Tulane is 4-0 against the college football odds over its last four games, while SMU is 0-4 ATS its last four times out. Is that enough to push us towards the Green Wave for Saturday's matchup in Dallas?
Wave-Mustangs Betting Odds
This week's college football odds market opened this game with SMU favored by three points, the total posted as high as 62.5. As of Thursday morning the spread was holding steady, while the total had fallen to as low as 58.
Tulane (3-7 SU, 6-4 ATS) was expected to finish in the bottom half of the AAC West this season, and that is what will happen. The Wave started 2-2 this season, then lost five games in a row, several in non-competitive fashion. They got outgained by over 200 yards in a 49-10 loss at Temple, by 200 yards in a 42-7 loss to Houston and by 300 yards in a 41-13 loss at Memphis.
But Tulane snapped that losing streak last week with a 34-31 victory over Army up at West Point. The Wave spotted the Knights the first touchdown of the game, then scored the next 28 points. They then allowed Army to battle back and tie the game at 31-31 with two minutes to go, but drove 54 yards in nine plays to set up the game-winning field goal at the buzzer.
On the day Tulane outgained the Cadets 367-362, but got outrushed 216-115 and lost time-of-possession by 15 minutes.
Two weeks ago the Wave managed just 140 yards of offense in a 7-3 loss to Connecticut.
However, Tulane is 4-0 ATS over its last four games, covering at +25 against Navy, +30 against Memphis and +5 against UConn, and beating Army outright as a three-point dog.
SMU (1-9 SU, 4-6 ATS) was expected to finish last in the AAC West, and if they don't win this game that's just where the Mustangs will finish. The 'Stangs began this season with a 56-21 loss to Baylor, beat North Texas 31-13, but have lost every game since, several in blow-out fashion.
Last week SMU fell at Navy 55-14, whiffing on the spread as a three-touchdown underdog. The Mustangs fell down 28-0 before they hit the board, had the spread pushed at 34-14 through three quarters, but went dead from there, giving up three more Midshipmen scores.
SMU got outgained 484-268, gave up 403 yards rushing and lost time of possession by 11 minutes.
Three weeks ago the Mustangs gave up 60 points in a loss to Temple, failing to cover as 12-point dogs; and just before that they lost to Tulsa 40-31, missing ATS at +1. In fact, SMU is 0-4 ATS over its last four contests.
These two teams have played three common foes so far this season; Houston, Temple and Navy. Both teams lost all three games against those teams, and both teams went 1-2 ATS.
Tulane got outgained by the Cougars by 200 yards, and by the Owls by 235 yards, but actually outgained the Middies by 95 yards, in a game that was closer than the final score might indicate.
SMU, meanwhile, got outgained by Houston by 60 yards, by 140 yards by Temple and by 215 yards by Navy.
By the Numbers
Tulane is averaging just 100 yards per game rushing, but SMU is allowing 274 YPG on the ground. Meanwhile, the Mustangs are averaging 162 YPG rushing, while the Wave is allowing 178 YPG on the ground.
On the whole Tulane is getting outgained by 107 YPG, while SMU is getting outgained by 124 YPG.
These programs don't really have a recent history; they met every year from 2005-12 as members of Conference USA, but haven't met since.
Tulane is 5-5 on the totals this season, as Wave games have averaged 52 points.
SMU is 7-3 on the OVERS, as 'Stangs games have averaged a healthy 75 points.
Wave-Mustangs College Football Picks
Tulane has covered four spreads in a row, while SMU has lost four in a row ATS. Also, the Wave have outgained four of their last eight opponents, while the Mustangs have outgained just one of their last eight foes. We'll take Tulane, to win this game outright. Also, SMU just can't stop anybody on defense, so we're thinking this game should go OVER.