This Thursday the Houston Cougars will host the No. 16 SMU Mustangs in AAC play. The kickoff is set for 7:30 EST at TDECU Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers opened up this game at SMU -13, but early money has the line up to -13.5. The total for this game is at 65.5.

Click here for a full look at the Week 9 CFB odds and for more links to our game previews.

Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: SMU vs Houston

SMU Mustangs (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS)

You hear a lot about transfer quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields putting up amazing numbers. What about Shane Buechele at SMU. The Texas transfer has thrown for 2,122 (7th) yards with 18 touchdowns (T-1oth). He just threw for 457 yards and 6 TD’s in last week’s 45-21 blowout win at home over Temple as a mere 7.5-point favorite.

The books have been slow to adjust to the Mustangs, as they are 6-1 ATS to start the year. They have also not done a good job adjusting the totals in SMU games, as the OVER is a perfect 7-0. Mustangs lowest offensive output this season is 37 points (averaging 44.3 ppg).

Houston Cougars (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)

Prior to the season if you said one of these two teams was going to be ranked in the Top 20 when this game was played, just about everyone would have said it would be Houston. The Cougars not only had an elite QB coming back in D’Eriq King, they also signed away Dana Holgorsen from West Virginia to be their new head coach.

After starting the season 1-3 and fresh off a brutal loss at Tulane (blew 28-7 lead in a 31-38), King called it quits on his teammates and decided to use his redshirt to save a year of eligibility.

Most assumed at that point the Cougars season was over, but they came out in their first game without King and whooped North Texas 46-25 as a 7.5-point dog. The problem is the followed that up with a 15-point loss at home to Cincinnati and then barely held on to beat UConn 24-17 as a 21.5-point favorite.

Matchup History

Last year SMU upset Houston 45-31 as a 14-point home dog. The two have split the last 4 meetings, but one thing to note is the success of the home team in this series. home team has won 4 straight and 7 of the last 8 overall.

Free NCAAF Pick & Betting Predictions: SMU -13.5

There is some concern here that the books have over-adjusted the line in favor of SMU, knowing how much action they are going to get on this game with it being the only college football contest on the board for Thursday. Even so, I would roll the dice here with SMU under two touchdowns.

Click on the link for more free NCAAF picks from our experts on staff.

I just don’t if people really understand just how bad this Houston team is without King. They got Dana Holgorsen’s son starting at quarterback. Logan Holgorsen isn’t the answer. He was 7 of 15 for a mere 123 yards against UConn. Keep in mind the Huskies had just given up 49 to Tulane, 48 to USF and 56 to UCF in their previous 3 games.

I just don’t see that offense being able to keep pace with Buechele and the Mustangs high-powered attack. SMU has scored 40+ points in every single game they have played against a FBS opponent and that includes 41 on the road against TCU and 48 at South Florida.

Buechele is going to have a field day against this Cougars secondary. Houston has allowed 330+ passing yards in 3 games this season and are allowing a staggering 8.2 yards/pass attempt.

Another thing is the SMU defense isn’t horrible. They are only giving up 3.5 yards/carry against the run (held 4 teams under 100 yards) and are only giving up 57% completions and 6.3 yards/attempt. Give me SMU -13.5!