This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
Tulane vs. SMU Betting Odds and Best Bets for College Football Week 12
The Green Wave crashed in Week 11. Tulane was leading the pack in terms of getting that Group of Five spot in a New Year's bowl, but then UCF came to town. John Rhys Plumlee returned to health and tore through a Green Wave defense that had been the team's calling card. Now, UCF ranks above Tulane, and Tulane is going to try to avoid letting the season slip away from them as they host a high-flying SMU Mustangs squad.
Tulane vs. SMU Odds for Week 11
Spread: Tulane -3 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 64.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Tulane -162, SMU +134 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
This is a close line for an 8-2 team hosting a 6-4 team. Feels like a line that is built on the back of that UCF loss. However, while the Golden Knights rode out to an early lead, in the end the game was a 38-31 affair. That is also a sizable point total, which is likely owing to SMU's presence in multiple ways.
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Tulane vs. SMU Betting Picks This Week
This is the lowest the overall feeling about Tulane has been all season, especially in terms of its defense. Maybe you recall that SMU dropped 77 points, in regulation, on Houston. However, SMU also gave up 63 points in that game. The Mustangs keep things exciting, because they have an exciting offense and a terrible defense.
Tulane ranks a respectable 52nd in offensive SP+, and even after last week ranks 30th in defensive SP+. SMU meanwhile, ranks a robust 10th in offensive SP+, but are all the way down at 107th in defensive SP+. The Mustangs are 6-4 in spite of their great offense because they are giving away as many points as they are scoring. When SMU has the ball, Tulane ranks 16th in passing yards allowed per attempt. Even in that UCF loss, Plumlee only threw for 132 yards and a touchdown. He ran for 172 yards and two scores. Tanner Mordecai can't run like Plumlee, and Tre Siggers has been out for several weeks. I think the Green Wave bounce back at home, possibly in a big way. Also, I'd be happy to take the over here. The fewest total points in an SMU game this season is 56, and that was against Cincinnati, who is slightly worse offensively than Tulane but better defensively.
Tulane vs. SMU Best Bet: Tulane -3 at FanDuel Sportsbook
Tulane vs. SMU Prediction
There will be points, likely for both teams. I expect the Mustangs to score at least 20, but I also expect the Green Wave to top 40 points. SMU's defense is truly bad. If the Mustangs' rushing attack was stronger, I might be a tad worried, but the Mustangs can't replicate what UCF did. They simply don't have the personnel. The only way I see Tulane losing this one is if all the wind has gone out of its sails, but I'm not expecting that.
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