Two teams that like to keep the ball on the ground, No. 23 Mustangs of SMU (-23) are set to welcome their AAC foe East Carolina Pirates to Gerald J. Ford Stadium. This afternoon matchup is scheduled to get underway at 12:00 p.m. ET and you can witness the action live on ESPNU.
East Carolina vs. No. 23 SMU Betting Odds 11/9/2019
SMU is the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 23 points to East Carolina. The over/under is set at 69 points. Multiple solid live betting possibilities could be unveiled during the game.
The Pirates are 3-6 straight up (SU), including 0-5 SU against AAC opponents. The Mustangs are 8-1 SU overall and 4-1 SU in conference play. The Pirates are 5-4 against the spread (ATS) and have lost 1.7 units so far. They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 3-6.
The Mustangs have been a pleasant surprise for moneyline bettors this season, gaining 8.5 units. The team is 6-3 ATS and has an O/U record of 8-0-1.
The Pirates dropped one to Cincinnati 46-43 in a game where their defense allowed the Bearcats to run for 326 yards on 39 rush attempts, including four rush TDs. On the offensive side, Holton Ahlers completed 32 passes for 535 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Demetrius Mauney (just 22 yards on 18 rush attempts) spearheaded the ground attack while C.J. Johnson (12 receptions, 283 yards, one TD) and Blake Proehl (eight catches, 105 yards) shared the receiving duties in the defeat.
SMU just dropped a 54-48 game to Memphis. Shane Buechele completed 34-of-54 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns. Xavier Jones (22 yards on 11 rush attempts, one TD) and Ke’Mon Freeman (74 yards on six carries, two TDs) mounted the running game as James Proche (13 receptions, 149 yards, one TD) and Rashee Rice (seven catches, 122 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the loss.
When glancing at offensive play selection, each of these squads has a nearly identical (53-47) run-pass ratio on the season. The Pirates have rushed for 149 yards/game (including 111 per game versus American Athletic Conference opponents) and have nine touchdowns on the ground this year. The Mustangs are averaging 191 rush yards per contest (170 in conference) and have 27 total rushing TDs.
If the numbers so far this season can translate to this game, then it’s looking like the Mustangs may own the advantage in terms of RB effectiveness. Their backfield has generated 4.3 yards per carry while their defense has allowed a YPC of 3.5 to opponents. The Pirates have tallied 3.8 yards per carry while allowing 4.9 YPC to opponents.
The Pirates have averaged 254 yards in the air overall (287 per game versus conference opposition) and have 12 passing TDs so far. The Mustangs have recorded 319 pass yards per game (335.6 against AAC foes) and have 23 total pass scores.
Defensively, East Carolina should have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 207 yards and pass for 218 yards per game. SMU has allowed 121.9 rushing yards per game and 279.7 to opposing teams in the air. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Pirates have given up an ANY/A of 6.42 to opposing QBs, while the Mustangs are yielding an ANY/A of 6.01.
Ahlers is up to 1,990 passing yards this year. He’s connected on 153-of-274 attempts with 11 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions. Ahlers has a 6.17 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 9.05 over the past two outings.
Shane Buechele has recorded 2,578 yards, 21 TDs and six INTs for SMU. His ANY/A sits at 8.43 for the year and 7.04 over his past two games.
These two AAC foes did not get a chance to face each other last year.
East Carolina Pirates at SMU Mustangs Free Prediction
SU Winner – SMU, ATS Winner – East Carolina, O/U – Over
Team Betting Notes
The SMU offense has lost four fumbles this season while East Carolina has lost five.
The SMU D has created more than twice as many sacks as East Carolina this year (40 versus 18).
As a team, East Carolina has averaged 3.1 yards per carry over its last three games and 2.8 over its last two.
SMU has averaged 4.2 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.8 over its past two.