SMU vs. Houston: Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for This Top-Tier Group of 5 Clash (October 30)

SMU vs. Houston: Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for This Top-Tier Group of 5 Clash (October 30) article feature image
Credit:

George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tanner Mordecai.

  • SMU and Houston meet in what should be an intense AAC showdown.
  • The Mustangs and Cougars both remain undefeated in the conference play.
  • Check out Matt Wispe's full betting guide with odds, picks, and predictions.

SMU vs. Houston Odds

Saturday, Oct. 30
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
SMU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+1
-115
61.5
-115 / -105
-105
Houston Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-1
-105
61.5
-115 / -105
-115
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

SMU traveling to Houston represents a critical matchup in the AAC West Division. The winner of Saturday’s confrontation will be the favorite to match up with likely East Division winner Cincinnati for the conference championship.

The Mustangs are undefeated with a 7-0 record. They’re 4-2-1 against the spread, and the total has gone under the number in four games this year.

Houston is riding a six-game winning streak since dropping its season opener to Texas Tech. The Cougars are 4-3 ATS, with the total going under the number in four games.

The weather conditions are forecasted to be perfect, with winds under 6.5 mph throughout the game and temperatures between 65 and 76 degrees.


Southern Methodist Mustangs

Mustangs Offense

The SMU offense is playing fast and efficiently.

The Mustangs average 24.2 seconds per play and 76.4 offensive plays per game. They’re averaging 42.7 points per game and 6.9 yards per play as well. SMU has allowed a 10% Havoc rate while averaging 4.45 points per opportunity.

Tanner Mordecai is completing 71.1% of his passes for an average of 8.8 yards per attempt. The quarterback has thrown for 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Mustangs boast a 53.5% Passing Success Rate and are completing 5.28 20-plus yard passes per game.

SMU has averaged 193.9 rushing yards per game with an average of 5.1 yards per attempt. The Mustangs own a Rushing Success Rate of 47.7%.

The offensive line has allowed a Stuff Rate of 16.3% while generating 3.29 Line Yards per attempt.

Mustangs Defense

SMU has conceded 22.7 points per game and 5.9 yards per play.

The Mustangs have yielded an Overall Success Rate of 38% but generated Havoc on 13.2% of plays. Despite their strong Success Rate, they’ve struggled to stop opponents from Finishing Drives as they’re allowing 3.97 points per opportunity.

Opposing quarterbacks have completed 55.1% of their passes against SMU for an average of 8.15 yards per attempt. The Mustangs have allowed a 41.7% Passing Success Rate and allow an average of 3.7 20-plus yard passing plays per game. They’ve defended 15 passes and forced seven interceptions.

SMU is allowing 146.7 rushing yards per game at an average of 4.0 yards per attempt while giving up a 35.4% Rushing Success Rate.

The defensive line has not been the strength as it owns just a 13.8% Stuff Rate and has allowed opposing offensive lines to generate 3.08 Line Yards per attempt.

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Houston Cougars

Cougars Offense

Houston plays at a methodical pace, but it does so with some efficiency.

Despite averaging 28.3 seconds per play, it averages 36.3 points per game.  It puts up 5.3 yards per play and owns a 41.1% Overall Success Rate while scoring 4.65 points per opportunity.

Clayton Tune has completed 69.1% of his passes for an average of 7.4 yards per attempt. If there’s one concern about this offense, it’s that Tune has thrown six interceptions to just 12 touchdowns. Houston has a Passing Success Rate of 43.3% and throws three 20-plus yard passes per game.

Freshman running back Alton McCaskill has taken over in the backfield, rushing for 463 yards and nine touchdowns.

As a team, Houston averages 3.5 yards per carry and has a 38.8% Rushing Success Rate. The offensive line has allowed a 22.8% Stuff Rate and generated 2.84 Line Yards per attempt.

Cougars Defense

Houston’s defense is its strength.

The Cougars concede just 17.3 points per game, which ranks 14th nationally, to go along with 278.9 yards per game, ranking fourth overall.

They’ve held opponents to a 32.9% Success Rate and have generated Havoc on 23% of plays. Opposing offenses have averaged 3.15 points per opportunity against UH.

Houston’s 174.1 passing yards allowed per game ranks 13th nationally. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 57.6% of passes for an average of 7.16 yards per attempt.

The Cougars have held opponents to a 33.2% Passing Success Rate, giving up under two 20-plus yard passes per game. They’ve also defended 16 passes and forced six interceptions.

Opposing offenses have rushed for 104 yards per game for an average of 2.9 yards per attempt. Houston is among the best in the nation in tackles for a loss with 8.0 per game.

The Cougars concede a 32.7% Rushing Success Rate and own a 16.8% Stuff Rate. They hold opposing offensive lines to just 2.55 Line Yards per attempt.


SMU vs. Houston Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how SMU and Houston match up statistically:

SMU Offense vs. Houston Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 66 7
Line Yards 38 11
Pass Success 1 7
Pass Blocking** 16 1
Big Play 7 19
Havoc 10 5
Finishing Drives 30 22
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Houston Offense vs. SMU Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 87 17
Line Yards 102 74
Pass Success 47 66
Pass Blocking** 23 14
Big Play 71 73
Havoc 114 91
Finishing Drives 20 88
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 123 53
Coverage 126 29
Middle 8 3 78
SP+ Special Teams 112 105
Plays per Minute 25 102
Rush Rate 49.4% (100) 52.7% (78)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

While each offense has at least one advantage, the better units overall are the defenses, so points could be at a premium in this game.


SMU vs. Houston Betting Pick

Houston’s pace and strong defense are at the forefront of my preferred play.

For both teams, this will likely be the best defense they’ve played this year. But that’s definitely true for SMU, as Houston boasts one of the nation’s best defenses.

While 78% of the money has come in on the over, sharp money has found its way to the under, and that’s where I’ve landed.

I slightly prefer SMU at pick’em or better because of its big-play ability but would only play a small amount on the side.

Pick: Under 61 or better

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