The Houston Cougars are a broken football team. The Cougars have losses to Texas Tech and Kansas alongside an overtime win against UTSA. They then came within a hair of losing to Rice at home.
Holgorsen looks furious.
Dana Holgorsen: “I wasn’t real pleasant at halftime to coaches or players. Tired of yelling at them. Tired of motivating them. Tired of all that crap..This is a trophy game. The trophy stays here. Let’s be thankful for that.” pic.twitter.com/dpmk9PCjH7
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 25, 2022
This is a very dangerous spot for Houston. Tulane is playing some great football right now. It was a tough loss against Southern Missouri, but Tulane is still 3-1 with a road win against Kansas State.
This game could have massive AAC repercussions. Who has the edge?
Let’s break it down. Read on for our Tulane Green Wave vs Houston Cougars odds, picks, and predictions.
Tulane Green Wave vs Houston Cougars
This spread and total will likely not budge from its current position. That’s a little fishy considering all the money is on Houston. A move from 2.5 to 3 means a lot, but I would think 80% of the money being on one side would justify that.
The Tulane ML has come down a bit, which makes me even more curious about this game.
This market feels like Vegas is high on Tulane.
Tulane Green Wave vs Houston Cougars Prediction & Pick
I would be very scared of this Tulane team.
This is one of the most experienced teams in the nation. Jim Svoboda is already making his mark on the offense and the defense has been lights out in the first few weeks. Tulane is ninth in Rush Success Rate allowed, 25th in Pass EPA per play allowed, and first in preventing explosive plays.
The loss to Southern Miss is tough. But College Football Data put Tulane’s post-game win expectancy at 82%. Tulane out-gained Southern Miss 451 total yards to 253 total yards. One tough turnover and a couple of bad red-zone drives screwed them.
Houston is scary up front. Sack avenue currently ranks first in Pass Rush. But the rest of the team is broken. The offensive line has been average at preventing Havoc and the defensive line is 76th in Line Yards and 111th in Rush Success Rate allowed. Clayton Tune has just five Big Time Throws to four Turnover Worthy Plays.
I can’t trust Houston right now. I don’t know what’s going on with Houston’s defense, which currently ranks 113th in tackling. Tulane has rushed for 160 yards or more in all four games and is facing a Houston defense that can’t stop the run. Tulane is one of the best teams in the nation in staying in Standard Downs, and that should scare Holgorsen.
Plus, Tulane’s offensive line ranks top-35 in Pass Blocking and preventing Havoc. The one area where Houston has a strength should be negated by Tulane.
SP+ projects this spread as PK. I’m ready to take the points with Tulane.
Tulane Green Wave vs Houston Cougars Key Matchups
Key Matchup: Special Teams
When the spread is 2.5, variance on special teams can often decide if your team wins or loses by the hook. A missed extra point or field goal. A muffed punt. These things pick ‘em games.
Through three weeks, Houston ranks 14th in SP+’s Special Teams rankings while Tulane ranks 97th.
The field position battle will likely swing Houston’s way, but we need kicker Kriston Esnard and punter Casey Glover to perform admirably. The new ST coach is Robby Discher, who was one of the ST coaches in the nation with Toledo. But the results haven’t panned out here yet.
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