NCAA Football Free Pick: Connecticut Huskies vs. Memphis Tigers

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A couple of schools that like to mix in a lot of running plays, Coach Randy Edsall and the Connecticut Huskies (+35) will be taking on the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial. Kickoff for this conference showdown is pegged for 7:00 p.m. ET and CBS Sports Network is scheduled to broadcast the action.

Betting Preview: Memphis Tigers vs. Connecticut Huskies

Memphis has been tabbed as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 35 points to Connecticut. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at a pretty-high 77.5 points, and if one school can get out in front early, it will likely result in a solid betting scenario in-game.

The over is receiving most of the early sharp action, as the game’s O/U was placed originally at just 76.

The Huskies are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 0.0 units so far in 2018. The team has posted an Over-Under record of 2-2.

The Tigers have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors this season, losing 10.2 units. The team is 2-3 ATS and also has an even O/U record of 2-2.

The Huskies are 1-4 straight up (SU), including 0-2 SU against AAC opponents. The Tigers are 3-2 SU overall and are also 0-2 SU in conference play.

When these two teams met a year ago, Memphis knocked Connecticut off handily 70-31.

The Huskies hope to bounce back after a 49-7 loss to Cincinnati last week. the Huskies completed 14-of-36 passes for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception. David Pindell went nine-for-23 for 125 yards and one touchdown while Marvin Washington completed five-of-13 for 56 yards and one interception. Kevin Mensah (25 rushing yards on 15 attempts) led the ground attack. Kyle Buss (four receptions, 42 yards, one TD) and Aaron McLean (four catches, 97 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

One game ago, Tulane got the win against this Memphis team by a score of 40-24. The Tigers defense allowed the Green Wave to rush for 318 yards on 56 attempts, including four rush TDs. Darius Bradwell put up a productive showing in the win for Tulane, recording 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts. For Memphis, Brady White completed 14-of-30 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. White (-26 rushing yards on 11 attempts) and Darrell Henderson (51 yards on seven carries, one TD) handled the running game while Damonte Coxie (five receptions, 67 yards) and Pop Williams (three catches, 56 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.

Connecticut has run the ball on 55.5 percent of its offensive plays this year, including 49.0 percent across possessions in conference play. Memphis has a rush percentage of 53.4 percent, and has kept it on the ground 45.0 percent of the time against AAC opponents. The Huskies have produced 174.0 rush yards/game (including 152.5 per game versus American Athletic Conference opponents) and have six scores on the ground this year. The Tigers are logging 253.8 rush yards per game (132.0 in conference) and have 15 total rushing TDs.

If the numbers so far this season can translate to this game, then it seems like the Tigers should hold an edge in all aspects of the ground game. Their running backs has generated 7.3 yards per carry while the defense has allowed a YPC of 4.0 to opponents. The Huskies have registered 4.5 yards per carry while allowing 7.5 yards per rush attempt to opponents.

The Huskies offense has averaged 210.8 yards through the air overall (223.5 per game against conference opposition) and has nine passing TDs so far. The Tigers have produced 276.0 pass yards per outing (196 in the AAC) and have 14 total pass scores.

Defensively, Connecticut has allowed 311.2 rush yards and 351.8 pass yards per game. The Memphis D has allowed 168.6 yards per game to opposing passers and 184.4 yards per game to opposing runners. The Tigers are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 5.77 to opposing QBs, while the Huskies have allowed a staggering 12.01 ANY/A.

White likely has the edge over Pindell in this matchup. The Tigers man under center has an adjusted net yards per pass attempt 9.79 for the season and 8.42 over his last two outings while Pindell’s ANY/A is 6.63 (and 5.38 over the last two outings).

Connecticut Huskies vs. Memphis Tigers Betting Prediction

SU Winner: Memphis, ATS Winner: Connecticut, O/U: Over

Team Betting Trends

  • Connecticut was getting 16 points in its last game and the O/U was 62.5. The under cashed and Connecticut did not cover in the 49-7 loss to Cincinnati.
  • As a team, Connecticut has produced 4.36363636363636 yards per carry over its past three outings and 3.9 over its last two.
  • Memphis has averaged 7.0 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 4.5 over its last two.
  • The Memphis offense has lost four fumbles this season while Connecticut has lost six.
  • Memphis was the underdog by 15 points in its last outing and the O/U was 66. The under cashed and Memphis failed to cover in the 40-24 defeat to Tulane.
  • Over its last three games, Memphis is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The Huskies offense has registered four pass plays of 40+ yards, while the Tigers have accounted for six such plays.
  • The Connecticut defense has allowed seven pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Memphis has given up three such plays.
  • The Connecticut offense has created four rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Memphis has created 15 such runs.
  • The Huskies defense has allowed 19 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Tigers have given up 10 such runs.
  • The Memphis defense has notched double the sack total of Connecticut this year (12 versus six).