Tulane Green Wave vs. Houston Cougars: Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 9/30/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Houston -2.5
FanDuel: Houston -3
BetMGM: Houston -2.5
Caesars: Houston -2.5

Season record
Tulane: 3-1
Houston: 2-2

What a big week and some fun shake up in the top 25, as we enter Week 5 of the college football campaign. And what a week it was for our own Wayne Root with a 7-1-0 stint to continue what has been a strong start for our champion handicappers through the early stages of this college football season. But now things are going to get interesting with conference play underway and some big-time matchups in the coming weeks. You're going to want to follow our top-notch handicappers if you want to get on this action. Make sure you visit our Best Bets page to find out more.

Tulane - Houston preview, analysis and prediction

Last week
Tulane: lost 27-24 vs. Southern Miss
Houston: won 34-27 vs. Rice

If you had the Tulane Green Wave sitting at 3-1 on your bingo card, feel free to start applying for lottery numbers. After a 2-10 season a year ago, Tulane is off to a terrific start and is feeling all sorts of confidence right now. And it’s not just a start against some mediocre teams. Sure, there’s a 52-0 win over Alcorn State and a 42-10 victory over lowly UMass, but how do you respond? You hold a Kansas State team to just 10 points and win on the road. 

Sure, Tulane came down a tad and lost 27-24 to Southern Miss, but when we look back in December and evaluate which teams should be at a bowl game, we’ll look at that Kansas State game because the Wildcats just upset No. 6 Oklahoma on Saturday. 

Resume games matter, and to win on the road and have that happen is the best thing that could’ve happened to Tulane. Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt threw for 247 yards and a touchdown, but threw a costly pick-six returned by Southern Miss’ Eric Scott Jr. to ice it. 

Tyjae Spears had 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and he also hauled in 74 yards on five receptions. Clearly, there’s some talent on this team and we’re about to see how good this defense it. To hold Southern Miss to 20 points on offense and special teams is a good start, honestly. Tulane has been fun to watch and could be a sneaky team to watch for with American Conference play opening up.

Meanwhile, if you had the Houston Cougars off to a 2-2 start, that’s a bit more of an intriguing one. A victory over UTSA to begin the season was meant to be a springboard for the AAC favorites. But follow that with losses to Texas Tech and Kansas, and suddenly things are not that great. The Cougars bounced back Saturday with a 34-27. 

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune threw for 249 yards and had two touchdowns, with Nathaniel Dell reeling in one of those touchdowns and 134 of those yards. Tazhawn Henry ran for 112 yards and a touchdown. The winning play was on defense, though, with Nelson Ceaser returning a fumble for a touchdown with 3:34 remaining. 

Yes, a Houston game was decided by defense. Go figure, because that makes total sense. Somehow that’s the most shocking thing to come out of Houston’s 2-2 start. Hence why this line is so small to start. Houston is opening as high as 3-point favorites in some books, but it goes to show how far off both teams are to start. 

If Houston is favored, that still shows a discrepancy and how little the books believe in Tulane. That’s going to be something to watch out for as the week progresses. But a short week and some travel may have some play into this in Houston’s favor.


Alas, I do like the underdog story that Tulane is putting together. I think they’ve at least figured out how to win in the short term and will not sit by and accept how last week went down. This is going to be a huge week for the Tulane program if it can get a win against one of the conference favorites. I just don’t know if I’m ready to commit to that just yet. Houston by 7

Betting trends

Tulane is 15-12 ATS in its last 27 games.

Tulane is 3-7 ATS after playing a non-conference game in the last 10 instances.

Houston is 5-6 ATS in its last 11 home games.

Houston is 2-5 ATS in its last seven off a home win.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Michael Pratt -- 905 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Tyjae Spears -- 205 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: Shae Wyatt -- 184 yards, 1 TD

Passing: Clayton Tune -- 993 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Tazhwan Henry -- 195 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Nathaniel Dell -- 380 yards, 3 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Tulane Green Wave - Houston Cougars prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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