AAC Matchup Week 8 College Football Picks: SMU Mustangs at Memphis Tigers

garrett gilbert-smu-2013SMU-Memphis
Time: Noon ET, Oct 19, 2013
Spread: MEM -3.5
M/L: MEM -170; SMU +150
O/U: 45.5

Odds courtesy of 5dimes

Memphis has been trying to survive this season with a simple formula: good defense and a strong running offense. It hasn’t quite worked. Tigers are just 1-4 despite ranking 27th in the nation in points allowed (20.2), and the team’s lone victory was a 31-7 rout over Arkansas State on Sept 21.

Last week, Memphis fell 25-15 to Houston. Despite falling by 10-points, the Memphis offense generated more total yardage than Houston’s with 349 total yards, 222 by the pass and 127 via rush. It’s this potential, coupled with a horrible week 8 opponent in SMU, that has college football oddsmakers confident Memphis can prevail at home this week and the Tigers are 3.5 point favorites in the affair.

Paxton Lynch is turning in an impressive freshman campaign and the 6’6″ QB has thrown 58.3 percent for completion with 995 yards on the season. His best attribute thus far has been consistency. He’s been over 50 percent accuracy in all five games and throw just four interceptions on the season. The problem is that Lynch and his receivers just aren’t getting in the end zone very often and the Memphis offense hasn’t really reached its potential.

SMU is a team built on the pass. The Mustangs rank 7th in the nation in passing yardage per game (361.2) yards but are nearly last in rushing yardage with just 85.8 per game. The end effect is an offense that is still pretty lackluster, without the backs to push the ball through the red zone. The Mustangs average just 27.2 points per game despite generating over 400 yards per game.

The lack of scoring is compounded by a very poor defense. SMU has allowed 43.2 points per game. Last week, the Mustangs were able to match scores with Rutgers all the way through triple OT but fell in a heart breaker. SMU QB Garrett Gilbert threw for 484 yards on 45 of 70 passing and had five TDs with 0 INTs.

For a game that SMU lost, there was a lot to rave about with the offensive success the team experienced. It was Gilbert’s best game of the season in the loss, and any time a QB can throw 70 passes and still hit a nice high ratio (64.3 percent), it has to be taken as a plus.


0-4 ATS in last 4 after accumulating more than 280 passing yards previous game; 0-5 ATS in last 5 on road; OVER 4-0 in last 4 following an SU Loss.


UNDER 5-0 in last 5 overall; 4-0 ATS vs teams with losing records; 4-0 ATS in last 4 vs teams with losing road records.

Check out Maddux Sports’ full season pick packages for 2013 college football!

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