Saturday, November 7, 2020, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, noon ET
Mustangs at Owls Betting Preview: Mustangs (-17.5), Owls (+17.5)
SMU Mustangs Betting Preview
The No. 18 Mustangs (5-1, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) will be making their longest trip of the season yet when they journey to Philadelphia, and that concerns coach Sonny Dykes because of COVID-19 concerns.
Two of the Mustangs’ three previous road games were against in-state competition and the third was in New Orleans at Tulane.
“Our mantra all year has been to go above and beyond what we need to do to keep our players healthy and be able to play games,” Dykes said. “We just have had very little issue at all up until this point.
“That doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to go for the last month of the season, but to this point, that’s the way it’s been. We’re still as cautious and more cautious than ever.”
After suffering their first loss of the season on Oct. 24, the Mustangs bounced back with a 51-37 win over Navy last week. Shane Buechele passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns as the Mustangs built a 41-16 lead before giving up three fourth-quarter touchdown to the Midshipmen.
For the season Buechele has averaged 318 yards a game passing. The Mustangs have averaged 192.9 yards a game rushing but have given up 193.7 a game to their opponent. Ulysses Bentley IV has 695 yards rushing in seven games.
Temple Owls Betting Preview
The Owls (1-3, 1-3 AAC) will be without fifth-year senior quarterback Anthony Russo for a second consecutive game this week since he was sidelined by a shoulder injury in the Owls’ 38-3 road loss to Tulane last week.
Although the damage isn’t considered structural, Russo is hampered enough that he will be unable to practice in advance of the matchup with the Mustangs.
The Owls averaged 32.3 points per game with Russo under center but didn’t score a touchdown against Tulane. Russo made 17 consecutive starts prior to last week and has passed for 868 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
“Could he be ready by Saturday? I think there’s an outside opportunity for that physically,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “But certainly he would not have practiced all week and that can’t happen.
“Anthony understands that and he’s obviously disappointed, but my first job is to make sure that the team we field out there is safe. I don’t think that would be a proper situation to put him in.”
Sophomores Trad Beatty and Re-al Mitchell will platoon at quarterback, with Beatty set to start against SMU. Carey was hopeful that one of his two signal callers would catch fire with Russo sidelined, but that gambit did not manifest last week.
Beatty finished 11 of 18 for 122 yards with an interception against the Green Wave while Mitchell completed just five of eight pass attempts for just 23 yards. Tulane sacked Beatty three times.
Mustangs at Owls Betting Pick for November 7, 2020
The Mustangs won the last meeting 45-21 in 2019, but the Owls won the last time they met at Lincoln Financial Field 45-20 in 2016. The Owls have lost their last two outings, both on the road (Memphis and Tulane) after posting a 39-37 win over South Florida on Oct. 17. The Mustangs bounced back from their 42-13 loss to Cincinnati for a 51-37 win over Navy last week.
Mustangs at Owls Betting Pick:
Mustangs 42, Owls 17
Mustangs at Owls Best Bet for November 7, 2020
The Mustangs have the ability to score points (39.6 per game) and give them up as well (29.4 per game). The Owls have scraped out 25.0 points a game while giving up 36.8 per outing, but could struggle without Russo. They have held their four opponents to just 190.5 points a game passing.
Mustangs at Owls Best Bet: UNDER 62.5