‘Under’ Trend Continues in Memphis-Houston Thursday AAC Showdown

memphis houston

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:41 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 12:41 PM GMT

A close contest is expected Thursday night in Houston where the Cougars are field goal favorites on the NCAA football odds against the Memphis Tigers in an important AAC game.

NCAAF Season Record: 20-24-1 (-4.45)

A couple of teams from the Sunshine State (UCF & USF) currently have control of the American Athletic Conference, but both the Memphis Tigers and Houston Cougars are lingering in the background as they prepare for a Thursday night ESPN battle (8 PM ET).

SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks differ on the spread, some listing Houston -2½ on its home field, others going with -3. The same is true for the total with 61-62 points in the mix. Both teams begin the game with 2-1 conference records and trailing AAC West leader Navy by half a game.

 

’Under’ A Winner In 11 Of Cougs’ Last 12

Riley Ferguson has bounced back big from an ugly 3-pick performance in the loss at Central Florida two weeks ago. He followed that up with seven scoring strikes in a rout of UConn, and tossed three more last week in a 30-27 win over Navy to leave him INT-free for both games. The final just missed covering the -3½ on closing NCAA football odds boards, the third time in four weeks that Mike Norvell’s squad failed to reward its backers, and the Midshipmen really shot themselves in the foot with five turnovers. Ferguson was briefly on the sidelines in the third with a knee injury, but came back in and is probable for this matchup.

Houston also stands 1-3 against the spread the last four games, but the Cougars have been an ATM machine for ‘under’ bettors. All six of their contests have come up short, totals which have ranged from as low as 44½ to as high as 68, though that has as much to do with the offense that is 86th in the country averaging 25.5 PPG as it does a defense that ranks 39th (21.0 ppg). First-year head coach Major Applewhite has not been able to find any consistency at quarterback with Kyle Postma taking over for Kyle Allen the last three games and getting picked off five times.

 

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

With AAC play still in its infancy, these two actually have one of the longer-running rivalries in the league after matching up as Conference USA foes. Houston has the 15-10 advantage, but saw its 6-game win streak end last year in Memphis where the Tigers bolted to an early lead and held on for a 48-44 decision in the final regular-season contest for both schools. The Cougars were 6-point road chalk, the final having more than enough to eclipse a 60½ point total. It was the third consecutive underdog cover in the series, and the last four played in Houston finished ‘under.’

The nice weather Southeast Texas is experiencing this week isn’t supposed to last for the weekend when rain returns on Friday and Saturday. At the very least, the surface of O’Quinn Field will be damp with muggy temps in the upper 70s for kickoff. I’m taking the ‘under’ for my free college football pick.

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 62Best Line Offered: Heritage

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