The Memphis Tigers hope to clinch a spot in the American Conference title game when they host the SMU Mustangs. Kickoff is at noon EST on Saturday, November 18 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Fans can watch the game on ESPN News.

Oddsmakers list Memphis as 11.5-point favorites at home. The over/under is an ambitious 75.5 points. Click here to check out a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.

SMU vs Memphis Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds

The no. 21 Tigers have been largely overlooked in the AAC because of undefeated Central Florida on the other side of the division. But Memphis has had an outstanding season despite a lopsided loss to UCF in September. That was Memphis’ only loss this season. The Tigers are 8-1 and one win away from clinching the AAC West division and potentially getting a rematch against Central Florida in the conference title game.

SMU, meanwhile, is just hoping to get back on track after back-to-back losses. The Mustangs are already bowl eligible at 6-4, but they’d like to close out the season strong after close losses to Central Florida and Navy the past couple of weeks. Also, SMU’s seniors have never beaten Memphis, with the Mustangs losing three straight to the Tigers, so the road team has plenty of motivation to pull off an upset this week.

Free NCAA Football Pick Against the Spread: SMU +11.5

Despite a slight difference in their record, these two teams are a spitting image of one another. They have both had their problems on the defensive side, but both are also among the top-10 nationally in points per game. As good as Memphis has been this season, I don’t think it’ll be easy for them to pull away from SMU. I’ll take the Mustangs to keep it close and beat the spread.

SMU may have lost two games in a row, but there’s no need for the Mustangs to be alarmed. They only lost by a touchdown against a Central Florida team that’s still undefeated. They also lost by only a field goal to Navy last week. Either game could have easily swung SMU’s way if a few plays had gone differently. If the Mustangs can play close games with those teams, particularly UCF, they can do the same against Memphis.

Click here for a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.

Also, the Tigers haven’t exactly blown out teams this season, at least when they’ve played quality competition. When Memphis has played teams like Navy, Houston, and UCLA, all teams that are likely to end up playing in bowl games, they won by less than a touchdown. The only teams the Tigers have blown out by 20-plus points are teams that aren’t going bowling this year. SMU is definitely a quality opponent, so it’s not hard to foresee a close game, albeit one that’s high-scoring. 

I believe that Memphis has the better quarterback in this game in Riley Ferguson. He’s the biggest reason why Memphis is 8-1 this year. But I actually think that SMU has the better offensive playmakers. That should result in a close game in which no team is ever out of it. My guess is the whatever team has the ball last is going to win. That means it’ll be a one-possession game with SMU beating the spread.