Many of the O/U totals on projected blow-out games have been lower than normal lately. When teams like Washington State are winning games 28-0, odds-makers are less apt to imagine a basketball score as the final.
But not in the case of the Memphis Tigers. After Memphis put up 70 in 4 quarters against UConn and 66 points last week against SMU, the bookies aren’t taking chances. O/U total? (79) points.
Why are the Tigers expected to roll? Not only is the squad 9-1 and ranked #20 in the FBS, the offense has been almost unstoppable at home. East Carolina, their opponent this Saturday, is 3-8 and has little to play for.
But wait. ECU clocked Cincinnati 48-20 last weekend. Gardner Minshew looked like a revelation at QB, throwing 4 TD passes. Due to the Pirates finally showing a sign of life, Vegas has the odds set at a “tweener” level between a what a regular mismatched conference game spread would be, and what a P5 vs FCS point spread would often be.
Who: East Carolina Pirates at Memphis Tigers
When: Saturday, November 25th, 12 PM EST
Where: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN
Line: ECU (+28.5) at MEM (-28.5) / O/U Total: (79)
The win over Cincy proved that the Pirates can have a nice offense if it has its act together, and isn’t athletically-overwhelmed by an opponent. It’s hard to judge whether the Tiger defense has been terrific or just carried along by the fabulous scoring punch of Riley Ferguson and Darrell Henderson. But we’ll give it a try.
Early in the season, Memphis was a bad defensive team. The SIU-Carbondale Salukis scored 31 points in a loss to Memphis. (The fact that you don’t know who they are should tell you everything.)
However, the unit has markedly improved in recent weeks. The Tigers stuffed Tulsa in a 41-14 clobbering of the tough Golden Hurricane, stifled the triple-option of Tulane the weekend prior, and most recently found a way to stop a hot SMU offense in the 2nd half. Ferguson and the offense answered with 21 points in the 4th quarter.
East Carolina has played 3 other top-25 teams and given up 60+ points to all of them.
Take Memphis to cover the big spread, and look closely at an over bet. This could be a virtual orgy of offense for the Tigers on Senior Day.