Friday College Pick: Memphis vs. SMU
Memphis Tigers (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. SMU Mustangs (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 11
Date/Time: Friday November 16th, 2018. 9:00PM (EST)
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium University Park, T.X.
Point Spread:MEM -8/SMU +8
Over/Under Total: 72.5
Friday night lights will shine onto Gerald J. Ford Stadium this week in front of a nationally televised audience when the SMU Mustangs host the Memphis Tigers. Despite the 5-5 record this season, SMU currently sits atop the AAC West Division at 4-2 in conference play thanks to wins over Houston and Tulane in recent weeks. If you consider the fact that SMU will get Tulsa next week who is among the worst teams in the conference, the Mustangs could take full control of the division if they can find a way to upset the Tigers this Friday. However, Memphis has been playing well, and they head into this week’s match-up with the Mustangs as 8 point road favorites.
SMU defense faces difficult match-up against Memphis
Despite SMU’s recent momentum, the Mustangs defense has still been vulnerable throughout the season especially against teams that run the football well. The bad news for SMU is that this Tigers’ offense does everything well. Quarterback Brady White has been excellent completing 64% of his passes with 22 touchdowns and just 2 picks on the season. White’s favorite target has been WR Damonte Coxie who has emerged as a big play threat with 949 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. The Tigers’ passing attack alone will pose as a threat to this SMU defense, but the bigger threat remains the Memphis ground game.
The Tigers’ running game poses the biggest threat behind tailbacks Darrell Henderson, and Patrick Taylor Jr have combined for more than 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns already this season. The duo has been phenomenal in the rushing game helping the Tigers average more than 270 yards per game on the ground. Memphis ranks 5th in the FBS in rushing, but I would consider them the 2nd best traditional offense in rushing if you exclude the option offenses of Georgia Tech, Navy, and Army that take up the top 3 spots. Now this Memphis offense will get the opportunity to square off against an SMU defense that ranks 99th against the run allowing over 200 yards per game which could present all types of troubles.
SMU needs to sustain momentum on offense
For the Mustangs to contend this Friday, they will have to find ways to keep their momentum on offense going. Over the last two games, SMU has been able to post huge offensive numbers including a 62-50 win over UConn last week. In the victory over UConn, SMU produced one of their biggest offensive outputs of the year gaining nearly 600 yards of total offense. Running backs Xavier Jones and Ke’Mon Freeman eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground for season highs as the Mustangs racked up more than 300 yards on the ground. Throughout the majority of the year, SMU has struggled to run the football, and they desperately need to build off the momentum from last week’s win. Obviously, Memphis has a much better defense to face SMU’s offense this week, but the Mustangs will have to find some firepower because I don’t see anyway the Tigers fail to post big numbers. If SMU fails to run the ball effectively, it could turn into a long night for the home team.
Memphis vs. SMU betting trends
Memphis has some of the biggest home/away splits in the country. The Tigers have been excellent at home and questionable, to say the least on the road. The Tigers have failed to cover in 4 of their last 5 road games. Meanwhile, SMU has also been trending in the wrong direction failing to cover 12 of their last 18 games. In terms of head to head meetings, the Tigers have won each of the last 4 meetings while covering 4 of the last 5.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Too much Memphis firepower for this SMU defense especially in a primetime spotlight. Take Memphis -8 for a big bet! Editor’s Note: If you like to bet big check out BetOnline for massive CFB limits and even better, new players get a free bonus up to $2500!