Game: Tulane Green Wave at SMU Mustangs
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Green Wave +14, Mustangs -14
If you’re heading to Dallas to watch Tulane and SMU battle in an American Athletic Conference game tonight, be prepared. The scoreboard is likely to blow up.
The Mustangs are unbeaten thanks, in large part, to an offense that can explode at any time. SMU averages 40.7 points and over 511 yards of offense per game. The Mustangs’ lowest point total of the season came last week in a 31-24 victory over Navy. SMU has scored 40 or more points three times posting a season-high of 56 against FCS Abilene Christian and putting up 42 in the team’s biggest win over the season against TCU.
SMU’s offense is led by QB Tanner Mordecai who has thrown for 1,893 yards and 26 touchdowns so far this season. As prolific as the passing game is for head coach Sonny Dykes, the Mustangs actually run the ball for 195.2 yards per game. The aptly named Ulysses Bentley IV is the team’s leading rusher with 405 yards.
The SMU offense will go up against a Tulane defense that has had its share of struggles this season. The Green Wave has given up 40 or more points in four of their six games this season. Ole Miss torched Tulane for 61 and East Carolina scored 52 two weeks ago. For the season, Tulane gives up 40.2 points per game. Head coach Willie Fritz’s defense gives up 474.2 yards of total offense. It’s hard to win games when you let teams run up and down the field on you.
As a result of poor defensive play, the Green Wave have a record of just 1-5 this season. The only win of the season came against FCS Morgan State, a 69-20 victory. That win was also one of just two games in which Tulane has covered the spread this season.
History doesn’t bode well for Tulane either. SMU has won nine of the past games against the Green Wave. The only Tulane win in that span of games came in 2012 when the Green Wave won 27-26 at home. Tulane has had better success at home in this series. Last year at home, the Green Wave battled but lost 37-34. In the 2019 game played in Dallas, SMU won big, 37-20.
As much as the Mustangs score, it’s interesting that four of their last six games have seen the total go Under. Part of that has to do with some pretty big numbers. The total was 75 in-game against North Texas and 68.5 two weeks ago against South Florida. Both games went Under.
The total has gone Over is six of the last seven Tulane games. While the Green Wave has only covered two of the last six games against SMU, the total in the series has gone over in six of the last eight games. SMU is 11-1 in its last 12 home games and is a perfect 5-0 at home against SMU in the last five.