Memphis Tigers (5-1; 2-3-1 ATS; 4-2 O/U) vs. Houston Cougars (4-2; 3-3 ATS: 0-6 O/U)
NCAAF: Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Houston -3
The Houston Cougars will host the red-hot Memphis Tigers in an AAC battle Saturday night from TDECU Stadium in Houston. The Tigers recorded a convincing 30-27 home win over a ranked Navy team last weekend, and the Cougars are coming off a disappointing 45-17 road loss to Tulsa. Memphis notched a 48-44 road win against Houston last season.
Tigers Take Down 25th Ranked Navy
The Memphis Tigers forced five turnovers to propel them to a 30-27 minor upset win over 25th ranked Navy last weekend. Riley Ferguson was terrific, completing 24 of 40 passes for 279 yards with three touchdowns. The senior quarterback is having a tremendous season, racking up 1814 passing yards with a sizzling 19:5 TD to INT ratio. Ferguson features a 10:0 TD to INT ratio in his last two games. Darrell Henderson had a strong game on the ground, rushing for 94 yards and averaged 7.8 yards per carry. The sophomore running back has now accrued 542 rushing yards in six games. Tigers leading receiver Anthony Miller continued his strong play by making ten grabs for 90 yards in the win. The senior wide receiver is having a terrific season, registering 606 receiving yards. The Tigers offense is very well-rounded and they are averaging over 300 passing yards per game, and have scored at least 30 points in all but one game this season.
The Tigers defense was solid in the win over Navy, allowing only 334 total yards and made two interceptions. The Tigers defense is a work in progress and often times they will need to score big points to overcome their shaky defense. Memphis has won two straight and is now 2-1 in AAC action.
Cougars Defense Stumbles in Loss Rough Loss to Tulsa
The Houston Cougars turned the ball over three times in their disappointing 45-17 road loss to a weak Tulsa team last week. Kyle Postma had his worst performance of the season. He did tally 258 passing yards, however, he did not throw a touchdown and tossed two interceptions. The senior quarterback has now recorded 805 passing yards with a 4:5 TD to INT ratio. The Cougars ran the ball heavily in the loss, rushing for 146 yards on 47 carries. Cougars leading rushed Duke Catalon rushed for 72 yards and has now tallied 431 rushing yards. Steven Dunbar was a bright spot in the defeat, making 10 catches for a season-high 107 receiving yards. The senior wide receiver now leads the Cougars with 462 receiving yards. The Cougars are averaging a solid 263 passing yards per game, however, it has not consistently translated to points, averaging only 25.5 points per game.
The Houston defense had some trouble with Tulsa last week, conceding 416 total yards and the Golden Hurricane were able to go 9 for 17 on third downs. Despite last week’s result, their defense has been the strength of this team. The Cougars did win their first two conference games and are now 1-2 in AAC play.
The Memphis Tigers are:
- 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games on turf.
- 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
The Houston Cougars are:
- 1-8 ATS in their last 9 conference games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game.
I am siding with Memphis in this contest. The Memphis offense is on a roll and looking very dangerous. The Tigers are averaging 310 passing yards per game and are up against a mediocre pass defense, so they should have success in the air. In addition, they also feature a strong running game, and Houston just allowed 288 rushing yards in their 45-17 loss to a weak Tulsa team last week. Furthermore, the Houston offense has not been very productive this season, scoring 24 or fewer points in four out of their last five games, and Memphis was just able to hold a strong Navy offense to 27 points last week.
Pick: Memphis Tigers +3
Memphis is averaging a terrific 40 points per game, and Houston should move the ball against the Tigers subpar defense. The Tigers offense should continue their offensive onslaught against a defense that was terrible last week, and the over is 7-2 in their last 9 games against a team with a winning record. Houston should score a decent amount of points with their strong passing game against a weak Memphis defense, and the over is 9-4 in their last 13 Thursday games.