The No. 13 Albany Great Danes battle the No. 14 New Hampshire Wildcats in a Colonial Athletic Association spring football opener on Friday. Albany (9-5, 6-2 in 2019), which made it to the second round of the FCS playoffs a year ago before falling 47-21 to Montana State, was 3-4 on the road in 2019. New Hampshire (6-5, 5-3), meanwhile, has played well on its home field. Since 2008, the Wildcats have a 60-10 (85.7 percent) home record, including 41-7 (85.4 percent) mark against CAA teams. New Hampshire was 5-0 on its home field last season.
The game is slated to start at 7 p.m. ET at Wildcat Stadium in Durham, N.H. No fans will be allowed due to COVID-19. The Wildcats are 2.5-point favorites in the latest Albany vs. New Hampshire odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 44.5. Before making any New Hampshire vs. Albany picks, you’ll want to see the latest college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s Emory Hunt.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player’s perspective, and is a specialist when it comes to picking all levels of college football. He enjoyed a dominant 2019 season, going 116-79 against the spread while returning nearly $3,000 to $100 bettors.
- Albany vs. New Hampshire spread: New Hampshire -2.5
- Albany vs. New Hampshire over-under: 44.5 points
- Albany vs. New Hampshire money line: Albany +120, New Hampshire -140
- UA: Will take the field for the first time since Dec. 17, 2019, a span of 454 days
- UNH: Is 14-1 the past 15 home openers with the lone loss a 10-3 defeat against Colgate in 2018
Why New Hampshire can cover
Despite losing their leading rusher and wide receiver to graduation, the Wildcats still return a number of key offensive performers. Back is junior wide receiver Brian Espanet, who played in 11 games in 2019, including 10 starts. He made 25 receptions for 340 yards (13.6 average) and five touchdowns, with at least one catch in 10 of 11 games. He had eight games with multiple receptions, including a career high of four three times. He had four receptions for a career-best 79 yards and one touchdown against Villanova on Nov. 2.
Also expected to give the offense a boost is sophomore running back Dylan Laube, who finished third on the team in rushing. Laube played in 10 games with two starts, carrying 63 times for 285 yards (4.5 average) and one touchdown. He also was a key component to the special teams unit, setting a school record with eight kickoff returns for 175 yards. He was also the team leader in all-purpose yards with 1,372 and tied for the team lead with five touchdowns, including three receiving scores. He had 28 catches for 412 yards.
Why Albany can cover
Despite that, the Wildcats are not a lock to cover the Albany vs. New Hampshire spread. That’s because the Great Danes also return a good portion of their starters from 2019, including five on offense and seven on defense. Among those returning include prolific passer redshirt sophomore Jeff Undercuffler, who was named FCS Freshman All-America Second Team, the Postseason CAA Freshman of the Year, ECAC FCS Rookie of the Year, All-ECAC Second Team Offense and CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year. He appeared in all 14 games and had a single-season program-record 262 completions, 464 passing attempts, 3,543 passing yards and 41 passing touchdowns. The 41 TDs led all of FCS.
Also returning is senior running back Karl Mofor, the team’s leading rusher from a year ago. He earned All-CAA first-team honors and was named to the HERO Sports FCS All-America second team. He appeared in all 14 games, carrying 264 times for a conference-leading 1,290 yards (4.9 average) and 10 touchdowns. He also had 32 receptions for 319 yards and two TDs. Mofor had a season-high 193 all-purpose yards, including a 48-yard touchdown reception against Lafayette on Sept. 21.
How to make New Hampshire vs. Albany picks
Hunt has studied the matchup and found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins New Hampshire vs. Albany? And what crucial X-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the proven expert who specializes in picking all levels of college football.