Somebody’s winning streak has to come to an end in the week 9 SMU at Houston meeting. The #19 Mustangs (7-0) look good with an undefeated record, but they’ve also been double digit favorites in six of those wins. Some would say Southern Methodist hasn’t really been challenged save for a 42-34 win at TCU in week 4 as +8 point underdogs.
Houston (6-1) has gone on a six game stretch of W’s after their 38-21 loss to Texas Tech in the season opener. The Cougars somewhat under the radar have posted some of the best defensive numbers in the country, but they’ve also got a huge challenge vs. an SMU squad putting up 42.7 points/game.
Bank on Mordecai?
SMU getting a point is pretty wild considering they are undefeated and ranked in the top 20 this season. Then again they are on the road and have built that 7-0 record on the 86th toughest schedule in the country (Houston 83rd).
77% of early public betting likes undefeated SMU getting the point on the road. That’s kind of a red flag percentage but at the same time there are worse horses to hitch your wagon to than SMU QB Tanner Mordecai. The Junior is an Oklahoma transfer who has absolutely been lighting things up in Sonny Dykes‘ offense as his 29 TDs are 2nd in the nation and his 2,320 yards are 8th best.
Mordecai threw for 427 yards and 3 TD in SMU’s last game while also running for 34 yards and another score. The 55-26 thrashing of Tulane as -14 point favorites pushed the Mustangs’ mark to 5-2 ATS this season. That game was also on a Thursday, meaning the Mustangs have a couple extra days of rest heading into the week 9 SMU at Houston matchup.
Cougars Deserve to Be Favored?
Much like SMU, Houston is supposed to be having this success at this point in the season as they too have been favored in six of seven games this season. One of those losses as a favorite was the 38-21 thrashing at the hands of Texas Tech in the season opener when the Cougars were listed at -3 in the neutral site game at NRG Stadium.
Regardless of having one of the worst strength of schedules in the country (as both teams do) it’s hard to ignore how good the Houston defense has been this season. The one game the Cougars were underdogs in was a week 5 visit to Tulsa (+3.5) and Houston ended up holding them to under 300 yards of total offense.
You can’t beat SMU on defense alone though, which is why the pressure falls on Houston’s offense to put up some points on Saturday. Cougars QB Clayton Tune has 7 TDs to just 1 INT over the last three games and the Mustangs gave up 234 yards and 3 TDs on just 11 completions to Tulane QB Michael Pratt in their last game.
Free Week 9 SMU at Houston Pick
It’s a true coin flip game and Houston would seem to have the edge as -1 point favorites at home. That being said the number to attack here is the total (61.5) – and why it’s so low? Sure the Cougars have a great defense but this is a transcending SMU offense that has scored at least 31 points in every game this season.
These two teams combine to average 79 ppg and while that’s not a true aggregator of the points scored in Saturday night’s meeting it’s enough to put faith on the over. Especially when this -1 point spread game could easily go into OT.
SMU 38 – Houston 41
Free Pick: Over 61.5