SMU Mustangs vs. Tulane Green Wave Betting Picks

October 13, 2020

Date:Friday, October 15th
Time:6:00
Venue:Yulman Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:SMU -6.5
O/U:65

The 4-0 SMU Mustangs will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 2-2 Tulane Green Wave at 6:00 PM ET in Yulman Stadium. The Green Wave come in as touchdown home underdogs and we’re expecting a high-scoring affair with a 67 over/under. The Mustangs have been perfect through four games and they’ll look to keep it rolling against a Tulane team that won’t give an inch. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will cover the spread.

When the SMU Mustangs Have The Ball

The Mustangs have been superb to start the season and they finally got a win last time out against a ranked opponent. The Memphis Tigers led for the entire second half until SMU kicked a field goal with nine seconds remaining. They threw for 474 yards and forced four turnovers in the 30-27 victory. 

This offense is led by QB Shane Buechele, who’s already thrown for 1,326 yards through four games on top of 10 touchdowns. He’s thrown two picks, but one wasn’t his fault and the other was on a long third down. He spreads it around efficiently with five different receivers hauling in double-digit balls. 

Reggie Roberson Jr. leads the way with 22 catches for 474 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Kyle Granson is a monstrous Red Zone threat and he’s converted two of his 13 catches into scores. WR Rasheed Rice is a constraint deep threat, averaging 16 yards per reception en route to 272 yards. Danny Gray can stretch the field as well and he’s proven to be a TD monster with three early season scores. 

While SMU loves to throw the ball, they’re far from a one-dimensional team. In fact, the Mustangs average the 16th most rushing yards in the nation at 219 per game. It’s a two-headed attack with T.J McDaniel and Ulysses Bentley offering very different approaches to the position. McDaniels has more carries early in the season, but it’s been Bentley with 412 yards and seven scores. He has a nose for the end zone and the Green Wave must slow him down. 

When The Tulane Green Wave Have The Ball

The Green Wave have performed to par this season, beating the teams they’re supposed to and losing to the ones they shouldn’t. They’re coming off a 49-31 loss to the Houston Cougars in a game that was closer than the score indicates. The Green Wave led at halftime before ultimately losing the lead and any momentum they had. 

They stayed in the game with defense, turning over the Cougars five times. If they want to contend with SMU, the defense will have to show up in a big way. The Mustangs will drive down the field with consistency otherwise and this isn’t a Green Wave offense built to keep up. Expect them to blitz Buechele early and often in an attempt to win the field position battle with an early turnover.

When Tulane has the ball, they’re going to run the ball down your throat. They average the 10th most rushing yards per game with 242 per game. Cameron Carroll and Tyjae Spears have combined for nearly 600 yards on the ground and four total backs have totaled over 100 yards. Carroll is the goal line back with seven scores. 

While Tulane doesn’t throw the ball a ton, they’re balanced when they do. 10 different receivers have caught two or more balls, though only one has gone over 100 yards or caught a TD. Jha’Quan Johnson could be a star-WR if it wasn’t for this system, but he can still hurt a defense if they focus too much on the run in the red zone. 

Freshman QB Michael Pratt has taken over the reigns at QB and he’s done a much better job than Keon Howard did of taking care of the football. He’s thrown for 283 yards and three touchdowns on top of 31 rushing yards and another two scores. He’ll have to continue taking care of it against an SMU defense that hunts for turnovers. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: SMU -6.5

The Green Wave are a tough team to deal with then they get a lead. They run the ball a ton and don’t turn it over. However, I don’t think they ever get one against an SMU team that’s clicking on all cylinders. Shane Buechele knows this offense like the back of his hand and this is the most balanced offense he’s had to work with since becoming a starter. I don’t expect Tulane to be able to turn them over once or twice, and this Mustangs offense is just too lethal. 

SMU is better at stopping the run than they are the pass, so the strengths of Tulane play into the hands of the defense. I don’t expect a blowout here by any means, but I do think SMU holds a one to two-touchdown lead for the majority of the game and I’m a big fan of SMU -7. They’re the better team on both sides of the ball and I expect them to enforce their will from start to finish. 

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Total Prediction

This SMU offense scores a ton and the defense gives it up through the air, so you can expect a high total every time SMU takes the field. Tonight, however, I like the under as they face off with a squad that will be looking to run the ball. They’ll have moderate success, but I expect SMU to make some big spots and a winding clock comes along with them. 

SMU is also more balanced than ever, so they don’t have to keep passing once they’re ahead. Ulysses Bentley has been one of the best backs in the country and he’s spelled by a trusted veteran. I expect SMU to get out to an early two-touchdown lead and for them to pound the rock in an attempt to keep the turnovers down. Give me the under, but it’s close. 

The Pick: Under 65
Final Score Prediction: SMU 34, Tulane 24
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