The SMU Mustangs look to stay in contention for a spot in the American Athletic Conference title game when they host the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Kickoff will be at 9:00 EST on Friday, October 27 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. Fans can watch the game on ESPN2.
SMU opened as a 7-point favorite in this game, but heavy betting in favor of the Mustangs has pushed SMU to a 10-point favorite. The over/under for the game is an ambitious 73.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.
Tulsa vs Southern Methodist Vegas Betting Preview
The Mustangs had to go to overtime with Cincinnati last week, but they survived and still have just one loss in conference play. That keeps them alive in the American West division. Losses to TCU and Houston are the only blemishes on SMU’s schedule, so they’ve done well against lesser teams. The Mustangs also have one of the top offenses in the country, scoring 42 points per game.
Tulsa, meanwhile, needs to win out just to reach a bowl this year. The Hurricanes have lost five of their last six games, including a disappointing 21-14 loss to UConn last week. Prior to that, Tulsa had one of the most explosive offenses in the American Conference. However, they couldn’t get much going offensively until the 4th quarter.
Free Point Spread Pick & Predictions: SMU -10
I’m going to bet on Tulsa being demoralized after last week’s loss to UConn and coming out flat on a Friday night on the road. The Mustangs had trouble getting their offense going after halftime last week, but at home, they should have no problem scoring points. I’ll lean toward SMU to win by at least two touchdowns and cover the spread.
In home games this season, SMU is averaging better than 51 points per game. To be fair, they have faced the weaker teams on their schedule at home. But Tulsa definitely fits into that category. Not only are the Golden Hurricanes 2-6, but they are giving up more than 37 points per game. They have also given up more than 40 points in half their games this season, so it’s likely they will struggle to slow down the SMU offense.
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In theory, Tulsa has an offense that’s capable of keeping up with the Mustangs. However, last week’s loss to UConn showed that the Golden Hurricanes aren’t always potent offensively. Tulsa managed plenty of yards last week but didn’t score until the 4th quarter. If they do that again this week, the Mustangs will win going away.
Tulsa’s problem offensively is that freshman quarterback Luke Skipper is not a running threat for a team that relies on its running game. Former starter Chad President was an inconsistent passer but helped Tulsa’s running game, which is their strength offensively. To be fair, the SMU defense has been shredded against the run throughout the season. However, Tulsa can be too dependent on the run and become one-dimensional, which can be problematic if SMU draws them into a shootout.
Ultimately, SMU is the better team and they’re playing at home on a short week. I also question Tulsa’s motivation for this game coming off a disheartening loss. Tulsa’s capable of staying competitive and pulling off the upset, but I have confidence in the Mustangs winning comfortably.