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Memphis vs. SMU – 10/1/20 Early Look College Football GOY Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Memphis Tigers at SMU Mustangs 10/1/20: Early Look College Football GOY free preview, analysis, prediction, odds and pick against the spread.
2020-06-06 12:33:00 EDT

The Memphis Tigers and the SMU Mustangs meet Thursday, October 1 in college football action from Gerald J. Ford Stadium. 

Memphis managed a great—but ultimately disappointing—football campaign in 2019, going 12-2 overall and 7-1 in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers took out Cincinnati 29-24 in the AAC Championship Game but fell to Penn State in the Cotton Bowl Classic 53-39. As for SMU, they had a double-digit win season as well at 10-3 and 6-2 in the AAC. The Mustangs earned a trip to the Boca Raton Bowl, where they lost to Florida Atlantic 52-28. Check back all season long for free college football picks and college football predictions at Sports Chat Place. 

Let’s take a closer look at both teams and see if we can get an idea of how things might play out when the Tigers meet the Mustangs on October 1. 

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Memphis won the West Division by the skin of their proverbial teeth last season, just eking by Navy thanks to a 35-23 head-to-head win. There were a few close calls for the Tigers along the way, but really their only other blemish outside of the bowl game was a 30-28 loss at Temple. In any case, the coaching staff gets a makeover in 2020, as head coach Ryan Silverfield takes over with DC Mike MacIntyre. The offense will get QB Brady White back this season, following his 4,014 yards, 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2019, as well as 43 starts returning on the offensive line. 

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Over on the SMU side, they finished slightly ahead of where they were projected last season in the West Division, posting a 6-2 division record behind the 7-1 of Memphis and Navy. The Mustangs opened up with a nice eight-game win streak, but then fell to Memphis 54-48 and Navy 35-28 in their next three games. Considering those were SMU’s only two regular-season losses, that’s not too shabby. Moving on to 2020, SMU will look to reengage their passing attack after 4,017 yards and 35 touchdowns last year. The Mustangs do have a few key pieces from that 2019 squad gone, including Xavier Jones and Ke’Mon Freeman. That said, Reggie Roberson has recovered from injury and Kyle Granson is coming off a great year. There should be plenty in store for the SMU offense in 2020. 

Pick: I’m taking Memphis for the moment. The line seems about right, and it seems to match up with how this game should go: relatively close. Memphis will likely have some adjustments to make out of the gate thanks to that newly-installed coaching staff, but the team has enough talent and experience on the roster that the transition shouldn’t be too bad. The Tigers should be playing well by the time October rolls around. 

This will be a big matchup for SMU, and it’s one they could potentially win if they play their cards right. This looks to me like a  TD-difference end result, and it should come down to the wire. You won’t want to miss this one. 

Andrew Jett's Free Pick:
Memphis Tigers -4.5
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Andrew Jett

Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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