It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the mid-way point of the college football season. Last week, a few teams had huge conference wins especially in the Sun Belt. Louisiana and Arkansas State had road wins over quality opponents and are off to a great start in conference play. Next week’s lines have been released, and I have my eye on a few key matchups.
Memphis at Louisiana Monroe
Total Points: 65
I’m looking at the total points in this matchup. Memphis averages almost 37 points per game, and quarterback Brady White is playing well leading the Tigers’ offense. This is Memphis’ final non-conference game before they get into the thick of their conference schedule. Louisiana Monroe beat South Alabama on Saturday and quarterback Caleb Evans had another big day with 286 yards passing accounting for four scores. The Warhawks average 31 points per game and put up 44 points in an overtime loss to Florida State earlier this season. Both teams have explosive offenses, but Monroe is struggling on defense, giving up over 35 points per game. Two weeks ago, they gave up 72 points to Iowa State. I like the over in this matchup.
Over 65 points is the play in this game
Marshall at Middle Tennessee State
Spread: Marshall - 5
The Thundering Herd were dominated by Cincinnati and lost 52-14 last week. I had Marshall + 4 and was way off on this game. The Bearcats were up 45-0 before Marshall finally scored. Middle Tennessee State also had a rough game losing 48-3 to Iowa. The Hawkeyes gained 644 yards of total offense in the win. The Blue Raiders have given up 89 points over the past two games and are 122nd in the country in scoring defense. They also give up 254 rushing yards a game which is a problem when you face a team like Marshall. The Thundering Herd have the 36th best rushing offense in the country. I think Marshall bounces back and plays well on Saturday.
I like Marshall to win and cover
Arkansas State at Georgia State
Total Points: 68
The Red Wolves had a huge road win at Troy by the score of 50-43. Arkansas State played without starting quarterback Logan Bonner who is out for the season with a hand injury. Backup Layne Hatcher played great in his first career start, throwing for 440 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Hatcher transferred from Alabama and is the all-time leading passer in Arkansas high school football history. Georgia State had an unbelievable start to the season with a win at Tennessee, but they have struggled since the monumental win. The Panthers had trouble with Furman and then lost to Western Michigan and Texas State. Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington is off to a great start this season with 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Both defenses have struggled thus far and this could be a shootout. Arkansas State allows 36 points per game and Georgia State gives up over 41 points per game.
Lean the over in this matchup
Tulsa at SMU
Spread: SMU - 13
The Mustangs are in the Top 25 for the first time since 1986 and are off to their best start since 1983. SMU has talent on both sides of the ball and can matchup with anyone in the AAC. In a potential trap game against USF, they jumped out to a 34-0 lead at halftime and cruised the rest of the way. Tulsa had a quality win over Wyoming on September 21st and then had a bye week to prepare for conference play. This will already be Tulsa’s third ranked opponent. They gave Oklahoma State all they could handle and were winning at the half before the Cowboys took over. This is a tough scheduling spot for Tulsa with SMU coming home as a ranked team and playing in front of their fans for the first time in three weeks. SMU will also have revenge on their minds after Tulsa beat the Mustangs last year which ended their hopes of becoming bowl eligible.
SMU will win and cover the points