Tulane vs. USF Odds, Picks: Where Does Value Lie in AAC College Football Battle?
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Lawrence Keys III (Tulane)
- Tulane has looked like one of the best -- if not the best -- in the American Athletic Conference so far this season.
- Now the Green Wave head on the road to take on a USF team that is 1-5 this season.
- How do we play this matchup from a betting perspective? Tanner McGrath dives straight in.
Tulane vs. USF Odds
Watch out, because Tulane looks like the best team in the AAC.
The defense is legit. Starting quarterback Michael Pratt beat up on East Carolina and backup quarterback Kai Horton did enough to beat Houston. Tulane is 5-1 on the season and tied atop the conference standings with Luke Fickell's Cincinnati Bearcats.
Tulane now flies east to face a South Florida Bulls team that has fallen short of expectations. The Bulls are 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS.
But maybe South Florida will catch Tulane sleeping on a hot and humid day in Tampa. The Bulls only need to cover 12.
What should we expect? Where does the value lie?
This defense has been so effective. The Green Wave's advanced statistics are a mixed bag, but the team is good against the run (25th in Rush Success Rate Allowed) and good when it matters most (23rd in Points Per Opportunity Allowed).
The Green Wave are allowing just 151 passing yards per game and 135 rushing yards per game. They rank eighth in PFF's Tackling grades and are allowing 4.3 YPP.
Our Defense The Wave
— Tulane Football (@GreenWaveFB) October 12, 2022
The offensive statistics are also a mixed bag. The offensive line has yet to regroup after losing its all-time career starts leader in left guard Corey Dublin. Tulane is outside the top 100 in both Offensive Line Yards and PFF's Pass Blocking grades.
Somehow, the aerial attack has been relatively effective despite all that.
Tulane ranks among the top 50 in Pass Success Rate. Pratt had a tough game against Kansas State, but has otherwise been lights out, including putting up 326 yards and two touchdowns while completing 80% of his passes against East Carolina last week.
However, it's pretty clear Pratt isn't working under an ideal situation.
— Tulane’s 6th string QB (@MrCatsPatrick) September 15, 2022
I had high hopes for South Florida entering the season, as this is the second-most experienced roster in the FBS. 19 starters returned and the Bulls replaced a bad quarterback room with former Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon.
However, Bohanon has been horrendous and the defense is allowing over seven YPP. Any hope for a productive season from South Florida ended when the Bulls lost 51-20 to BYU.
The Bulls can run the ball. South Florida is 17th in Rush Success Rate this season, averaging over five YPC and over 180 rushing yards per game. Bohanon is completing just 55% of his passes with a 5:6 TD-to-INT ratio, but he has significantly added to the ground game.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) September 19, 2022
Unfortunately, it all goes to waste when Bohanon makes throws like this:
One bad throw by Gerry Bohanon. That was the difference in the game last night. But good for Jalen Kimber. pic.twitter.com/YBWAtkYoc3
— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) September 18, 2022
The defense is allowing over six YPC and ranks outside the top 100 in Points Per Opportunity Allowed.
South Florida was 4-0 ATS as a home dog last season, but is 0-3 as an overall underdog this season. I'm hopeful the fighting Bohanons can be frisky in this game, but I'm not very hopeful.
Tulane vs. USF Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tulane and USF match up statistically:
Tulane Offense vs. USF Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
USF Offense vs. Tulane Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||91||45|
|Seconds per Play||27.4 (86)||27.6 (93)|
|Rush Rate||57.6% (36)||56.8% (41)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Tulane vs. USF Betting Pick
South Florida is going to run into a brick wall. The Tulane defense is elite against the run and that's the only way the Bulls can move the ball. Bohanon may attempt to create chunk passing plays — which he's unable to do consistently — but Tulane is fifth nationally in Explosive plays Allowed.
South Florida is vulnerable to the ground game, but Tulane doesn't have a great ground game.
No matter what happens, both teams will continue to commit to the run. These teams are top-40 in rush rate and bottom-40 in seconds per play. I don't expect either team to go away from this strategy, even if it's going to be their detriment.
That means we're getting a clock-moving rock fight. I have three other stats to prove my point:
- Our Action PRO projections make this total just 51.
- Tulane is 5-1 to the under this season.
- The past two matchups between the two teams have gone under.
At anything above 53, I'll be on the under.