NCAA Football Picks and American Athletic Conference Week 11 Betting Report
by Dave Schwab - 11/5/2014
I went with Central Florida as an 11.5-point road favorite against Connecticut last Saturday as my AAC pick of the week, and not only did the Knights fail to cover, they actually lost that game to the Huskies 37-29 in a stunning turn of events in the conference title race. East Carolina also went down in defeat as a road favorite over Temple to further tighten up things up in the standings.
The following is a brief betting report for all matchups in Week 11 of the college football season in the AAC as well as my top pick for this week's games. All the betting odds quoted have been provided by 5Dimes.
Friday, November 7
Memphis Tigers (-7.5) vs. Temple Owls
Total Line: 52
The Tigers are starting to gain some traction in the AAC title race with a straight up 3-1 start in conference play. Brandon Hayes almost doubled his rushing yardage on the year with 199 yards and three scores in last week's 40-20 rout of Tulsa, and Memphis, as a team, is averaging 206 rushing yards a game. They have also done a good job finding the end zone with 36.3 points a game.
Temple is coming off one of its biggest wins in years with last Saturday's 20-10 upset against East Carolina as a 10-point home underdog. The Owls' defense has been solid all season long in allowing an average of 18.4 points a game, which is ranked 18th in the nation. Last week's win was also heavily aided by five uncharacteristic Pirates fumbles. Temple is now 5-3 SU on the year with a 4-4 record against the spread.
Saturday, November 8
SMU Mustangs vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-12)
Total Line: 55.5
SMU continues to be one of the worst teams in all of Division IA this season at 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS. Other than the 24 points they scored in a 21-point loss to East Carolina a few weeks back, the Mustangs have scored a grand total of just 25 points combined in their other six games. Defensively, SMU has also stayed true to form by allowing an average of 48 points to its opponents to own the bottom spot in the nation in both of these categories.
Tulsa has gone through some growing pains during its first season in the AAC with a SU seven-game losing streak following an opening-weekend win over Tulane. The Golden Hurricane are 3-5 ATS, but they have been a solid play on the total line with seven of their first eight games staying "under" the closing betting line.
Connecticut Huskies (-4.5) vs. Army Black Knights
Total Line: 48
The fact that the Huskies are actually favored on the road in this game speaks more to the current state of affairs with Army much more than it does to Connecticut's current form. It did just stun Central Florida this past Saturday to snap a five-game SU losing streak, but overall UConn still has one of the worst scoring offenses in the nation with an average of 16.9 points a game.
The Black Knights come into this matchup with just two wins on the year against six losses, and they are 2-6 ATS as well. They still can churn out the yards on the ground behind a solid duo of backs in Larry Dixon and Angel Santiago, but that has done little to keep the offense from being ranked 101 st in the nation in scoring (23.5 points). Couple this with a defense that is allowing an average of 34.3 points a game, and the record speaks for itself.
AAC Pick of the Week
Tulane Green Wave vs. Houston Cougars (-17.5)
Tulane is another former Conference USA team that is struggling to make the transition to the AAC this season. Its only conference win so far against three SU defeats was against Connecticut a few weeks back. Overall, the Green Wave is 2-6 SU with a 3-5 record ATS. The concern in this matchup is an offense that is ranked 119th in the nation in scoring with an average of 18.1 points a game. Even in its win against the Huskies, this unit managed a grand total of just 12 points.
Over the years, the Cougars had gained a reputation for being a high-scoring team that threw the ball all over the field. That has all changed this season with some solid balance on offense between the pass and the run. Overall, they are scoring a respectable 28 points a game, but the real strength of this team has been a shut-down defense that is holding teams to just 16 points a game, which is the fifth-best average in the nation. You probably could not go wrong with a play on the under in his game, but I am laying the 17.5 points on the home-town Cougars in this week's AAC top pick.
4-Unit Play Take Houston (-17.5) over Tulane (Saturday, Nov. 8, 3:30 p.m.)
YTD: 5-5 (-$110)
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