SMU Mustangs (1-4 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Houston Cougars (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Thursday, October 8th, 8:00pm
Where: TDECU Stadium Houston, Texas
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SMU +25.5/Hou -25.5
Over/Under Total: 74.5
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Thursday night on ESPN2, the SMU Mustangs will travel into Houston to take on the Cougars. SMU enters at 1-4 overall while Houston is undefeated at 4-0. Conference wise, SMU is 0-1 in the American Athletic and Houston is 1-0. This is both teams second conference game of 2015. Head to head, Houston has won eight of the last ten meetings, with SMUs last win coming three years ago. Houston has dominated this series, but on a Thursday night, and with such a large point spread, anything goes.
The line for this one opens with Houston as a 25.5 point favorite at home while the total points are set at 74.5. As of Tuesday morning, 59% of the betting action believes that Houston gets the cover and another 54% thinks that this game goes over the posted total. Houston has not only dominated the head to head in this series, but they have also covered the point spread in five of the last six showdowns with SMU. 25.5 is a lot of points, but another stat to take note of is that the favorite in this game has covered the last six straight. Could that be a sign?
Houston comes in as the heavy fave and 4-0 overall. With the exception of a win at Louisville, their schedule has not been much to brag about. With that said however, Houston has been able to put games away early behind the play of their offense. Quarterback, Greg Ward Jr, has already thrown for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns in just four games this season. Not only has the passing game been a success, but the Cougars are also having progress running the ball. Five players on offense have already rushed for over 100 yards on the season, but the team leader is Greg Ward Jr who runs for an average of about 7 yards per carry and has already ran for nearly 500 yards in 2015. Ward is the true leader and the Cougars and as he goes, Houston goes. The key will be to score score score. SMU can score on occasion but if the Houston offense clicks like usual, it will be hard for the Mustangs to keep up.
SMU looked deadly in their season opening half. When they hosted Baylor they had a one half shootout, but once halftime ended it was all Baylor. SMU has weapons, it is just a matter of them working together to make the plays needed to keep drives alive. SMU quarterback, Matt Davis, also has had a great start to the 2015 season. He has thrown for nearly 1,200 yards, eight scores, and just two interceptions. Just like Houston, the leading rusher for SMU is also their QB. Davis has ran the ball 88 times for 380 yards and six touchdowns. Pretty impressive. What has not been impressive this season is the SMU defense. The Mustangs have given up scores of 56, 56, 48, and 49 in their four losses. The fact that they cannot keep teams out of the end zone is the reason for the record of 1-4. If SMU has any chance of winning this game or even covering the 25.5 points, they must play some type of defense. Turnovers would help, but even if they could just hold Houston to some field goals rather than touchdowns, it could be a much closer game that anticipated. COULD BE.
This is a bad match up for SMU. I will keep this very simple. The favorite usually covers the spread in this game, and Houston has absolutely dominated the series for the last decade plus. Just role with the Houston Cougars minus the points. I foresee a huge blowout. I think this game ends something like 58-20.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: HOUSTON -25.5 AND OVER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 74.5
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