday night showdown.

Matchup: Houston Cougars at BYU Cougars
Spread: BYU -18.5
Total: N/A
Kickoff: 9:00 PM ET

This will be the second meeting between BYU and Houston after the two teams met a year ago and put on a show that was one of the most exciting games in all of 2013.

When the two historically offensive-minded programs squared off at Reliant Stadium for the first time last October – and they produced an ‘instant classic’ kind of contest.

BYU and Houston combined to put up a mind-boggling 1,164 yards and 93 points as BYU escaped with a narrow 47-46 win in an affair that an only be described as a shootout.

Now, No. 25 BYU comes into this season’s matchup looking like they’re going to put up another 40-plus points while Houston looks to play more consistent football after splitting their first two games.

BYU (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) looked fantastic in beating Connecticut 35-10 as a 15.5-point road favorite in Week 1, but they really outdid themselves in pounding the snot out of the ‘new-look’ Texas Longhorns in their shocking 41-7 road win on Saturday.

BYU is currently averaging a stellar 38 points a game while putting the clamps on their opponents defensively as well y allowing a paltry 8.5 points per contest on defense. Still, head coach Bronco Mendenhall isn’t taking Houston lightly even with their early struggles.

“The same as a year ago. Really good schemes and good players,” Mendenhall told reporters. “They’re doing a nice job. They’re capable against anybody they play.”

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill threw for a career-high 417 yards and rushed for 128 yards against Houston last season to become one of just seven players in NCAA history to throw for 400 yards and rush for more than 100 in the same game.

"When you talk about dual-threat, if you looked up a dual-threat quarterback in a dictionary, they should have his picture there as an example," Levine said of Hill. "They list him at 6-foot-2, 233 pounds . Going back to the video and what we saw on the field last season, he looks a lot bigger than that. He’s extremely fast."

Houston (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) coach Tony Levine is hoping to see more consistency from his offense when his teams gets to Provo even though his team bounced back from their season-opening Week 1 loss to UTSA to soundly demolish an overmatched Grambling team 47- 0 in Week 2.

“I don’t think we’ve shown what we’re capable of yet," Levine said. "So in terms of what our identity is or how well we can play on the offensive side of the football, I don’t know if we established that yet."

“The first two games, our performance in game one was a disappointment and I think the game against Grambling we did some good things,” Levine said. “We had some explosive plays, but there are still some things we need to correct and work on.

“Offensively, our philosophy is we want to get first downs, and we want to move the chains," Levine said. "That is regardless of who we are playing. We have to get positive yards, especially on first down.”

The Cougars however, will be facing a short week after their late game and no practice on Sunday.

"We saw improvement from week one to week two, and with this short week, our preparation with our student-athletes began [Sunday]. We had extensive meetings and we will have practice [Monday evening]. We leave in two days to head to Utah to play BYU on Thursday," Levine said. "Certainly, an outstanding opponent. Coach Mendenhall has done a great job in his time there. Very, very physical team in all three phases.”

Houston has racked up a pristine 7-0 ATS mark in its last seven road games while also going 4-0 ATS in their L/4 road games against teams with a winning record.

Still, with Houston struggling out of the gate and the BYU Cougars going 3-0-1 ATS in their last four home games and an encouraging 5-1 ATS in their last six games in the month of September, I think they’re the easy pick to win and cash in.

My Football Betting Odds Pick: BYU -18.5 Points

Houston Cougars at BYU Cougars
Football odds have the BYU Cougars as 18.5 point favorites over the Houston Cougars in NCAAF week 3 betting action.
Starts: 09/11/2014 9:00PM
LaVell Edwards Stadium, 1700 North Canyon Rd
Provo, Utah