Memphis Tigers vs. Houston Cougars
Date and Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX
Opening College Football Odds: Houston -3
Memphis vs. Houston TV Coverage: ESPN
Houston has to wonder what in the heck hit in the second half last week against Tulsa. The Cougars were in control in the first half of that game, and they were incredibly unlucky to only be up 10-7 at the break. In the second half, they had no answers for anything the Golden Hurricane were doing on either side of the ball. Tulsa, a 14-point underdog, rolled up 38 points in that second half en route to a 45-17 romp.
The Cougars' margin for error the rest of the way is almost certainly nothing if they want to win the AAC West. The good news is that they get to play both Memphis and Navy at home, but their roadie to South Florida in Week 9 figures to be problematic.
The memories of a 40-13 loss at UCF have already faded in Memphis. The Tigers have a 70-31 win over Connecticut and an upset of No. 25 Navy under their belt since that loss in the Sunshine State.
Make no mistake about the fact that Memphis isn't good enough to contend with UCF and USF on the other side of this conference, but the AAC West is still winnable for sure.
The Tigers have had a fantastic offensive season, averaging 491.7 yards and 40.3 points per game. If Riley Ferguson and company can just get a little something from their defense on a weekly basis, they won't have problems beating almost anyone left on their schedule.
You have to wonder if Houston is set to make another change at quarterback. Kyle Allen transferred from Texas A&M and figured to take over as the Cougs' starting quarterback for his senior season. He did just that, but after a few games, he was benched in favor of Kyle Postma.
Postma, though, is coming off of a bad game against a bad Tulsa team in which he went just 25-for-41 for 258 yards with two interceptions. You're not going to win games at this level in the AAC with offensive play like that, and Major Applewhite knows it.
If Applewhite wants to keep the Cougars pointed towards an AAC title this year, he's going to have to go back to his bench and put Allen back on the field is Postma struggles at the outset of this game.
Memphis vs. Houston Free Picks
The Cougars' loss to Tulsa last week came out of nowhere, and that has to worry all of the best college football sportsbooks. Still, Houston is the favorite in this game at -3, a price that would have been a lot higher had the it came out with its hair on fire against the Golden Hurricane.
Just as Memphis was the easy pick to make as the slight favorite over Navy last week, the shoe should turn up on the other foot this week. The Tigers are now out on the road for just the third time this year.
Memphis also only converted five Navy turnovers into 13 points last week. The Tigers were lucky to get out of that game victorious. Now that they're back in the national spotlight, they're going to be set to fall flat once again. We suspect we'll see a much better effort from Houston than we did against the Golden Hurricane, and that will be enough to get back into the race in the AAC West.
College Football ATS Pick: Houston -3 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Houston 37, Memphis 28