Check out this week’s college football “Fab Five” in this short video:
AAC action here as the Southern Methodist Mustangs travel East to take on the UConn Huskies. The Huskies have been one of the worst teams in Division 1 football, while the Mustangs have been up and down. SMU has surprisingly gotten a bit hot recently and is on an upward swing while UConn continues to get blown out. It should be an interesting one, as the Huskies don’t have many opportunities to win left on the schedule and should be going all out here.
SMU Picking Up Steam
SMU had a pretty good 2017 season, they finished 7-5 and made a bowl game. But they lost a lot of talent from that team, including receiver Courtland Sutton who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, and looked poised to take a step back in 2018 when they started off 0-3. But the 0-3 start wasn’t actually due to any bad play from the Mustangs, they just faced a ridiculously tough schedule to start the year.
They played North Texas, TCU, and Michigan, so it’s no surprise they started 0-3. When the schedule got easier, they’ve played much better. They’ve now won four of their past six games, with the only losses coming to UCF and Cincinnati by six.
Ben Hicks threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns – including the 67-yard game-winner to James Proche with just over a minute remaining – as @SMU_Football earns a road #AmericanFB victory over Tulane. pic.twitter.com/EbWaCgDsiw
— American Football (@American_FB) October 21, 2018
Junior quarterback Ben Hicks has been playing at a very high level the past few weeks and should shred this Huskies secondary. Hicks is a very experienced three year starter and has put up numbers on defenses far better than this. UConn ranks 125th out of 129 in pass defense this year, so this Mustang team should have no problem moving the ball through the air.
UConn In Disarray
Just when things seem like they can’t get worse for UConn football, they always do. In their most recent game, the Huskies lost by 30 to a Tulsa team that was on a six game losing streak. UConn is 1-8, and astoundingly only two of their eight losses have been by less than 30 points.
The Huskies have been one of the worst teams defending the pass in the entire country, giving up an eye-popping 11.11 yards per attempt through the air. They give up 15 yards per completion and nearly 300 yards a game through the air. Simply put, it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to slow down an experienced quarterback like Hicks in a high scoring offense.
UConn’s only hope here will be to score a lot of points, but their offense isn’t very good either. Senior quarterback David Pindell has a touchdown to interception ratio of just 11:8, and he averages just 6.59 yards per attempt. UConn is better at running the ball, but usually gets down so big in games that it doesn’t matter.
They’re never able to establish the run, and most of their runs end up coming in garbage time. SMU is also pretty stout against the run, allowing just 4.08 yards per carry this season.
- 6-23-3 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games
- 15-41-2 ATS in their last 58 games overall
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Mustangs here, and they might be my favorite play of the entire week. UConn has lost six games by 30 or more points this season, and SMU should have no trouble clearing 19. SMU is one of the more underrated teams in the country, and their metrics have been distorted by an extremely tough schedule. They’ve held their own against way tougher opponents, and should crush the Huskies here.
Prediction: SMU -19
Full-Game Total Pick
No total is too high for a game involving the Huskies. Any game they play they’re a threat to give up 50-60 points, and I’d be shocked if SMU doesn’t wind up in at the very least the high 40’s. All UConn will need to do is score a few meaningless touchdowns for this to go well over the total.
Half-Time Side Pick
I like SMU in the first half a lot. UConn has been getting blown out by any half-decent team, and the SMU offense is finally starting to click in their new system. The Mustangs will come out firing, and there’s no way they won’t be up by double digits at the break.
Half-Time Total Bet
I like the first half over a lot as well. UConn’s defense is so bad, that there isn’t much chance that SMU doesn’t go up and down the field right away. Maybe the Mustangs will let up in the second half, but they’ll have their foot on the gas in the first half. They could come close to eclipsing their first half total by themselves.