A very disappointing season for the Tigers trudges on in the Thursday Tulsa at Memphis betting matchup. This is a team that has gone 14-9 in the first two seasons under Ryan Silverfield – bowl eligible both years – but is mired in a four game losing streak and toiling around at just 4-5 on the year.
Tulsa (3-6) would love to add to Memphis’ misery but they’ve got their own issues going just 1-5 on the road this season. This is a Golden Hurricane team that has been to consecutive bowl games, but they’ve dug themselves a hole needing to go 3-0 down the stretch to make it a third straight trip to the postseason. The Tigers are a -7 point favorite and nearly 80% of the early bets like Memphis to cover that number.
Tulsa Defense a Mirage
On paper it looks like this would be a good matchup for the Golden Hurricane defense, who rank 13th in the country vs. the pass allowing just 176.4 ypg. Throwing the ball is Memphis’ strength, but in reality the only reason those numbers are so good for Tulsa is because their run defense is sixth worst in the country allowing 228.6 ypg to FBS opponents.
That Swiss cheese run defense was on display last week for Tulsa as Tulane carried the ball 53 times for 357 yards in what was surprising only a 27-13 win for the Green Wave (as -6.5 road favorites). Memphis’ Asa Martin is their leading rusher with just 300 yards, but getting him going on the ground could open things up for the Tigers’ passing game that throws for 284.6 ypg.
The Golden Hurricane might have to put up some points to stay competitive in Tulsa at Memphis betting, but they can do that. Tulsa puts up 30.2 ppg, but the AAC is also very high scoring and that number ranks just 8th in the conference. Memphis tallies 33.9 ppg which is 4th in the conference.
Memphis Set to Put Up Some Numbers
Thursday’s O/U is 62.5 so the scoreboard better change their lightbulbs prior to kickoff. Tulsa’s run defense is atrocious, but you’d think that Silverfield is still going to rely on his passing game that ranks 24th in the nation, but actually just 4th in the AAC.
QB Seth Henigan has shown a solid command of the passing game, throwing for 280+ in each of the last three games with 6 TDs – but also 6 INTs. Henigan had 10 TDs to just 1 INT his first six games of the season so that is a bit of a regression.
Memphis does boast the second worst pass defense in the AAC, so that’s a possible area that Tulsa could exploit. QB Davis Brin is questionable though after suffering a shoulder injury two weeks ago against SMU, and Braylon Braxton was just 13/25 last week against Tulane for 146 yards.
Free Tulsa at Memphis Betting Pick
Things look pretty bleak on the bowl front for Tulsa, who must win each of their last three games of the season which includes a visit to Memphis, hosting 1-8 USF, and then traveling to 5-4 Houston to end the season. If the Tigers can win on Thursday, they’ll be huge favorites next week against South Alabama and can go bowling for the 9th straight season.
The incentive, combined with Tulsa having a very bad defense as well as (likely) their backup QB makes Memphis the play even though giving a TD seems a bit steep for a team on a 4-game losing streak.
Pick: Memphis -7