Houston Cougars (7-1) vs SMU Mustangs (3-5)Date : 11/03/2018
Time : 7:00 pm EST
Location : Gerald J. Ford Stadium, University Park, Texas
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Houston Cougars vs SMU Mustangs
The 17th ranked Houston Cougars will travel to Gerald J Ford Stadium in University Park, Texas, to battle the SMU Mustangs on Saturday night at 7 pm EST with huge AAC implications involved. The Mustangs are coming off a heartbreaking 26-20 home loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats in their last outing as the road team needed overtime in which to score on an interception return from Ben Hicks errant throw in which to get the victory while sending the Mustangs to their second loss in three games. The Cougars continued their stellar streak in winning their fifth in a row with a 57-36 home win over the South Florida Bulls last Saturday as their explosive offense outscored the road team in the second half by a 29-15 score en route to the blowout victory. Their last meeting entailed the Cougars picking up the 35-22 home win on October 7, 2017, as Houston covered as ten-point favorites. In all, the home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings amongst these squads while the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
Houston Cougars's Latest Performance :
Houston has not scored less than 40 points all year. They hung 57 at home versus a then 7-0 South Florida team last weekend while Houston’s defense allowed their offense just 467 yards. The Cougars put up close to 700 yards total for the game as D’Eriq King shined once again with 419 yards along with five TD’s next to two INT’s for the game with Jeremy Singleton (5 rec, 125 yds, TD) along with Marquez Stevenson (6 rec, 106 yds, 2 TD’s) were his main targets, once again, in the win.
And while their defense allowed 206 yards on the ground to the Bulls along with Blake Barnett passing for 263 yards, TD, and an INT in the game, the Cougar offense was more than enough to get the win and cover in their third straight game. For their next matchup, expect the Cougars to shore up their pass secondary, which is allowing 325 yards per game to opponents, in that with Ben Hicks is passing well versus conference opponents this year.
SMU Mustangs's Latest Performance :
SMU’s Ben Hicks ruined an outstanding day under center by throwing a pick six in overtime to seal the victory for the visiting Cincinnati Bearcats last Saturday. He threw for a total of 328 yards along with two touchdowns in the outing while getting no help from the rushing attack that put up only 23 yards for the game. Reggie Robertson Jr ended with 147 yards on seven catches and two TD catches on the day as the Mustangs finished with 351 total yards in the contest while allowing 477 yards for the Bearcats.
SMU’s defense also collected three turnovers for the day yet were pounded on the ground for 125 yards while Desmond Ridder passed for 352 yards, 2 TD’s, along with two picks for the Bulls. The Mustangs, in all, continue to struggle on the offensive end as they are only putting up 27 points per game while the defense is allowing 32 points per game in their last three outings. The good thing for the Mustangs is that Ben Hicks will certainly bounce back from this outing in that he has thrown 7 TD’s along with 2 INT’s versus AAC opponents this year.
How Houston Cougars & SMU Mustangs Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Houston is 5-3 ATS while the OU is 5-3
SMU is 4-4 ATS while the OU is 3-5
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Much is riding on the winner of this game in that the Mustangs, despite their 3-5 record, are sitting in second place within the AAC West division while Houston is the top seed. With that being said, expect the focus and intensity to be present throughout the contest. Last year, Houston picked up the 13-point win over the Mustangs, however, the Mustangs would like nothing better than to get the win after a terrible loss to the Bearcats in their last outing. To do this, they must be able to put much more points on the board. Nonetheless, with the Cougars being soft in the back-end of their defense, the home team may indeed have a slight chance to accomplish the impossible on Saturday.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: SMU Mustangs +13
My reason for the pick :
I will back the Mustangs in this contest to cover the spread due to the fact that Hicks will certainly be looking for a much better performance to make up for his awful overtime versus the Bearcats. Also, since the Cougars have performed so inconsistently within their pass secondary, expect for the Mustangs to have a fighter’s chance to keep this game close. With that being the case, look for the home team keep this game close as SMU has covered well versus AAC opponents at home this year (2-0).
Totals Selection: Pick: Over 72
My reason for the prediction :
While the under was the play in the last matchup versus these teams as well as the play in the last three games for the Mustangs, I will back the over in this contest in that the Mustangs are middle of the road on defense this year while allowing 35 points per game to their opponents. Houston is awful in defending the pass while their rush defense is average, at best. Also, the Cougars are also allowing 480 total yards per game to their opponents while giving up 30 points per game. With that being the case, I expect this game to be a shootout as well as one to where the Mustangs will remain within reach of the win.
Betting trends for Houston Cougars:
- Over is 4-0 in Cougars last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Cougars last 4 games on fieldturf.
- Cougars are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf.
Betting trends for SMU Mustangs:
- Under is 7-1 in Mustangs last 8 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-1 in Mustangs last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Mustangs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.