The SMU Mustangs (-19.5) and Connecticut Huskies are ready to go at it on the grass at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. ESPN 3 has the TV rights and the opening kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: SMU Mustangs vs. Connecticut Huskies
In this Saturday American Athletic Conference matchup, SMU is projected as the big favorite and is currently giving up 19.5 points. In order to take the favorite, moneyline gamblers would currently need to wager $1,700 to net $100 back on the Mustangs (-1700). The Huskies are getting +875 moneyline odds. If one team gets out in front early it’ll result in a decent live betting scenario. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 65 points.
Sharp bettors have been siding with both the Mustangs and the over. The game’s line originally opened at 18 while the total was initially set at just 63.5.
The surprising Mustangs have gained 8.0 units so far and are 5-4 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an Over-Under record of 4-5.
The Huskies are down 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 2-7 ATS and have an even O/U record of 4-4.
The Mustangs are 4-5 straight up (SU), including 3-2 SU against conference opponents. The Huskies are 1-8 SU overall and 0-5 SU in conference play.
The Mustangs are on the upswing after a 45-31 victory over Houston last weekTheir defense allowed the Cougars to rush for 190 yards on 47 attempts, along with one rushing TD. Marquez Stevenson had a good day for the Cougars in that one with 104 yards and a score on three catches. On the offense, Ben Hicks completed 28 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Ke’Mon Freeman (107 rushing yards on 20 attempts, two TDs) and Braeden West (53 yards on nine carries) led the ground attack in the win while James Proche (nine receptions, 90 yards, one TD) and Reggie Roberson, Jr. (nine catches, 134 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties.
One week ago, Tulsa got the victory against this Connecticut crew by a score of 49-19. The Huskies defense allowed the Golden Hurricane to eat up the clock by rushing for 470 yards on 57 attempts, including three rush TDs. Shamari Brooks put up a good outing for Tulsa, recording 151 rushing yards on 17 attempts. For Connecticut, David Pindell completed 14-of-28 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Pindell (150 yards on 23 rush attempts) and Kevin Mensah (67 yards on 17 carries) spearheaded the ground game in the defeat as Kyle Buss (six receptions, 129 yards, one TD) and Zavier Scott (four catches, 22 yards) led the Connecticut pass-catchers.
SMU has run the ball on 47.7 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Connecticut has an overall rush percentage of 59.3 percent. The Mustangs have produced 109.4 rush yards/game (including 99.2 per game versus American Athletic Conference opponents) and have 10 scores via handoffs this year. The Huskies are averaging 202.8 rushing yards per game (202.0 in conference) and have 13 total rush TDs.
The Mustangs offense has tallied 257.9 yards/game through the air overall (268.0 per game against conference opposition) and has 23 passing scores so far. The Huskies have recorded 183.2 pass yards per contest (205 in the AAC) and have 12 total pass TDs.
SMU seems to have an edge in both areas of the defense. The team’s allowed opponents to run for an average of 183.6 yards and pass for 231.4 yards per game. The Connecticut defense has allowed 293.9 yards per game to opposing passers and 333.0 yards per game to opposing runners. The Mustangs are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 6.42 to opposing QBs, while the Huskies have given up a whopping 11.81 ANY/A.
Offensively, Hicks is up to 1,315 passing yards this season, and has completed 112-of-199 attempts with 13 passing scores and only three interceptions. Hicks has a 6.27 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 7.87 over the past two games.
Reggie Roberson, Jr. (450 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns this season), James Proche (709 receiving yards, nine receiving TDs) and Braeden West (516 rush yards, five rush TDs, 210 receiving yards, one TD) have each played significant roles lately.
David Pindell has completed 130-of-222 passes for 1,487 yards, 11 TDs and seven INTs for Connecticut. His ANY/A stands at 5.60 for the year and 4.95 over his past two games.
We also expect the Connecticut offense to spread its attack this Saturday. David Pindell, Kevin Mensah and Kyle Buss have collectively accounted for 550 total yards and three touchdowns over the last two outings.
These two teams met a year ago with the final result being a 49-28 win for SMU.
SMU Mustangs vs. Connecticut Huskies NCAA Prediction
SU Winner: SMU, ATS Winner: Connecticut, O/U: Over
Team Betting Notes
- The O/U for SMU’s last game was set at 71.5. The over cashed in the team’s 45-31 win over Houston.
- SMU, as a team, has produced 2.7 yards per carry over its last three games and 3.4 over its last two.
- Connecticut has averaged 5.7 yards per carry over its last three contests and 5.4 over its past two.
- The Connecticut offense has lost nine fumbles this season while SMU has lost five.
- Over its last three matches, SMU is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Over/Under for Connecticut’s last outing was set at 59.5. The over cashed in the 49-19 loss to Tulsa.
- Over its last three matches, Connecticut is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- The Mustangs offense has produced 12 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Huskies have put up four such plays.
- The SMU defense has allowed four pass plays of 40 yards or more, while Connecticut has given up 10 such plays.
- The SMU offense has created nine rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Connecticut has created 14 such runs.
- The Mustangs defense has allowed 12 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Huskies have given up 38 such runs.
- The SMU defense has twice as many sacks as Connecticut this year (20 versus 10).