The Memphis Tigers may be coming off of the biggest win in the history of the football program, but they now look overvalued as double-digit road favorites visiting Tulsa on Friday.
The undefeated road team could be overvalued Friday night as a double-digit road favorite while coming off of possibly the biggest win in the history of its football program when those now 18th ranked Memphis Tigers (6-0, 3-2-1 ATS) pay a visit to the high octane offense of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-3, 3-2-1 ATS) in AAC action from H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, OK at 8:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Tulsa as a large home underdog for this contest with the current line at +11 with odds of -106.
Three Undefeated Ranked Teams From the AAC
Memphis remains undefeated, but the Tigers were lacking a statement win until this past Saturday when they upset now 24th ranked Mississippi of the SEC 37-24 at home as 10-point underdogs, catapulting themselves into the rankings at number 18 and joining Houston (21st) and Temple (22nd) as undefeated and ranked AAC teams, which is something nobody probably could have predicted before the season following Week 7!
Tulsa on the other hand was a losing college football pick by a 30-17 score at East Carolina Saturday, marking the first time this year that the Golden Hurricane scored fewer than 24 points and dropping them to 0-2 inside the AAC following an earlier loss to Houston. Still, the offense should get back on track with the return home here and this is like the Super Bowl for Tulsa, not only because of the opponent but also because an upset would keep it alive in the West race.
Memphis Defense Still a Concern…
While Memphis deserves credit for now having now won 13 straight games going back to last season, we still have serious concerns about a defense that lost a lot of talent since last year and also a defense that allowed 752 total yards to Cincinnati a few weeks ago. The Tigers are ranked 105th out of 128 FBS teams in total defense allowing 445.3 yards per game, and they even allowed 480 yards in the upset last week while outgaining Ole Miss by just 12 total yards.
Obviously this team has been carried by an offense led by a bona fide NFL prospect in Paxton Lynch at quarterback, as the Tigers rank fourth in the country in scoring with 46.0 points per game and 10th in total offense at 532.8 yards per contest. As for Lynch, he finally threw his first interception of the year vs. the Rebels as he has completed an amazing 71.9 percent of his passes while averaging a potent 9.6 yards per pass with 13 touchdown passes vs. the one pick.
This is a terrible scheduling spot for Memphis though going on the road as a decided favorite while coming off of possibly the biggest win in school history, and on a short week to boot! Plus even under the best of circumstances, the Tulsa offense presents a touch challenge for the shaky Tigers’ defense.
...And Tulsa Has a Great Offense Too
Tulsa may have been squashed by East Carolina, but the Golden Hurricane are still ranked sixth in the country ahead of Memphis in total offense at 550.5 yards per game, and they are a team that put up 38 points on the road in Norman vs. Oklahoma earlier this season! Furthermore, this is a very well balanced offense that should give Memphis fits, especially in Tulsa.
You see, the Hurricane are simultaneously ninth in the country in passing offense with 354.4 yards per game and 37th in rushing offense at 196.0 yards. So while Tulsa may have trouble stopping the Memphis offense, the same thing can be said about the Memphis defense vs. this potent Golden Hurricane unit. And an exchange of points should suit the double-digit dogs from Tulsa just fine, as it should lead to a close result either way.
Hurricane ATS Dominance Head-to-Head
Finally, the underdogs from Tulsa have dominated this head-to-head series from a betting standpoint as the Golden Hurricane are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Also, Tulsa is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 home games vs. teams with winning road records while Memphis is 5-13-1 ATS in its last 19 games after passing for more than 280 yards in its previous game.
It should be a rather rowdy environment in Tulsa for this nationally televised primetime game hosting an undefeated ranked team, and we look for the Golden Hurricane to feed off of the energy of the crowd and to stay inside this large double-digit spread hosting Memphis on ESPN Friday.
College Football Pick: Tulsa +11 (-106)