AAC Football Betting Preview: (21) Memphis Tigers at (24) Houston Cougars

Memphis Quarterback Paxton Lynch has been on a tear in 2015.
Memphis Quarterback Paxton Lynch has been on a tear in 2015.

(21) Memphis- (24) Houston
Time: 6 PM ET
Spread: HOU -7
Total: 71

Betting odds c/o Bovada

This is the first ever meeting of two ranked AAC schools, and it is only slightly diminished by Memphis blowing its undefeated streak in losing to Navy last week 45-20. Houston is 9-0 still and finds itself 7-point favorites over the visiting Tigers.

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Memphis is 4-1 in conference play and if it can win this week and knock off No. 21 Temple new week, it will have a chance to land a big bowl. “We don’t necessarily control our own destiny in the league race, but we can still be a factor in it,” Memphis coach Justin Fuente said.

Both Memphis and Houston rank in the top-10 in scoring and total yardage, and both schools have great talents at QB with Houston using dual-threat Greg Ward Jr and Memphis rolling with Paxton Lynch.

Ward averages 92.1 rushing yards per game, behind only Navy’s Keenan Reynolds. The Houston QB will look to pray on a Tigers unit that gave up 374 yards and five TDs from the Midshipmen’s rush attack.

Lynch is a 6’7” pocket QB who may be taken high in the NFL draft, and his passing offense averages 352.1 yards per game. Houston’s secondary surrendered 523 yards and four TDs to Cincy last week. It did come up with two INTs, though, and Houston won 33-30. The Cougars also had a safety in the game.

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Houston has forced 25 turnovers and had three against the Bearcats. It leads FBS schools with a plus-16 turnover margin. Houston forced five turnovers, three of which were interceptions from Lynch, in the 28-24 win over Memphis last season. It was Memphis’ lone conference loss and the Cougars have a five game win streak in the school series.

Memphis has not defeated Houston since Oct 15, 2005, but the Tigers have the second-longest road win streak in college football.

Lynch has thrown just two INTs in 327 pass attempts this year and has eight straight games with 300-plus yards. Lynch has thrown for 3,014 yards on the year with a 69.1 percent completion ratio, while averaging 9.22 yards per attempt. He has 19 TD passes and a passer rating of 164.5. There are ten receiving options with at least 100 yards on the year for the Tigers and both Mose Frazier and Anthony Miller have over 600 yards on the year. Frazier has three TDs and Miller has four.

Memphis kicker Jake Elliot is 16 of 18 on field goals and has hit all six of his attempts past 40 yards including a 52-yarder.

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