No. 17 SMU vs. Tulane – NCAAF Odds & Picks

There’s doubleheader college football action this Friday on ESPN with the first game featuring what looks to be a mismatch as unbeaten SMU and its high-powered offense visits Tulane in American Athletic Conference action. Yet the Green Wave are less than TD underdogs on the college football odds. Interesting.

How to Bet SMU at Tulane NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 6 PM ET
  • Where: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: SMU -6.5 (total 64.5)

Last meeting

These clubs played in the 2019 regular-season finale at SMU and the Mustangs rolled to a 37-20 victory. Shane Buechele passed for three touchdowns and Xavier Jones ran for two scores. Buechele threw a 26-yard TD pass to James Proche with 10:23 left in the fourth quarter and Jones ran for a 25-yard TD less than three minutes later, giving the Mustangs a 34-17 lead. Buechele, who is still the SMU quarterback, was 15 of 27 for 180 yards with an interception. Justin McMillan completed 22 of 37 passes for 242 yards for the Green Wave.

This is the 27th meeting between SMU and Tulane, with the series tied at 13 games apiece. The Mustangs have won the last five matchups, dating back to 2015, including the last meeting in New Orleans (27-23). Prior to the 2019 meeting, the previous three meetings were decided by four points or less.

Why Bet on SMU?

The Mustangs are 4-0 and have a Heisman contender in QB Shane Buechele. In the team’s last game on Oct. 3, a 30-27 win over No. 25 Memphis, Buechele Poche was 32-of-45 passing for 474 yards and three touchdowns. That included catch-and-run scores of 70 and 85 yards to Reggie Roberson before the star receiver left the game with a left knee injury late in the third. Roberson finished with five catches for 243 yards. Chris Naggar kicked a 43-yard field goal with nine seconds left.

474 passing yards were the third most in a game at SMU, while his 501 yards of total offense was second for a Mustang. The game was Buechele’s 10th career 300-yard game and fourth 400-yard game, and he has thrown multiple TD passes in 14 of the past 16 games.

SMU had 549 total yards (474 passing, 75 rushing) and it was the 9th time in past 17 games with at least 500 yards. SMU is 4-0 for the second straight season (started 8-0 in 2019) and it was the 4th win for SMU under Sonny Dykes over a team in the Top 25 of the coaches poll, 3rd over an AP Top 25 team. Robertson’s effort was the 7th game of 200+ receiving yards at SMU. Roberson is the only one to do it twice (had 250 at Arkansas State in 2019).

Buechele was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort. The news isn’t all good though as Robertson and starting running back TJ McDaniel both will miss the rest of the season with injuries. Robertson suffered that knee injury vs. Memphis and McDaniel an ankle injury. Roberson, a senior who missed the final five games of the 2019 season with a foot injury, leads SMU with 22 receptions for 474 yards and five touchdowns this fall. McDaniel started the first four games for SMU and ranked second on the team in rushing (297 yards) and first in carries (60)

Why Bet on Tulane?

Tulane (2-2) last played on Oct. 8 at Houston and lost 49-31. Making his first career start, freshman quarterback Michael Pratt accounted for two touchdowns and threw for 141 yards, but Houston racked up 476 total yards in the game and held the Green Wave to just 211. Tulane forced five turnovers on the night by way of two interceptions by junior safety Macon Clark and three fumble recoveries. The defensive unit also racked up seven tackles for loss and three sacks.

Pratt became just the seventh Green Wave freshman to start under center since 1975. Tulane opened up a 24-7 lead with 13:50 to go in the second quarter, but the Cougars would respond by outscoring the Green Wave 21-0 to take a 28-24 lead. Tulane would reclaim the lead at 31-28, but Houston would respond once again, as it scored the game’s final 21 points. The Green Wave were held under 100 yards rushing for the first time in 56 games.

Tulane will look to avoid opening the year 0-2 at home. Since the opening of Yulman Stadium in 2014, the Green Wave have never opened the year 0-2 at home. Pratt will look to become the first true freshman to earn a win as a starter since 1985 (Terrence Jones in 1985 was the last).

SMU will be the highest ranked team to ever play inside Yulman Stadium. SMU will be just the third ranked opponent to play inside Yulman Stadium since the venue opened in 2014.

Tulane will be in search of its first win over a nationally-ranked since Oct. 6, 1984 (27-23 vs. Vanderbilt). The last time Tulane defeated a ranked opponent at home was back on Sept. 29, 1979 when it defeated SMU 24-17.

Game Trends

  • Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
  • Road team is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 meetings.
  • Mustangs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
  • Mustangs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Tulane.

Expert Prediction

SMU 39, Tulane 33

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