Tulane Green Wave vs. SMU Mustangs Picks and Game Preview -- 10/21/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET, October 21, 2021
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: SMU -14
BetMGM: SMU -14
Caesars: SMU -14

Season record
Tulane: 1-5 (0-2 American)
No. 21 SMU: 6-0 (0-2 AAC)

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Tulane - SMU preview and analysis


Recent form
Tulane: lost 40-22 vs. Houston on Oct. 7
SMU: won 31-24 at Navy on Oct. 9

The SMU Mustangs’ run for an undefeated season continues when they return home to face the Tulane Green Wave in Dallas on Saturday.

Both teams are coming off a bye week while continuing to go in opposite directions. The Mustangs, ranked XXth in the country in an expected bump from this week’s action, faces a Tulane team that continues to free fall.

SMU failed to cover in their 7-point win over the Navy Midshipmen on Oct. 9. It was one of the Mustangs’ more difficult days on offense, if you call 404 total yards difficult. They did have two turnovers, but Tanner Mordecai led a game-winning nine-play drive in the fourth quarter to avoid the upset from the one-win Naval Academy.

Wide receiver Reggie Robersn Jr. led SMU with five receptions for 100 yards and one of Mordecai’s two touchdowns.

Coach Sonny Dykes’ team continues to be a group worthy of the ranking it receives. Not only with the offense led by Mordecai averaging 511 yards per game, but a defense that’s been holding teams to under 400 yards, including 139 on the ground.

It shouldn’t be much of a struggle this week for the SMU offense, facing a Tulane defense that has given up at least 40 points three times during its four-game losing streak. Quarterback Michael Pratt had no interceptions while going 20 of 30 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, but Houston’s offense outscored Tulane 23-7 in the second half after leading only 17-15 at halftime.

Yulman Stadium in New Orleans has not been the friendly confines since Tulane started playing in their home stadium almost a month ago.

Prediction


We all know what SMU has its sights set on: Nov. 20 against Cincinnati. Four more games, including the one this week, and the AAC will have its ultimate showdown. But for now, on Thursday night, SMU takes care of business and does it convincingly. SMU by 24

Betting trends


Tulane is 4-11 straight up in its last 15 road games.

Tulane is 9-2 against the spread in its last 11 coming off a loss to a conference rival.

SMU has won 12 of its last 13 home games straight up and is 10-3 ATS.

The over is 5-1 in SMU games off a bye week.

Statistical leaders


Tulane:
Passing: Michael Pratt -- 1,364 yards, 13 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Cameron Carroll -- 272 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Tyrick James -- 343 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Two tied -- 2.5 sacks

SMU:
Passing: Tanner Mordecai -- 1,893 yards, 26 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Ulysses Bentley IV -- 405 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Danny Gray -- 469 yards, 7 TD
Defense: Gary Wiley -- 4 sacks

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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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