Memphis Tigers vs. Connecticut Huskies
Date and Time: Friday, October 6, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
Opening College Football Odds: Memphis -14
Memphis vs. Connecticut TV Coverage: ESPN
This Connecticut football program is just flat out awful right now. The Huskies only have a narrow escape of a win over Holy Cross to their credit this year, and they haven't really been in any of their other games. Their defense has been flat out embarrassing, and their offense hasn't done anything to help the cause either.
All of that is circumstantial, of course, but drilling in on the small picture will tell a much bigger story. There are 130 teams in FBS football right now, including a UCLA team that couldn't stop a passing attack led by 12-year old kids, let alone 20-year old kids. Even then, UConn has a worse pass defense than the Bruins.
Opponents are averaging 379.8 passing yards per game against the Huskies this year, and that's putting them at a ridiculous disadvantage in every other facet of their game.
Riley Ferguson has to be licking his chops about the prospects of throwing the ball against this defense. The Memphis quarterback has thrown for 1,104 yards and nine touchdowns thus far this season, and we know that he's going to be in for better as the season wears on.
The Tigers were embarrassed last week by UCF. The Knights are really good, though, and they're going to be top contenders to get to the New Year's Six this year out of the AAC.
Ferguson has a deep offense at his disposal, including having five receivers who have at least 100 receiving yards on the season. The Huskies are going to have to try to cover all over the field, and that could cause a huge problem for a thinned out unit.
Betting Trends of Note
The Huskies haven't just failed to cover each of their first four games of this season, but they finished out last season on an 0-for-5 ATS tear as well. That's nine games in a row in which the team hasn't covered, and it hasn't really come close all that often either. Last week's 49-28 loss to SMU was actually pretty close to the final spread of +16.5. Aside from that? Not a lot of close calls.
The Huskies haven't outgained an opponent since October 22 last season, including getting whooped by at least 115 yards in five of those eight games.
The one switch that we've seen with the Huskies this year is that their games have been flying over the total. Their total of 74 wasn't enough in last week's 49-28 loss to SMU, and that's now three straight over performances.
Memphis should happily oblige to play a wide open game, as it has put five of its last six over the total dating back to last year, too.
Memphis vs. Connecticut Free Picks
There should be plenty of points on the board in this one. Let's remember that Memphis has a bottom 10 pass defense as well, and Bryant Shirrefs should take advantage for the Huskies and at least put some points on the board.
But in the end, there's a chasm separating these two teams, and the oddsmakers aren't showing a big enough one to warrant taking the hosts. The Tigers are going to be undervalued after getting embarrassed last week in Orlando, but we think they're going to be set for a bounce-back performance on a short week against one of the worst teams the AAC has to offer.
College Football ATS Pick: Memphis -14 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Memphis 44, Connecticut 28