This weekend, the American Conference has an intriguing NCAAF matchup between two 8-2 squads. The SMU Mustangs will take on the Memphis Tigers, looking to stay undefeated in AAC play on Saturday. SMU is currently 6-0 in the conference. Meanwhile, the Mustangs will take on the Tigers, who are 5-1 in the conference.
The conference has four NCAA Football teams with one or fewer losses in the AAC. This game could help decide who will play in the American Conference Championship. Along with SMU and Memphis, Tulane and UTSA are also both in the mix with undefeated records.
Although Memphis is the home team, SMU is laying 7.5 points on the road. The total is sitting at 66.5, as oddsmakers anticipate a high-scoring affair.
How will Saturday’s game play out?
We’ll react to the SMU vs Memphis betting odds below.
Day/Time: Saturday, November 18, 12:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. PT
Location: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium
SMU vs Memphis Betting Odds
The SMU Mustangs are 6-4 against the spread this College Football season. They’re coming off a 45-21 win against North Texas as 21-point favorites. After that win against the spread, SMU added four covers in its last five games.
Meanwhile, the total has hit the Under in six of ten games for the Mustangs this year. Although last week’s game hit the Under, the three prior games went Over the total for SMU.
On the other hand, Memphis has lost against the spread in three straight games. So, while the Tigers are 8-2 straight up, Memphis is 2-7-1 against the spread. Memphis has done enough to win games but isn’t doing enough to cover big spreads.
The Over has also hit in eight of their last ten games, hitting in each of Memphis’ last four games. The Mustangs defeated Memphis in their most recent matchup, 34-31 in 2022. However, the Tigers were four-point underdogs and covered that game. Memphis has covered in seven of the last ten games against SMU.
SMU’s Chances At A New Year’s Six Bowl
After Week 11 in college football, the Athletic released its college football bowl projections. The article stated that Tulane’s play has been shaky recently, which is why SMU is now projected to be the Group of 5 New Year’s Six Bowl representative.
The Mustangs would have to win out the rest of the way to be inserted into the New Year’s Six Bowls. But oddsmakers like SMU’s chances. Even on the road, SMU is projected to defeat an 8-2 Memphis team by more than a touchdown.
It’s unclear what a Tulane-SMU line would look like. However, the Athletic seems to think that SMU would be favored, despite Tulane being ranked inside the College Football Playoff Rankings heading into Week 12.
Can Memphis Earn An AAC Championship Game Bid?
The answer is yes. With one loss in the American, Memphis can still play in the AAC Championship Game this season. The Tigers aren’t used to this. For the first time under fifth-year head coach Ryan Silverfield, the Tigers are playing for the American Athletic Conference in mid-November.
They’ve won four straight games after earning a 44-38 win over Charlotte in overtime. If SMU wins this weekend, the Mustangs will be guaranteed a spot in the AAC game. However, if Memphis wins, things get a bit more complicated.
To make the big game, Memphis can’t afford another loss. But they also don’t control their own destiny. If UTSA and Tulane win this week and UTSA beats Tulane in the regular season’s final game, the Tigers wouldn’t make it into the big game.
However, a realistic scenario for Memphis is for the Tigers to win out and for Tulane to beat UTSA in the final game. UTSA and Memphis would be tied with one conference loss, giving Memphis the tiebreaker that includes the composite average of selected computer rankings.
Check out the SMU vs Memphis betting odds below.
SMU’s Defense Will Shine
The Memphis Tigers have averaged 39.7 yards per game this season. But they’re facing an SMU defense that has given up under 17 points per game this year.
SMU has allowed just 154.1 yards in the air and another 117 yards on the ground. The Mustangs are known for an awesome secondary. They’re also massive in the trenches and can stop the run while also rushing the passer very effectively.
Memphis has a well-balanced offensive attack, averaging 289 yards passing and 155.8 yards on the ground. However, they’re led by junior quarterback Seth Henigan, who has eight interceptions on the season. He’s also got a 63.5 QBR, which is not even top 50 in the nation.
Meanwhile, SMU’s Preston Stone has outplayed Henigan with 2,589 yards in the air. He’s thrown for 23 touchdowns and six interceptions and plays with more productive running backs. Memphis has Blake Watson, who has rushed for 909 yards on 152 carries.
However, SMU has three different running backs who have at least rushed for 296 yards with over 50 carries.
Memphis has struggled with tackling and allowed 174.1 yards per game on the ground. With SMU keeping their guys fresh, the Mustangs should dominate in the run game and earn the win and cover. You can add SMU to your picks and parlays with these NCAA football odds of -7.5 (-110).
The Mustangs are poised to be at the top of the AAC football standings sooner than later.