SMU at Memphis
Saturday, 9 am PT - ESPNN
CRIS Opener: Memphis -11.5 O/U 77
CRIS Current: Memphis -12.5 O/U 71.5
Seen this total get played down nearly a touchdown due to forecasted winds in the 20+ mph range. That’s an obvious concern for two teams in SMU and Memphis that like to throw the football. The passing games will still be on display but the deep shots could be limited. In terms of running the ball, SMU could have an advantage with stronger conference numbers than Memphis. Against AAC foes, the Mustangs average 5.2 ypc and 181.8 ypg. The Tigers are a notch below at 4.7 ypc and 150.7 ypg. Defensively, there isn't much that separates either squad. Memphis' overall numbers are slightly better but SMU's took a hit after back-to-back games against the potent offenses of UCF and Navy in which the defense allowed nearly 8 ypp combined.
I think the real storyline here is the seemingly inflated pointspread. Memphis is one of the hottest teams in the country having won and covered five straight (some got a push in 30-27 win over Navy). As a result, their stock in the betting markets has climbed significantly. Two weeks ago, Memphis was laying -10.5 to Tulane at home and now -12.5 to SMU. From a power rating standpoint, the Mustangs would be over a field goal favorite vs. the Green Wave on a neutral field. And SMU closed only +1.5 at Navy just last week (lost 43-40). Wind or no wind, we're getting value with SMU. Take the points!