Two of the college football teams I was bullish on heading into the 2013-2014 campaign are facing off in Louisiana Saturday as the 4-1 Pirates take on the 4-2 Green Wave. Let’s take a closer look at the fundamental matchups in this contest:
Tulane Green Wave:
- Tulane is averaging 28.2 points per game this season, including 3.4 yards per rush play, 6.0 yards per pass attempt and 320 total yards (4.6 yards per play; 11.4 yards per point);
- Overall, the Green Wave are 0.7 yards per rush play, 1.9 yards per pass attempt and 1.1 yards per play worse than average offensively in 2013;
- Tulane is allowing 25.0 points per game on 3.2 yards per rush play, 6.8 yards per pass attempt and 5.0 yards per play;
- Overall, the Green Wave are 0.7 yards per rush play, 0.1 yards per pass attempt and 0.3 yards per play better than average defensively.
East Carolina Pirates:
- East Carolina is 0.7 yards per rush play, 0.2 yards per pass attempt and 0.1 yards per play worse than average offensively this season;
- The Pirates are 1.3 yards per rush play, 0.4 yards per pass attempt and 0.4 yards per play better than average defensively in 2013.
Taking this analysis one step further, we learn that both teams have below average offenses and above-average stop units. Neither team will have success running the ball as East Carolina possesses a 2.1 yards per rush play advantage defensively over Tulane’s running game, while the Green Wave maintain a 1.5 yards per rush play advantage over the Pirates’ ground attack. Moving the chains through the air will also prove to be difficult as East Carolina has a significant 2.3 yards per pass attempt advantage defensively over Tulane’s aerial game, while the Green Wave maintain a 0.3 yards per pass attempt advantage over the Pirates’ passing attack.
From a technical standpoint, Tulane is just 25-43 ATS versus teams with winning records and 1-5 ATS in game before facing Tulsa, but the Pirates are a money-burning 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS as road favorites off consecutive wins. The situation favors the double-digit home underdog as East Carolina is making its third consecutive road trip, whereas the Green Wave are staying home for the second consecutive week and have a bye on deck. The home team is 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS in this series, and Tulane has already pulled three upsets this season over Louisiana Tech (7-point underdog), Louisiana-Monroe (12-point underdog) and North Texas (3-point underdog). Finally, some will point to the fact that East Carolina is 9-1 SU in this series, but Tulane is a profitable 6-3 ATS and lost three games by a total of 11 points. I like Tulane +10 to the win the game outright!