Southern Miss

Las Vegas finally has confidence in Southern Miss

Southern Miss is a 16-point favorite to beat North Texas at home on Saturday, marking the first instance in quite some time where USM has been favored to beat an FBS opponent. It's been even longer since the football program won as a favorite.

This week's game ends a run of 21 consecutive games where the Golden Eagles have been the underdog headed into a game against an FBS squad.

The last time USM was supposed to have the upper hand against a team on the same level of competition came on Oct. 5, 2013, when a winless Florida International team came to Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles were a 16.5-point favorite, but the Panthers left Roberts Stadium with a 24-23 victory after USM missed a last-second field goal try.

USM was actually favored in the first two home games of Todd Monken's first season as head coach. The Eagles were an 8.5-point favorite in the 2013 season opener against Texas State but lost 22-15 in a sloppy affair.

The last time Southern Miss won as a favorite came on Dec. 24, 2011, in the Hawaii Bowl when it was a 9-point favorite against Nevada and came out on top, 24-17.