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Memphis vs. Missouri,
10-20-2018 - Expert Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#397 Memphis
Tigers 74
#398 Missouri
Tigers -9.5

Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 4:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Memphis Tigers

4 - 3

4-3
ATS
2-4
O/U
43
PPG
25
OPPG

Missouri Tigers

3 - 3

2-3
ATS
4-1
O/U
34
PPG
30
OPPG

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A pair of talented offensive units with questionable defenses take the field in the Show Me State in nonconference action. The Memphis Tigers are on the road as they take on a SEC team in the Missouri Tigers Saturday afternoon. Memphis let a lead slip away as they came up a 31-30 loser at home to #10 UCF last Saturday. Missouri took their second straight loss as they were pounded 39-10 by #1 Alabama on the road last Saturday. The Tigers have won two of the three previous meetings, including a 27-17 road win in the last meeting back on October 2, 1999.

Memphis Tigers Try for Road Victory

Memphis had UCF and their unbeaten string on the ropes after a brilliant first half showing. Unfortunately for the Tigers, their offense took the second half off and it cost them the game: the team was held scoreless over the final 32:04 of the contest. Memphis held a 490-461 advantage in total offense, rolled up a 27-18 edge in first downs and controlled time of possession by a hefty 35:19 to 24:41 margin yet fell short. The Tigers turned the ball over twice while forcing one turnover. In the second half, Memphis had five punts, two fumbles lost and their final drive ended at the UCF 31 as time expired. A false start penalty with 18 seconds left was a killer as it pushed Memphis from the 35 back to the 40 and took away any thought of a long field goal.

The Tigers are 41st in the FBS in passing offense as they average 263.6 yards per game through the air while ranking 5th in rushing with 275.4 yards per contest. Memphis is 6th in the nation in scoring offense with 43.9 points per game and 66th in scoring defense as they allow 25.4 points per contest. Brady White has completed 125 of 185 passes for 1,758 yards with 15 touchdowns against one interception while adding 23 yards on the ground. Brady McBride is six of 11 for 70 yards with an interception while Connor Adair is one of two for 17 yards and a score. Darrell Henderson leads the team with 110 carries for 1,133 yards and 13 scores on the ground. He’s number one in the nation in rushing offense, 183 yards ahead of Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. Patrick Taylor Jr. contributes 62 carries for 384 yards and six scores. Damonte Coxie leads the team with 34 receptions for 552 yards and four scores this season. John Pop Williams (21 grabs, 232 yards, TD) and Tony Pollard (20 catches, 191 yards, two TD) are solid secondary options. Riley Patterson has drilled 40 of 41 extra points and nine of 11 field goals with a long of 45 this season.

Missouri Tigers Hope to Regroup at Home

Missouri started the season strongly enough with three straight wins but they have stumbled in conference play. The Tigers have dropped three in a row with a close loss to South Carolina on the road sandwiched by multiple score defeats to #2 Georgia and #1 Alabama. Missouri hopes to regroup at home in a non-conference tilt. The Tigers hung tough in the opening quarter, trailing just 13-10 after the opening quarter after scoring with two seconds to play. Unfortunately, Alabama’s defense stifled them the rest of the way as Mizzou was blanked 26-0 over the final three quarters. The Tigers were crushed 564-212 in total offense, gave up 25 first downs while recording 13 and saw the Crimson Tide hold a 32:17 to 27:43 edge in time of possession. Missouri had three turnovers, leading to 10 Alabama points, while forcing just one takeaway: they also gave up a safety.

The Tigers are 22nd in the FBS in passing offense with 289 yards per game through the air and 50th in rushing offense with 188 yards per contest. Missouri is 40th in the nation in scoring offense with 34.2 points per contest and 90th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 30.5 points per game. Drew Lock is 132 of 221 throwing the ball for 1,629 yards with 12 touchdowns against six interceptions while adding 49 yards and three scores on the ground. Taylor Powell is four of nine for 105 yards in his action. Damarea Crockett is second on the Tigers with 77 carries for 361 yards plus three scores. Larry Rountree III has 85 carries for a team high 431 yards and four touchdowns while Tyler Badie chips in 56 carries for 275 yards plus a score this season. Johnathon Johnson is second on the Tigers with 22 receptions for 249 yards plus three scores. Albert Ogwuegbunam (team high 31 catches, 241 yards, two TD) and Emanuel Hall (18 grabs, team high 430 yards, three TD) are capable targets as well. Tucker McCann is 20 of 20 on extra points and 14 of 19 on field goals with a long of 57 yards. Sean Koetting has not attempted an extra point while connecting on his lone field goal attempt from 33 yards.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

This one is going to come down to how well the opposing defenses can perform in the contest. Memphis’ run game is going to have a challenge against Missouri’s run defense, which is 20th in the FBS by allowing 120.2 yards per game. The big advantage for Memphis is in the passing department as Mizzou is only 124th in pass defense by allowing 300.7 yards per contest through the air. In the defensive department, Memphis is good against the pass, ranking 33rd by allowing 193.4 yards per game through the air. Missouri may have to try to run the ball to set up the pass. In the end, it’s tough to give this much in a game where there is plenty of offense to go around: take the points and Memphis here.

Prediction: Memphis Tigers +9.5

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This one is going to be one of those games that fans of offense will love while those who remember the three yards and a cloud of dust days will lament how defense has gone the way of the Yugo. Both teams are capable of moving the ball down the field in a hurry and can pile up points and yards. The defenses aren’t overly impressive by any stretch of the imagination and it could be one of those games where the team that has the ball last comes up the winner. Can either defense make enough stops to allow their offense to open up a comfortable advantage in this contest?

The over is 9-1 in Memphis’ last 10 non-conference games, 8-1 in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game and 7-3 in their last 10 against the SEC. Missouri has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game, 6-1 in their last 7 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game and 5-1 in their last six after a straight up loss. This has all the makings of a 48-45 sort of game: look for the over to come in on this contest.

Prediction: Over 72.5

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

If there’s one thing we’ve seen this season, it’s that these two teams can pile up the points. Memphis hasn’t really missed a beat despite Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller both graduating after last season. Henderson has blossomed into an elite running back who can break a long run on any given carry. That’s why he leads the nation in rushing. Missouri will try to move the ball through the air and this one has shootout written all over it. Memphis takes advantage and keeps the game close: take the points and the Tigers.

Prediction: Memphis Tigers +6

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

Memphis is sixth in the FBS in scoring offense this season while Missouri is 40th in scoring offense after getting stifled by Alabama last week. The problem is that the defenses don’t even come close to matching up to the offenses as Memphis is 66th in scoring defense compared to Missouri’s 90th place ranking. The numbers scream mismatch and there’s no reason to think otherwise. You have to love the over here as both teams could be in the 24 to 28 point range at the half.

Prediction: Over 37.5 (-110)

Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.

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