College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for USF vs. SMU: Why to Bet the Over

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for USF vs. SMU: Why to Bet the Over article feature image
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  • SMU looks to extend its record to 5-0 as it hosts USF.
  • Mustangs quarterback Tanner Mordecai has been on fire, tossing 20 touchdowns to just five picks.
  • Alex Kolodziej previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.

USF vs. SMU Odds

USF Odds +21 (-110)
SMU Odds -21 (-110)
Moneyline +850 / -1500
Over/Under 68 (-115 / -105)
Time 4:00 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The South Florida Bulls’ offense hasn’t performed well this year, but by all accounts, they’re improving.

That side of the ball could officially have its breakout game Saturday.

Meanwhile, the SMU Mustangs backed up their talk against in-state rival TCU last week, unleashing their offense in a 42-34 Iron Skillet win as nine-point ‘dogs.

SMU and its opponents have combined for 76 points in consecutive weeks. The chaos we’ve expected has finally arrived, and all that’s left to do is pour some gasoline on this electric nonconference tilt.


USF vs. SMU Betting Preview

Saturday, October 2
4 p.m. ET
ESPNU

South Florida Bulls

USF Offense

The Bulls didn’t muster a single point on 271 total yards in their opener against NC State. They finally cracked the scoreboard the following week against Florida, putting up 20 points on 296 yards.

This past weekend, they racked up 27 points and 360 yards in a narrow eight-point loss to BYU.

A 1-3 record doesn’t inspire much confidence for a program already struggling to find its footing, but Jeff Scott’s unit is undoubtedly trending up.

USF played its cleanest game of the year — vs. a ranked opponent, nonetheless — in Week 4, headlined by a big game from quarterback Timmy McClain. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 186 yards and added 55 yards on the ground.

It’s not a stat line that will grab headlines, but the Bulls were efficient: they punted only twice and scored on five separate drives.


USF Defense

The unit’s simply been overpowered in all three games versus FBS opponents this fall.

Drawing NC State and Florida in back-to-back weeks did the Bulls no favors out of the gates, and last week’s game against BYU was a cross-country trip in high altitude.

The result through the first month? Well, no other team in the country is giving up more yards per carry than South Florida’s 7.3 this season.

The defense has struggled to create Havoc (124th nationally), which in turn, has let opposing offenses do seemingly whatever they want.

The Bulls are getting sliced up for more than 500 yards per game.

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Southern Methodist Mustangs

SMU Offense

The gauntlet of opponents doesn’t stop here for the Bulls’ defense.

Although it’s the first mid-major on the docket for South Florida, arguably no other team in America wants to break the scoreboard with more conviction than SMU.

The Mustangs entered the year with back-to-back top-10 ranks in total yards per game. Right on cue, only Mississippi State (638) and Duke (586.7) have averaged more than SMU (570) entering Week 5.

The offense doesn’t allow any Havoc (third in the country) and in turn, has spun Oklahoma transfer quarterback Tanner Mordecai loose.

His 20 touchdowns are five more than the next closest quarterback in the nation and the distribution’s been crazy. SMU has four receivers with at least 13 catches, 200 yards and multiple touchdowns.

Good luck with that.


SMU Defense

TCU put up 34 points on SMU’s defense last week with relative ease. It could’ve been more had the offense not abandoned the passing game.

Quarterback Max Duggan misfired on a couple of wide-open receivers vertically early and the unit shelled up.

McClain, meanwhile, took what the BYU defense gave him last week and put up an efficient stat line. He’ll have more time to operate Saturday against an SMU defense that’s 94th in Havoc, behind a front seven averaging just 1.7 sacks per contest.


USF vs. SMU Matchup Analysis

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

USF Offense vs. SMU Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
59
31
Line Yards
70
88
Pass Success
117
74
Pass Blocking**
92
10
Big Play
104
59
Havoc
105
96
Finishing Drives
121
50
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

SMU Offense vs. USF Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
42
102
Line Yards
15
113
Pass Success
7
109
Pass Blocking**
49
108
Big Play
16
116
Havoc
3
124
Finishing Drives
49
56
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
126
121
PFF Coverage
77
85
Middle 8
75
1
SP+ Special Teams
39
122
Plays per Minute
69
16
Rush Rate
59.6% (36)
52.1% (77)

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


You may as well set up 11 parking cones on defense and hope that either the offensive line gets called for an ineligible man downfield or a receiver trips over the orange obstacle.

If tackling was an Olympic sport, South Florida and SMU would be banned from all activity due to sheer incompetence.


USF vs. SMU Betting Pick

All signs point to another step up for the South Florida offense.

If it can gradually improve over a month-long sample against three extremely formidable defenses, the momentum won’t stop against an SMU team that prefers you score as quick as possible, just so the offense can see how fast it can match it.

South Florida’s a near-perfect 7-0-1 to the over the last eight following an outright loss. SMU, meanwhile, has cashed four of the last five in the favorite role.

I’ll have points with a side of points. Oh, and when you have a second, would you mind getting me a small cup of points?

Pick: Over 68 (Play to 70)

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