USF vs Tulsa Odds & Predictions: Betting Value on Friday’s Underdog

USF vs Tulsa Odds & Predictions: Betting Value on Friday’s Underdog article feature image

Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: USF Bulls running back Brian Battie.

USF vs Tulsa Odds

Friday, Nov. 18
9 p.m. ET
USF Odds
-108o / -112u
Tulsa Odds
-108o / -112u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Midweek AACtion could be more entertaining. At 1-9, USF matches up with 3-7 Tulsa for Friday Night Lights, and nothing has gone right for either team.

I pegged USF for a breakout season in 2022, especially with Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon taking over at quarterback.

Instead, the Bulls are 3-7 against the spread.

I was far lower on Tulsa than the market — which is paying dividends — but I have still backed them in spots this season.

The Golden Hurricane are 3-7 ATS.

However lackluster both teams seem, Tulsa is far less pathetic. The Golden Hurricane are laying almost two touchdowns in this Friday battle.

Is that too many points?

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South Florida Bulls

When Bohanon was lost to injury for the season, I expected it couldn’t get much worse at quarterback.

Katravis Marsh was good against Tulane and Houston and then confirmed my suspicions. He fell apart against Temple and SMU, going just 12-for-31 in his last game.

Plus, Baylor loses Bohanon’s rushing ability. So, while Bohanon had just six touchdowns to six interceptions, he added an extra dimension with his ability on the ground.

Marsh doesn’t have that.

Oh, and then Marsh got hurt. He’s out for the season with a neck injury that he suffered last week. It was a scary situation, but he will make a full recovery.

So, the Bulls are down to their third- or fourth-string quarterback — either Byrum Brown or Michel Dukes.

Dukes was a three-year backup at Clemson who never got any playing time, while Brown is a freshman. So, I can’t say I have a lot of faith in the quarterback room.

I’m going to guess it’s Brown. He’s a three-star recruit out of North Carolina who received offers from App State, Campbell, Dartmouth and Florida A&M before committing to USF.

Again, not much faith.

The rest of the roster is decimated, too. Left tackle Donovan Jennings went down early with a leg injury, alongside second-string running back Jaren Mangham, second-string tight end Chris Carter, and two other wide receivers.

But USF’s issues are on the defensive end. The Bulls rank among the bottom 10 FBS teams in:

  • Rush Success Rate Allowed
  • Pass Success Rate Allowed
  • PFF’s Pass Rush grades
  • Points per Opportunity Allowed

They’re 105th in Havoc Created and 110th in Defensive Line Yards. This defense has been shredded seven ways to Sunday, allowing a whopping 7.4 yards per play.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Tulsa doesn’t have the offense to break anybody.

It's combined to score 23 points over the last two weeks. Granted, it managed that against Memphis and Tulsa, but the Hurricane managed between three and four scores against two well-known pathetic defenses in Temple and Navy.

The formula for Tulsa is always the same. The Hurricane will play an uptempo, pass-happy style of football that leans on Davis Brin.

Brin’s had a half-decent season, boasting 8.6 yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns to eight picks. However, he’s made 16 turnover-worthy plays to just 18 big-time throws, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some negative turnover regression.

That's especially true considering Tulsa’s offensive line does not protect Brin. Tulsa ranks 114th in PFF’s pass-blocking grades, 102nd in Havoc Allowed and 127th in Adjusted Sack Rate.

Tulsa is also weak in the trenches on the other side of the ball. However, the Hurricane secondary has compensated, ranking 22nd in PFF's coverage grades.

As a result, Tulsa sits 26th in Pass Success Rate Allowed.

But the Hurricane have no issue getting shredded on the ground. The only team that is worse against the run is … South Florida.

USF vs Tulsa Matchup Analysis

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

USF Offense vs. Tulsa Defense
Rush Success4063
Line Yards5086
Pass Success10126
Pass Blocking**3797
Finishing Drives50102
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Tulsa Offense vs. USF Defense
Rush Success66121
Line Yards61110
Pass Success79129
Pass Blocking**114130
Finishing Drives13123
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9493
PFF Coverage12422
SP+ Special Teams10892
Seconds per Play27.3 (90)25.0 (38)
Rush Rate56.0% (54)50.5% (85)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

USF vs Tulsa Betting Pick

USF is just going to run the football. Its third-string quarterback will hand it off for 60 minutes and hope the defense can get a few stops.

However, that strategy might work better than we think.

USF has a top-40 rush offense in terms of Success Rate and a top-50 offensive line in terms of Line Yards. While Bohanon won't take the field, running back Brian Battie is having a career year, averaging 6.3 yards per carry and ranking top-20 nationally in PFF’s grades.

Brian Battie is 3rd in the AAC with 599 rushing yards

📹: ESPN#BayMade and #BayStayed | 941 |

— 🤘🤘Sidelines-USF🤘🤘 (@SSN_USF) October 31, 2022

That unit is going up against a horrific rush defense in Tulsa. The Bulls will play very slowly, — they rank 90th in seconds per play — and will likely move the chains.

That means USF can play keep away from Brin and Co. while avoiding Tulsa’s biggest strength in the secondary. It’s going to be hard for the Golden Hurricane to cover two touchdowns with this game script.

Besides, Tulsa doesn’t do well in this scenario, as it’s 1-4 ATS as a favorite this season. At least South Florida has covered two of its last four underdog opportunities.

USF has also covered three of the last four games against Tulsa, including last season.

Our Action PRO projections make this line Tulsa -8.8, and I think there’s clear value on the underdog in this lame-duck Friday night game.

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