Tulsa vs. Wyoming Football Picks, Odds, Predictions: Surprising Bet to Make in Week 1
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Image. Pictured: Andrew Peasley (Wyoming)
- Davis Brin and Tulsa take on Wyoming, one week after the Cowboys got mauled by Illinois.
- Will the Cowboys be able to rely on their strong rushing attack to lead them to a cover?
- Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.
Tulsa vs. Wyoming Odds
Tulsa kicks off its season with a trip to Wyoming, which looked like an FCS program in its Week 0 opener against Illinois.
Wyoming hopes to bounce back after getting dismantled 38-6 by its Big Ten opponent. The Cowboys’ offense was torturous to watch and was out-gained by over 260 yards of total offense.
After finishing 9-27 from 2017-2019, Phil Montgomery has led Tulsa to back-to-back bowl berths. Last season, the Golden Hurricane had an unpredictable rollercoaster season and will look for more consistency this year.
The line on this game opened with Tulsa favored by a field goal, but that number quickly jumped towards a touchdown after opening.
Is the move an overreaction to Wyoming’s sloppy play in Week 0?
Tulsa finished last season with a 7-6 record and a bowl win over Old Dominion.
But that record is a bit deceiving, as the program had four victories come by one possession. It had bad losses to UC Davis (-23.5) and Navy (-11), while barely sneaking past USF (-8) by one.
The program was the definition of mediocrity last season on both sides of the ball. The offense ranked seventh in the AAC in both points per game (26) and yards per game (343).
Quarterback Davis Brin returns after his first year under center for the Golden Hurricane.
Brin put up solid numbers last season, averaging 250 yards per game, 8.0 yards per pass attempt and 18 touchdowns. But he was a turnover machine, tossing 16 interceptions, including multiple picks in six separate games.
The offense will move on without its cowbell running back Shamari Brooks, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in his final two seasons. Deneric Prince and Anthony Watkins will be the two playmakers in the backfield this year.
The offense lacked the ability to generate big plays last season, ranking 116th in Explosiveness.
The defense was serviceable last season, ranking 53rd in yards per play and 67th in points per game.
The Golden Hurricane also floated around the middle of the country in advanced metrics such as Success Rate (67th), Explosiveness (70th) and Havoc (75th).
They return 57% of their production from last season, according to TARP, but most of that comes in the secondary. That won’t be too useful against a Wyoming offense that looks to run the ball as often as a service academy.
Craig Bohl has led the Wyoming Cowboys to bowl season in five of the last six years. If Week 1 was any indicator for the rest of the season, that streak won’t continue.
Wyoming has always utilized a run-first offensive scheme. In 2021, it held the eighth-highest rush rate, running on 65% of its offensive snaps while averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Despite trailing for the entirety of its Week 0 game, Bohl stayed true to that approach. The Cowboys rushed 31 times for 182 yards.
After losing its two starting quarterbacks from last season, the offense turned to Utah State transfer Andrew Peasley. In his first start, he completed five of his 20 pass attempts for 30 yards and one interception.
No that’s not a typo; Peasley averaged 1.5 yards per pass attempt. As a result, the group failed to move the chains, converting on just one of its dozen third-down attempts.
Wyoming ranked 123rd in the country in returning production, according to TARP. The growing pains were on full display in its loss to Illinois in Week 0, but having played that game should help it in this matchup.
The Illini were too big up front for the Wyoming defense to handle. The Cowboys allowed 6.3 yards per carry and 260 rushing yards in the game.
Luckily for Bohl’s squad, it won’t be facing another running back like Chase Brown in this matchup.
Tulsa vs. Wyoming Betting Pick
There is no denying how bad Wyoming looked against Illinois, which is why everyone was quick to jump on Tulsa when the spreads were released.
But I think that there was an overreaction, which has now provided some value on the Cowboys at home.
Tulsa was infamous for playing in tight games last season. The Golden Hurricane finished with a 5-4 record in games decided by one possession. They won just two games last season by more than a touchdown, and that was at home to Temple and their bowl win over Old Dominion.
Brin is as untrustworthy as any quarterback in the country. He threw multiple interceptions in six separate games last year.
Wyoming’s running game held its own against the Illinois front seven. The Cowboys rushed for 182 yards on 31 carries, good for 5.9 yards per carry. They should be able to recreate that against a Tulsa front that is replacing a ton of production.
Taking Wyoming after watching last week’s game is not something I thought I would be doing. But catching nearly a touchdown at home is too good to pass up.
Cowboy up — this pick is not for the lighthearted.