Tulane at Houston Betting Preview: Will Offense or Defense Prevail?

Tulane at Houston Betting Preview: Will Offense or Defense Prevail? article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: D’Eriq King and Justin McMillan

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Tulane at Houston Betting Odds

  • Odds: Houston -8
  • Over/Under: 67
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 1 p.m. ET Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets


Houston’s defense has finally caught up to it. Following the loss of star defensive lineman Ed Oliver, the Cougars have allowed 104 total points over their pat two games, both losses to SMU and Temple.

Tulane has relied on a defense that ranks 47th in S&P+ to win three straight, allowing just 16.6 points and 5.01 yards per play over that span.

Trend to Know

By Evan Abrams

Tulane has won three consecutive games for the first time since October 2013, which was the last season the Green Wave went to a bowl game. They opened as +11 underdogs to a 7-3 Houston team that has lost two straight.

Since 2005, teams like Tulane that have won at least two consecutive games and open as a double-digit underdog in-conference are 203-173-6 (54%) against the spread, profiting bettors 19.6 units.

When that team faces a prolific offense scoring 40 or more points per game — like Houston, which averaging 47.8 points per game this season — they are 88-66-3 (57.1%) ATS.

How to Bet This Over/Under

By Collin Wilson

Houston ran into a roadblock in the form of Temple in Week 11.

The Cougars have now allowed opponents to score at least 36 points in their past four games. It might not be a coincidence that four games ago is when the Cougars lost Oliver to a knee injury. He’s not expected to play against Tulane and could sit for the remainder of the season.

The Cougars already struggled in sack rate, ranking 104th, and have taken a hit on the defensive line havoc rate with a current rank of 58th. A defensive S&P+ rank of 104th could be an issue against this Tulane offense, which ranks 10th in offensive explosiveness.

The Action Network power ratings make this game Houston -11.5, but projects the total at 60, which means there could be value in the under as it sits at 67.

Even with the explosiveness on the side of Tulane, the Green Wave are an inefficient offense, ranking 118th in efficiency. They are 106th in finishing drives — a metric that looks at point per attempt inside the 40-yard line. Tulane is also 12th and seventh in run rate on standard and passing downs, respectively, which will keep the clock moving.

While there could be long touchdown scores for each team, plenty of inefficiency and ground game will have me on the under.

Collin’s Pick: Under 67

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