The Memphis Tigers (-8) are heading southwest to take on their AAC counterpart SMU Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. ESPN2 will broadcast the action and kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: Memphis Tigers vs. SMU Mustangs
In this Friday American Athletic Conference game, Memphis is projected as the favorite and is currently giving up 8 points. The Tigers are also receiving -340 moneyline odds while the Mustangs are +260. If one team can create a bunch of points early it’ll generate a nice betting opportunity in-game. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) sky-high at 72.5 points.
The game’s total has shifted downward after initially being set at 73. The opening line has remained firm.
The disappointing Tigers are 6-4 against the spread (ATS) and are down 10.2 units this season. The team has posted an Over-Under record of 5-4.
The Mustangs have been a pleasant surprise for moneyline bettors so far, gaining 9.0 units. They’re 5-5 ATS and have an even O/U record of 5-5.
The Tigers are 6-4 straight up (SU), including 3-3 SU against conference opponents. The Mustangs are 5-5 SU overall and 4-2 SU in conference play.
Both teams enter this matchup on two-game winning streaks. The Tigers are coming off a resounding 47-21 win over Tulsa last week where Brady White completed 14 passes for only 184 yards and two touchdowns. Darrell Henderson (166 rushing yards on 23 attempts, two TDs) and Patrick Taylor Jr. (96 yards on 20 carries, one TD) provided the ground attack in the win while Damonte Coxie (six receptions, 110 yards) and Tony Pollard (three catches, 53 yards) handled the receiving duties.
SMU just picked up a 62-50 win over Connecticut. The team’s defense allowed the Huskies to run for 365 yards on 49 rush attempts, including three rush TDs. Kevin Mensah torched the defense, recording 184 rushing yards and a score on 28 attempts for Connecticut. For SMU, Ben Hicks completed 19-of-29 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown. Ke’Mon Freeman (116 yards on 17 rush attempts, three TDs) and Xavier Jones (133 yards on 11 carries, two TDs) spearheaded the ground game in the win while James Proche (six receptions, 101 yards) and Reggie Roberson, Jr. (five catches, 51 yards, one TD) led the pass-catching corps.
Memphis has run the ball on 58.9 percent of its offensive possessions this year while SMU has a rush percentage of 48.5 percent. The Tigers have rushed for 270.2 yards per game (including 249.5 per game against American Athletic Conference opponents) and have 34 scores via handoffs this year. The Mustangs are logging 130.0 rush yards per game (135.2 in conference) and have 16 total rushing TDs.
Judging by the results this season, it seems like the Tigers ought to hold an edge in all aspects of the ground game. Their backfield has generated 6.5 yards per carry while their defense is allowing 4.1 YPC to opponents. The Mustangs have ran for 3.8 yards per carry and given up a YPC of 4.4 to opponents.
The Tigers offense has averaged 261.7 yards in the air overall (236.7 per game against conference opposition) and has 23 passing TDs so far. The Mustangs have produced 260.0 pass yards per game (270 in the AAC) and have 25 total pass scores.
Memphis has allowed opponents to run for an average of 169.1 yards and pass for 231.6 yards per game. The SMU defense has allowed 229.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 201.7 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Tigers have given up an ANY/A of 6.58 to opposing QBs, while the Mustangs are yielding an ANY/A of 6.29.
White probably has the edge over Hicks in this matchup, as his adjusted net yards per pass attempt sits at 8.99for the season and 12.10 over the last two outings. Hicks’ ANY/A is 6.31 for the year and 9.19 over his past two outings.
When these two squads faced each other last year, Memphis knocked off SMU by three touchdowns 66-45.
Memphis Tigers at SMU Mustangs Free Pick
SU Winner: SMU, ATS Winner: SMU, O/U: Over