Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Tulane vs. Tulsa Week 12 Predictions, Odds

  • November 18, 2020
  • By Jonathan Willis

The Golden Hurricane are flying high after last Saturday’s win over SMU.

Tulsa is undefeated (4-0) in the American, and this is likely the only team that has a chance to prevent Cincinnati from winning the AAC.

The last three games of the season won’t be easy though, starting this week when the Tulane Green Wave come to town.

Tulane has looked sharp the last few weeks, thanks to a much-improved defense.


Tulsa has been a solid investment for bettors this season, going 4-1 both straight up and against the spread. (AP)

Tulane-Tulsa Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Tulsa -5.5
  • Money-Line: Tulsa -240 Tulane +200
  • Total: 54.5

Odds Subject to Change

How to Handicap Tulane-Tulsa

Cancellations and postponements have led to Tulsa playing just five games this season. The Golden Hurricane were heavy underdogs in their first two games after going 4-8 in 2019, but they easily covered the spread against both Oklahoma State and UCF.

Tulsa’s defense held Chuba Hubbard under 100 rushing yards, and the Cowboys failed to pick up more than 300 total yards after Spencer Sanders was injured early.


Tulsa announced it was for real with a 34-26 upset of UCF in early October as a 20.5-point underdog. The Golden Hurricane held the Knights without a point in the final 25 minutes of the game, allowing the offense to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit.

They followed that up with wins over USF and East Carolina before last week’s big 28-24 win over SMU. Tulsa trailed 21-0 early in the second quarter, but Houston scored just three points after its start.

The Green Wave are one of the few teams to not have their schedule seriously impacted by COVID. Tulane has played nine games this season, and Willie Fritz hasn’t had to deal with any long layoffs.

This offense has been solid throughout the 2020 season. Tulane has scored at least 24 points in every game, and the Green Wave have put up at least 31 points in their last seven games since Michael Pratt took over for Keon Howard.

The defense has come alive over the last three weeks too, as Tulane has allowed just 12 PPG in easy wins and covers against Temple, East Carolina, and Army the last three weeks.

Betting Analysis – Green Wave

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • 2020: 5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS, 6-2-1 O/U

Tulane has a gem in Pratt. The true freshman seized the reins from Howard, and this offense has looked much better from that point forward.

Pratt had accuracy issues in his first few games, failing to complete more than 50 percent of his passes in his first three appearances, but he has settled into the role. He has completed at least 57 percent of his passes in four straight games, and he is a dynamic runner in this offense.

Fritz loves to run the ball. The Green Wave are currently averaging 5.3 YPC and 224.8 YPG on the ground. The five leading rushers on this team are all averaging more than 5.5 YPC with Stephon Huderson and Cameron Carroll leading the way. Huderson is the big-play RB (6.6 YPC), while Carroll shines in short yardage (10 TDs).

Duece Watts has established himself as the go-to receiver for Pratt. He leads the team in every receiving category with 26 receptions for 448 yards (17.2 YPR) and five touchdowns. His twin brother Phat Watts is one of the other top options along with Jha’Quan Jackson.

The Green Wave were shredded by some good offenses in the middle of the season. They couldn’t stop Houston, SMU, or UCF, but they have looked much better in recent weeks. Tulane does a good job of stopping the run (3.3 YPC), but the pass defense has been abysmal (8.8 YPA).

Edge rusher Patrick Johnson has been a playmaker with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles on the year.

Betting Analysis - Golden Hurricane

  • 2020: 4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS, 2-3 O/U

QB Zach Smith isn’t a world-beater, but he has been consistent over his four years with Tulsa. He is having the best season of his career as a senior, completing 61.5 percent of his passes for 8.0 YPA with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Smith isn’t much of a runner, so that puts a bit of a cap on the offense, but he doesn’t make a lot of poor throws either.

The loss of starting running back Shamari Brooks prior to the start of the season was a big blow for the Golden Hurricane. Sophomores Deneric Prince and T.K. Wilkerson has stepped up to fill the void though, teaming up to average 4.7 YPC.

Keylon Stokes and Josh Johnson are Smith’s two favorite options in the passing game. The Golden Hurricane don’t throw much though as Tulsa is averaging just 31.4 passes per game this season.

Tulsa’s defense has been very good. The Golden Hurricane are ranked 31st in defensive SP+, and that is the primary catalyst for their turnaround in 2020. Linebacker Zaven Collins is a potential AAC Defensive Player of the Year choice with four sacks, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles in five games.

Historically Speaking


Tulsa won 11 of its first 13 games against Tulane, but the Green Wave are on a three-game winning streak. They hammered the Golden Hurricane 62-28 for their biggest win in this series three years ago, and it’s been all Tulane since that point.

Last Meeting

Tulane gashed Tulsa on the ground when these teams met last season. The Green Wave ran the ball 46 times for 293 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-26 win over the Golden Hurricane.

Justin McMillan threw two interceptions, but Tulsa was only able to kick field goals despite the good field position those turnovers provided.

Notable Betting Trends

-- Tulane has covered five straight games

-- The favorite is 13-3 ATS in this series

-- The over is 5-1 in the last six games between these teams

Tulane-Tulsa Predictions

  • Score Prediction: Tulane 31, Tulsa 28
  • Best Bet: Tulane +5.5

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