- Two games with major AAC implications go down on Friday night as #17 SMU travels to Tulane at 6:00pm EST and #14 BYU heads to Houston and faces Dana Holgorsen’s squad
- The Green Wave and Cougars are a combined 2-7 as home underdogs over the past four seasons
- Can they reverse the trend on Friday night? See odds, analysis and picks for the ESPN doubleheader below
Week 7 provides us with an intriguing double-dip on Friday night, as Tulane hosts undefeated SMU in AAC action, and independent BYU tries to remain unbeaten on the road at Houston.
Both games also feature unranked home underdogs getting points – what’s better than that?
All four teams have shown their offensive firepower through the first month and change of the season, so we should be in for a night of exciting games. Let’s get into he picks for Friday night.
College Football October 16th Week 7 Picks
|#17 SMU vs Tulane||SMU -6.5||SMU -240/Tulane +190||64.5||Tulane +6.5 (-110)|
|#14 BYU vs Houston||BYU -5.5||BYU -215/Houston +172||62.5||Over 62.5 (-110)|
Odds taken October 15th from FanDuel
Pick 1: Tulane +6.5 as Home Dogs vs SMU
Despite their last memory being overwhelmed in a 49-31 loss vs Houston last week as the Cougars finally made their debut, the Green Wave are headed in the right direction.
They forced a whopping five turnovers on defense (2 INT, 3 forced fumbles), and true freshman QB Michael Pratt was serviceable – if unspectacular – in his first start, throwing for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Tulane has had arguably one of the toughest G5 schedules in the country so far this season, having played three of four on the road and having lost one of their primary offensive weapons in RS freshman RB Tyjae Spears.
Sophomore Cameron Carroll has taken the lead in the backfield, averaging over five yards per carry and having already scored seven touchdowns on the ground.
Their defense should be able to cause the same amount of trouble it gave Houston QB Clayton Tune last week and keep the Green Wave in it from the jump by creating turnovers.
Tulane is 6-2-1 ATS as a home underdog since Willie Fritz took over the program in 2016, and I expect them to avenge their last home game in which they blew a 24-0 lead to Navy back on September 19th.
Ponies Will Be Running With New Horses
Another reason to like the Green Wave to cover the number is SMU’s situation on the offensive side of the ball.
The Mustangs comes into this one after a massive – and costly – win over Memphis, as star WR Reggie Roberson (474 REC Yards, 5 TDs) and RB TJ McDaniel (308 all-purpose yards, 1 TD) both suffered season ending injuries last Saturday.
It has been announced that Reggie Roberson is out for the season.
He was averaging 21.5 yards per reception with 5 TDs so far this season.
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) October 12, 2020
While they still have a Sunday player in Ulysses Bentley IV (412 rushing yards, 7 TDs) and his 8.4 YPC average to lead the backfield, QB Shane Buechele will be without his go-to guy should the ‘Stangs need to make big plays in the passing game.
Tulane needs the win to stay in the AAC race, and with Buechele in search of a new top target, roll with the Green Wave.
Pick #2: Over 62.5 in Cougars vs Cougars Shootout
This game just screams a 41-38 final, doesn’t it?
BYU QB Zach Wilson is the real deal, as the “Mormon Manziel” has already thrown for over 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns during their 4-0 start. Despite struggling to just a 27-20 win against UTSA last week, the Cougars out of Provo have topped 40 points in the rest of their games and I’d expect that to continue at TDECU Stadium.
As mentioned above, Houston had no problem scoring in their opener last week against Tulane, and have the speed in their skill corps to do the same on Friday night.
WR Marquez Stevenson dazzled with a five catch, 118-yard outing and should replicate those numbers, while Keith Corbin, Tre’von Bradley and Mulbah Carr pitch in for Tune’s stocked cupboard.
Houston home games have gone over the total in four of the six contests since Dana Holgorsen made the move down south from WVU last season. The over has also hit in four of seven games since Zach Wilson took over as BYU’s starting QB last season.
With both trends in our favor, we’ll take the over 62.5 and plan for a shootout deep into the Texas night.