Miami Beach Bowl: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Memphis Tigers Pick

cougars tigers college football pickThe Brigham Young Cougars (8-4) and the Memphis Tigers (9-3) get together with a chance to close out the season on a positive note in the Miami Beach Bowl on Monday. The game will begin Monday at 2:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN.

Memphis crushed Connecticut 41-10 in its last game. Keiwone Malone had a big game in the victory, catching seven balls for 70 yards and two TDs. Paxton Lynch had 194 yards and four TDs through the air. Brigham Young was victorious their last game as well, defeating California 42-35 in their matchup. Jordan Leslie had a great game for the Cougars, hauling in five receptions for 155 yards and two TDs. Christian Stewart had a great game as well, adding 433 yards and five TDs through the air.

Memphis is a small one-point favorite at home against the Cougars. Oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 56 points. Heading into Week 17 of the college football season, the Tigers are 9-3 Straight Up (SU) and 7-5 Against The Spread (ATS). In the past five games, Memphis is 5-0 SU and 2-3 ATS. The Tigers have an efficient passing attack that has a completion percentage of 64.0%, good enough for 22nd in the country. Scoring against the Tigers has been harder than usual as of late. While they’ve given up an average of 17.1 points for the season, they have stepped it up in the last five games, only allowing 14. Memphis looks to use its formidable run defense against the visiting Cougars, which gives up just 105.7 rushing yards at home. One of the keys to the game will be if the Cougars can protect the ball against the takeaway vultures of the Tigers, whose defense ranks 13th in the nation with 2.2 turnovers per game. The Tigers should be able to pounce on Brigham Young’s struggles during the second quarter, when they give up 10.3 points per game. Judging from Brigham Young’s past performances in away games, the Tigers may have an edge in the penalty department. The Cougars earn an average of 8.8 per game, making them one of the most-penalized teams in the nation.

In the other locker room, the Cougars head into Week 17 with records of 5-7 ATS and 8-4 SU. The Cougars went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS over the last five games. If earlier games are any indication, the Cougars will throw the ball a lot on offense. They average 275 passing yards per road game, good enough for 25th in Division I. Over the last five games, the Cougars turned it up on the defensive side of the football, only allowing an average of 233.2 passing yards per game. The Tigers can’t give the ball away to the turnover-minded Cougars. The Brigham Young defense generates 2.3 turnovers per away game, 19th in the country. Brigham Young can really return the ball on the road. The team averages 35.5 return yards per away game, the 25th-most in the country.

Predictions: SU Winner – MEM, ATS Winner – MEM, O/U – Under

Notes

BYU is 5-11-1 ATS in its last 17 games.

Memphis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games.

BYU is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games.

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Memphis’s last 7 games.

The total has gone OVER in 7 of BYU’s last 9 games.

Brigham Young is 5-1 SU when leading at the half this season. Memphis is 8-1 SU when taking a lead into halftime.

Brigham Young is 7-2 SU when leading at the start of the 4th quarter this season. Memphis is 9-0 SU when leading after three quarters.

This season, Brigham Young is undefeated (3-0 SU) in games where it wins the turnover battle, and 4-3 SU in games where it loses the turnover battle.

Memphis is undefeated 4-1 SU in games where it wins the turnover battle, and 2-1 SU in games where it loses the turnover battle.

Among all FBS teams, the Memphis offensive passing game is ranked 63rd nationally, while the Brigham Young pass defense is only ranked 111th. The Cougars passing attack is ranked 33rd, compared to the 49th-ranked pass defense of the Tigers.

The Memphis rushing attack is ranked only 41st in the country, while the Brigham Young run defense is ranked 14th. The Cougars run game is ranked just 42nd, compared to the 24th-ranked rush defense of the Tigers.

Brigham Young has allowed 24.2 points per game on the road, which is ranked 28th in the nation. Memphis has scored 39.2 points per contest at home (ranked 21st overall).

Aaron Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.