College Football Odds, Picks, Prediction | Tulane vs Southern Miss Betting Preview (Sept. 16)
Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Southern Miss’ Billy Wiles.
Tulane vs Southern Miss Odds
This week, the Tulane Green Wave will travel to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Tulane has a reputation as one of the top teams in the Group of Five, but this non-conference road matchup could be tough coming off a loss and with uncertainty at quarterback.
Let’s dive into my betting preview and top pick for Tulane vs. Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 16.
The biggest question mark for Tulane heading into this week is the health of quarterback Michael Pratt. After injuring his left knee late in Tulane’s Week 1 victory, the star signal-caller missed last weekend’s game against Ole Miss.
Head coach Willie Fritz said he's “hoping” he plays this week but did not give any further information on Pratt’s status for Saturday.
The Tulane passing attack destroyed South Alabama, putting up an EPA per Dropback in the 99th percentile as Pratt completed 14 of his 15 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns. His EPA per Dropback came out to an outstanding 1.07.
Ole Miss obviously has a better defense than South Alabama did, but the offense did struggle without Pratt. The Green Wave put up Success Rate and EPA per Play marks in the fifth percentile. The passing game dropped to a 22nd-percentile output as it struggled to run the ball for the second game in a row.
Tulane’s defense has been a bit below average this year, but that would be expected with its schedule. The Green Wave rank 71st in Success Rate and 84th in Defensive Finishing Drives.
It’s their run defense — which ranks 42nd in Success Rate — that will cause issues for Southern Miss.
To be frank, things didn't go well for Southern Miss against Florida State. The Golden Eagles fell by a score of 66-13, but this was closer to a 30-point game according to Bill Connelly’s post-game win expectancy.
This week, Southern Miss will play a team it's closer to in talent level, but there’s still a gap between the two teams, as evidenced by the 12.5-point spread.
The Golden Eagles offense has been an issue for a while now, which became even more clear after they ranked 10th in Offensive Success Rate but 84th in Finishing Drives last season.
In Week 1 against Alcorn State, they put up a 57th-percentile Success Rate and 61st-percentile EPA per Play. However, Florida State held USM to a 14th-percentile Success Rate and 15th-percentile EPA per Play.
The jury is still out on whether Billy Wiles can provide production as this team’s starting quarterback. The sophomore from Ashburn, Virginia, completed 21 of his 28 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and a pick against Alcorn State but followed that up with an 11-of-34, 154-yard performance against FSU that also included an interception.
The Southern Miss defense was strong in 2022, ranking 12th in FBS in Success Rate. This year, it returns six starters but is replacing most of its secondary. This was obviously going to be an issue against Florida State, as the Seminoles thrashed the Eagles through the air, but they may stand a better chance of holding up against Tulane’s offensive attack.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tulane and Southern Miss match up statistically:
Tulane Offense vs. Southern Miss Defense
Southern Miss Offense vs. Tulane Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||31||83|
|Seconds per Play||29.1 (96)||30.1 (116)|
|Rush Rate||61.5% (17)||50.4% (89)|
Tulane vs Southern Miss
Betting Pick & Prediction
Tulane’s rushing offense has struggled this year without Tyjae Spears, and I don’t see any sign of that stopping against a solid Southern Miss run defense that returns most of its contributors in the front seven from last year.
Southern Miss’ offense is not a unit I’m willing to back without seeing more production. Wiles will have to show that the Golden Eagles can move the ball through the air before I'm willing to believe in their offense.
With the uncertainty around Pratt, I’m not willing to lay the points with the road team here, either.
That points me toward the under.
If Pratt plays, I would be concerned about the Southern Miss pass defense holding up, but without him, this game may turn into a slow grind. Southern Miss ranks 116th in seconds per play this season, while Tulane comes in at 96th.
Be careful with this one due to the uncertainty at quarterback on both sides. But if Pratt either doesn’t play or is limited, this total is a touch too high.