Flying footballs and scoring highlights are set for Friday at the Liberty Bowl, as the Houston Cougars invade Memorial Stadium to tackle the Memphis Tigers. The Cougars lead the American Athletic Conference West division with a 5-2 record, but Memphis, SMU and Tulane are tied at 4-3. The Tigers are favored by a touchdown on the Week 13 AAC betting line, with the oddsmakers giving them hope to trounce the Cougars on Friday afternoon.
Houston Cougars (8-3) at Memphis Tigers (7-4)
Friday, November 23rd – 12:00pm ET on ABC
Week 13 AAC Betting Line: Memphis -7 (77)
The winner of this game advances to the AAC Championship game Dec. 1 in Orlando to play undefeated Central Florida (11-0), who is ranked No. 7 in the CFP Playoff poll. A win by Memphis would set up a AAC Championship game rematch with UCF, which Memphis lost last year in overtime 62-55. Memphis enters on a 3-0 SU/ATS run playing their best ball, and last week they rolled on the road over SMU 28-18, which was the Tigers lowest scoring output since September. The Tigers feature a strong, balanced offense averaging 243.6 rushing yards per game in conference play with a league best 5.9 yards per rush led by one of the country’s leading running backs Darrell Henderson, who has 1,521 rushing yards to rank No. 2 in the country. His 8.7 yards per rush leads the nation and he has 17 rushing touchdowns. Memphis also passes for 235.1 yards per game against AAC foes with QB Brady White passing for a total of 2,738 yards with 24 touchdown passes and just 5 interceptions.
Houston snapped a 2-game losing streak by whipping Tulane last week 48-17. But in the Cougars’ four previous games, they allowed 59, 45, 36 and 36 points. That’s a problem when facing an explosive Memphis offense that averages 37.3 points per game in AAC play. Houston is able to counter with the league’s top scoring offense at 45.3 points per game. Memphis may well pile up nearly 600 yards offense in this Week 13 AAC betting bonanza, and special teams may contribute more as the Tigers have the better units.
The issue for Houston, however, is that the Cougars lost their star QB to injury in last week’s win. D’Eriq King accounted for a total of 50 touchdowns this season (36 passing, 14 rushing) while being responsible for a nation-high 302 points. But he’s now out for the year with a knee injury and true freshman QB Clayton Tune takes over. Houston won’t be able to contain Memphis with the Cougars run defense allowing 215.4 rushing yards per game and facing a stronger rushing attack. Nor will the Cougars deficient pass defense allowing 247.4 passing yards and ranking in the bottom half of the league in defensive pass efficiency be able to tame the Tigers aerial attack. Memphis has won the last two meetings against Houston and make it three in a row.
Week 13 AAC Betting Free Pick– Memphis Tigers -7.0