Tulane -18½ vs SMU.
Yes, there is more than one NCAA game on Thursday night this week, although the SMU–Tulane Conference USA matchup certainly won’t get much notice with top-ranked USC playing Oregon State the same night.
Still, a game is a game and a chance for a bettor on WagerWeb.com to win some money.
Neither of these teams are very good, with one win a piece. But Tulane (1-2) has been competitive against some big-time competition, losing close games to Alabama and East Carolina.
The Green Wave offense should have its best outing of the early season on Thursday night against a Mustang defense that is last nationally in total defense (530.5 yards per game). SMU (1-3) and Washington are the only FBS schools giving up more than 500 yards per game.
In addition, new coach June Jones’ run-and-shoot offense hasn’t really taken hold at SMU yet, as the Mustangs have turned the ball over 13 times, are last in Division I in rushing (31.3 ypg) and have given up 11 sacks.
The Green Wave are first in the nation with 13 sacks and have yet to allow an opponent to gain 100 yards in a first half. Tulane is first among Conference USA in most defensive categories, including sacks, scoring, yards, rushing, passing and third-down conversions.
SMU hasn’t beaten a Division I team yet or played a team from outside of Texas this season, winning against Texas State but losing to Rice, Texas Tech and TCU.
Look for a big day from Tulane RB Andre Anderson against an SMU defense that allowed 271 yards rushing to TCU in the last game. Anderson has carried the ball a whopping 71 times in the past two games and gained 157 (on a career-high 38 carries) in the Green Wave’s last game against Louisiana-Monroe.
Last season the teams played into overtime, with Tulane capturing a 41-34 triumph on the road. The win was the sixth in the last seven meetings for the Green Wave, who are 18.5-point favorites this week on WagerWeb.com.