Houston at SMU Free Pick & Lines
The University of Houston looked like it would be the first Group of 5 team to crash the College Football Playoff not long ago, but the 11th-ranked Cougars won’t be reaching the national semifinals after a couple of bad games, including a loss. They still can reach a major bowl game, however, but have to win out. UH is a big favorite on NCAA football lines at in-state rival SMU on Saturday.
How to Bet on the Houston at SMU Free Pick, Lines & TV Info
When: Saturday, Oct. 22, 7 PM ET
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas
Radio: Houston / SMU
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Houston -21 (63)
Why Bet on Houston?
The Cougars held off Tulsa 38-31 last week. The game was tied at 31-31 when Emeke Egbule returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown with 1:21 remaining. Garrett Davis knocked the ball out of the hands of quarterback Dane Evans. Egbule scooped it up and dashed into the end zone for the score. Tulsa had a chance to tie it, but Jesse Brubaker was stopped just short of the goal line after a reception on the last play of the game to seal Houston’s victory. It was a close call for the Cougars (6-1, 3-1 AAC) a week after Navy beat them 46-40 after a 5-0 start.
Egbule’s fumble recovered for a touchdown is Houston’s 38th non-offensive touchdown since 2010 moving them into a tie for Utah for second in the NCAA during that span. Egbule’s score is Houston’s 16th defensive scoring play since 2013 and fourth score this season. With 96 rushing yards by Tulsa, it marked the sixth time this season Houston has held an opponent under 100 yards rushing.
Senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr., finished the contest with a season-high 142 yards rushing on 25 carries. That marked the fifth time in his career he has carried the ball for more than triple digits. Ward Jr., improved to 24-3 as the Cougars’ starting quarterback. He continues to hold Houston’s career record with a .889 winning percentage and is the only starting quarterback in school history with a perfect season after going 13-0 in 2015. With 396 yards of total offense, Ward Jr., passed David Klingler (9,327 yards; 1988-91) to move into third on the Houston career total offense chart with 9,357 total yards.
SMU and Houston will meet for the 32nd time, with the Cougars holding a 20-10- 1 lead. The Cougars have won the last three in the series.
Why Bet on SMU?
The Mustangs were off last week and lost to Tulsa 43-40 in overtime the week before that. Josh Williams kicked a 25-yard field goal on the final play of regulation and added a 22-yarder on SMU’s possession to open overtime. Ben Hicks threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns for the Mustangs (2-4, 0-2 AAC) and Braeden West had 124 yards and a TD on 22 carries.
Senior defensive back Darrion Millines recorded his third interception of the season at Tulsa. SMU now has three players (Jordan Wyatt (4), Horace Richardson (4), Darrion Millines (3)) with three or more interceptions. SMU is the only FBS school with three players with three or more picks in 2016. As a squad, SMU has 13 INTs, which is second among all FBS schools, trailing only Troy. The Mustangs have had an interception in all six games this season. SMU is currently tied for fourth in the country in takeaways with 15 (two fumble recoveries). In 2015, SMU gained just 10 turnovers all season.
Sophomore Courtland Sutton is SMU’s top offensive threat. Sutton has 30 receptions for 590 yards, averaging 98.3 yards per game, good for 17th nationally. Sutton has four touchdowns in the first six games and he ranks seventh in the country at 19.7 yards per catch amongst receivers with at least 25 catches.
Last year, SMU lost 49-28 to Houston as Ward ran for four touchdowns for the Cougars and Kenneth Farrow three.
My Free Pick
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Southern Methodist.
Cougars are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Take Houston and go over the total in NCAA football betting.