Last Updated Nov 18, 2022, 2:46 AM

SMU Mustangs vs. Tulane Green Wave Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Tulane Green Wave are stinging after last week's loss to the UCF Knights, but they can't let that get them down for too long. They face two more tough tests to close out the regular season, and their performance will determine whether or not they take part in the AAC Championship Game. On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Tulane will host the SMU Mustangs at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

SMU Mustangs vs. Tulane Green Wave Betting Prediction

Tulane will be out to change its recent history when it hosts SMU on Thursday night in the Big Easy. The Green Wave have lost seven straight games and 10 of their last 11 tilts against the Mustangs.

This is the best team that Willie Fritz has had during his time at Tulane though, while SMU has failed to live up to expectations this year. Tulane will certainly give up some points to this SMU offense, but the Mustangs have had some major problems on defense, and that should lead to a Green Wave win and cover in a high-scoring affair.

Score Prediction: Tulane 41, SMU 34
Best Bet: Over 64.5

SMU Mustangs Betting Analysis

SMU comes into this game with the 10th ranked offense per SP+. The Mustangs haven't missed a beat in their first year under new head coach Rhett Lashlee after Sonny Dykes left for crosstown rival TCU, as this offense is just as potent as it ever was under Dykes.

Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai has thrived during his last two seasons with the Mustangs. Mordecai is completing 65.9% of his passes for 6,408 yards (8.2 YPA) with 66 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 21 games. He torched Tulane's defense last year, completing 30 of 42 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns, and he also ran for a touchdown in a 55-26 win over the Green Wave. Mordecai had one of the greatest games we've seen in recent college football history just two weeks ago, as he threw for NINE touchdown passes and ran for a score in a 77-63 win over the Houston Cougars.

Rashee Rice is the receiver to watch on SMU. Rice has 77 receptions for 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns, and he is certainly in line for all-conference honors. Jordan Kerley is someone to keep an eye on too after catching seven balls for 156 yards and a score last week against USF. Tyler Lavine and Camar Wheaton have taken over as the top two backs in this offense, and they combined to carry the ball 31 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns last Saturday.

The Mustangs have been bad on defense though, and that's why they aren't in contention to make the AAC Championship Game at 6-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. They rank 107th in Defensive SP+, as they are allowing 34.4 PPG and 469.7 YPG. This run defense has been atrocious, surrendering 5.1 YPC and 209.9 YPG on the ground, so the Green Wave are likely to have a lot of success against this front. Safety Nick Roberts can be a playmaker with three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

QB Michael Pratt and Tulane will be looking to bounce back on Thursday versus SMU. (Getty)

Tulane Green Wave Betting Analysis

Michael Pratt tried to lead Tulane back from a late deficit against UCF last week, but it was too little, too late. Pratt has been solid this season, completing 65.5% of his passes for 2,079 yards (8.3 YPA) with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. His only poor performance came in a narrow win over Kansas State, yet he can make things happen with his legs even if he is struggling a bit through the air.

This offense is ranked 52nd in SP+ as it consistently moves the chains but isn't that explosive. Tyjae Spears is one of the top running backs in the AAC, picking up 875 yards (6.2 YPC) and 10 touchdowns so far this season. Tight end Tyrick James and Duece Watts are the red zone threats, combining to catch 11 touchdown passes on their 48 receptions, while the leading receiver is Jha'Quan Jackson after he caught five passed for 95 yards against UCF in last week's loss.

The Green Wave are ranked 30th in Defensive SP+. They have an excellent pass defense, allowing 6.3 YPA and 189.6 YPG, and they rank in the top 20 nationally in both categories. Linebacker Dorian Williams is a playmaker that leads the team in tackles (84) and sacks (4), and he is the only player on this defense with more than two sacks. Safety Macon Clark is the fourth leading tackler and has two interceptions and three forced fumbles. Tulane will have an edge in this game on a short week considering Lashlee is a Gus Malzahn disciple, and the Green Wave just faced UCF on Saturday.

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