Friday Night Football in College Football: Best Bets for SMU vs Tulane & BYU vs Houston

Friday’s college football slate features two exciting match-ups between SMU and Tulane and BYU against Houston. Which teams will win their anticipated tight match-ups?

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(17) SMU vs Tulane Friday, Oct 16 at 6:00pm EST, ESPN

SMU has started the season 4-0 and are now ranked 17th in the AP Poll. They’ve done this behind Shane Buechele who has thrown for 1326 yards and 10 touchdowns including just two interceptions.

Not only has SMU looked fantastic passing the ball, they’ve also ran the ball extremely well. SMU is averaging 219.5 yards per game on the ground as Ulysses Bentley IV has run for 412 yards and seven touchdowns.

SMU is coming off a ranked win against Memphis, winning 30-27 to keep their unbeaten streak alive.

But here’s where things can go south for SMU. They’ve run the ball for 219.5 yards per game and have gained 558.8 yards per game on offense.

Tulane’s defense is allowing just 124 yards on the ground per game, even after facing teams like Houston and Navy (where all they do is run the ball).

SMU will likely have to rely on their passing game more in this game. That will still be effective against Tulane’s secondary that has looked like swiss cheese at times this season.

On the other hand, Tulane is led by Keon Howard, the senior quarterback. He’s only thrown for 299 yards and one interception. He’s a running quarterback and doesn’t have much of a skill set when it comes to passing. Tulane is averaging 145.5 yards passing per game and running for 241.3 yards per game.

SMU’s run defense hasn’t been particularly good, but the reality is, there’s plenty more talent on the SMU defense compared to that Tulane offense.

Tulane lost to Houston 49-31 on October 8. SMU had five more days to prepare for their battle against Tulane as they beat Memphis on October 3.

Tulane’s offense won’t keep up with the SMU offense in this one. I also like the over, but again, Tulane’s inability to pass the ball scares me when looking at the over.

The fact of the matter is, SMU will throw the ball all over Tulane for plenty of touchdowns. With the line under seven points, SMU seems like a no brainer. But we know how these Friday nights go sometimes.

(14) BYU vs Houston Friday, Oct 16 at 9:30pm EST, ESPN

This college football double header is serious. Two fantastic games where oddsmakers believe the game will finish as a one score game in both contests.

BYU has looked stunning to start the season. I’ve seen many label BYU as the best team outside of the power five conferences. BYU destroyed Navy,Troy and Louisiana Tech but had a big of trouble putting away UTSA in their last match-up on Saturday.

BYU’s offense is averaging 556.8 yards per game on offense behind elite quarterback Zach Wilson, who has thrown for 1241 yards and eight touchdowns along with just one interception.

The running game has also been unstoppable as they’ve run for over 200 yards on offense.

Usually big time offenses will allow big time plays on defense. But BYU hasn’t. They’ve allowed just 250.5 yards per game on defense. This team is literally gaining double the amount of yards on offense compared to their defense.

Meanwhile, Houston will play their second game of the season after defeating Tulane, 49-31. Houston played fantastic defense, allowing just 70 yards on the ground to a Tulane team that was playing well running the ball.

Houston, like BYU can be effective when throwing the ball but so far BYU has only allowed 179.5 yards in the air per game. BYU has a loaded front seven where they can really create havoc and gets sacks along with knockdowns.

Clayton Tune, Houston’s quarterback threw two interceptions against an underwhelming Tulane secondary. It was the first game back and maybe jitters got the best of him. But last season, he threw 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was also sacked four times against Tulane and BYU has one of the better front lines in college football right now.

We haven’t seen enough of Houston yet. But we have seen BYU and know what this team is capable of. Houston’s offense will score points but as long as BYU gets a couple stops, BYU should be on their way to a 5-0 start.

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