NCAA Football Picks and American Athletic Conference Week 13 Betting Report
by Dave Schwab - 11/19/2014
It has been a challenge handicapping the AAC this season with just two games separating the top seven teams in the standings. Temple's 30-13 loss to Penn State this past Saturday as an 11-point road underdog dropped my year-to-date record for my weekly AAC picks to 5-7 on the year. The conference title remains completely up for grabs, so the get set for a wild finish over the final three weeks.
The following is a brief betting report for all the AAC matchups in Week 13 of the college football season as well as my top pick of the week for Doc's Sports. All the betting odds quoted have been provided by 5Dimes. Doc's Sports Unit Betting System will be used with every pick.
Saturday, November 22
SMU Mustangs vs. Central Florida Knights (-28)
Total Line: 47
SMU stayed true to form on offense last week by scoring 13 points in a loss to South Florida, considering that the Mustangs have averaged just 10 points a game this year. You still have to give the defense some credit for holding the Bulls to just 14 points after allowing a season average of 43.1 points a game.
Central Florida continued its quest for a second-straight AAC title with a 31-7 victory against Tulsa as a 19-point home favorite. The Knights are now 6-3 straight up on the year with a 5-2 record against the spread in their last seven games. Defensively, they are ranked 15th in the nation in points allowed (19.8).
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Houston Cougars (-20)
Total Line: 57
The Golden Hurricane are 2-4 SU in conference play in their first season in the AAC, with wins over Tulane and SMU. They have had success moving the ball through the air with 271.9 passing yards a game, but they continue to have problems finding the end zone with just 23.6 points a game. Tulsa's defense has not helped the cause by allowing an average of 38.4 points this year.
Houston remains in the AAC title picture with a 3-2 record in conference play, but it will probably have to win out in its final two games to stay in the mix. The Cougars are 5-4 SU, and they have covered in five of their last seven games. Traditionally known as a high-scoring team, it has been Houston's defense leading the way by holding teams to an average of only 17.7 points.
South Florida Bulls vs. Memphis Tigers (-18.5)
Total Line: 46
South Florida needs to win its final two games to get to the six-win mark on the year, but it will not be easy as a heavy underdog in this game and UCF waiting in the wings in next Saturday's season finale. The Bulls failed to cover as 9.5-point road favorites in last week's one-point victory over SMU, and they are now 0-3 ATS in their last three outings. The total stayed "under" in all three games.
Memphis has been the biggest surprise in the AAC this season at 7-3 SU (6-4 ATS) on the year, and it brings a four-game winning streak into this Saturday's game. The Tigers are 5-1 in conference play, and they are in excellent position to guarantee themselves at least a share of the title with wins this week and next week as a likely heavy favorite against Connecticut.
Cincinnati Bearcats (-9.5) vs. Connecticut Huskies
The Bearcats are another team in the hunt for the AAC title at 4-1 in conference play. They ran their current winning streak to four games both SU and ATS with a thrilling 54-46 victory over East Carolina this past Saturday as 1.5-point home underdogs. The total easily went "over" an already-inflated 71.5-point line after staying under in four of Cincinnati's previous five games.
The Huskies are riding out the string after posting a disappointing 2-7 record in their first nine games that includes just one conference win. They have also failed to cover ATS in seven of nine games this year, and the total has now gone over in their last two contests. Connecticut actually scored a combined 58 points in its last two contests as opposed to a dismal 17.3-point scoring average of the year.
AAC Pick of the Week
Tulane Green Wave vs. East Carolina Pirates (-18)
Total Line: 56.5
Tulane is another team that came over from Conference USA this season, and it will renew an old conference rivalry this week against the Pirates, who jumped ship from C-USA as well. It has been a rough transition for the Green Wave with three SU wins in 10 games and a 2-4 record in the AAC, and it will not get any easier this week with five SU losses to East Carolina in the last six meetings.
The Pirates are coming off back-to-back losses to Temple and Cincinnati as road favorites, so they will be looking to take their frustrations out on a team they have routinely beaten in the past. East Carolina is still one of the top teams in the AAC behind a passing offense that is ranked second in the nation in yards per game (368.3), and it is 18th in the country in scoring with 37 points a game. Look for the Pirates shake off the late season slump with a dominating win at home.
4-Unit Play Take East Carolina (-18) over Tulane (Saturday, Nov. 22, 3:30 p.m.)
YTD: 5-7 (-$990)
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