SMU vs. Tulane Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for AAC Championship

Tulane is looking to win its second-straight AAC championship.

Nov 24, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) throws
Nov 24, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) throws / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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The No. 23-ranked Tulane Green Wave are back in the AAC Championship Game for the second straight year after finishing the regular season on a 10-game winning streak and undefeated in conference play. 

Last season, the Green Wave defeated UCF 45-28 in the AAC title game thanks to a stellar performance from QB Michael Pratt (20/33 for 394 yards, 4 TDs, and an INT). Pratt will look to add one more AAC championship to his collegiate resume as the Green Wave will play the SMU Mustangs on Saturday afternoon.

SMU ended the regular season on an eight-game winning streak and was undefeated in conference play. However, the Mustangs won't have starting quarterback Preston Stone available after he broke his leg last week against Navy.

The Mustangs are set to start Kevin Jennings in his place.

Here are the odds and our best bet for SMU vs. Tulane:

SMU vs. Tulane Odds, Spread and Total

Tulane vs. SMU Betting Trends

  • SMU is 7-5 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • The Mustangs are 7-1 in their last eight games against Tulane
  • Tulane is 5-7 ATS this season
  • The UNDER is 10-2 in the Green Wave’s last 12 games

SMU vs. Tulane How to Watch

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 2
  • Game Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Yulman Stadium 
  • How to Watch (TV): ABC
  • SMU Record: 10-2
  • Tulane Record: 11-1

SMU vs. Tulane Key Players to Watch

SMU

Jaylan Knighton: With Stone set to miss the title game the Mustangs must lean on the running game, led by senior running back Jaylan Knighton. Knighton didn’t play in the regular season finale against Navy but has had a productive year (645 yards and three touchdowns on 119 carries). The Green Wave have the best run defense in the AAC this season, allowing 86.8 yards per game and only three yards per carry.

Tulane

Michael Pratt: The senior quarterback has put together another tremendous season for Tulane and potentially has his team one win away from another New Year Six bowl game appearance. This season, Pratt is completing 66.4% of his passes for 2,168 yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also has 321 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Pratt must use his legs in the AAC title game against this Mustangs’ defense, which has recorded 40 sacks this season.

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SMU vs. Tulane Prediction and Pick

Stone’s availability for Saturday’s game will go a long way in determining the results of the AAC championship game. He’s one of the best QBs in the American Athletic Conference and gives the Mustangs a strong shot of upsetting the Green Wave. However, with him out it’s hard to trust Jennings, a freshman who has attempted only 24 passes.

The Mustangs will have to make this game a defensive slugfest, which could ultimately happen as they allow 17.7 points per game. However, the Green Wave’s defense is pretty good, giving up the second-fewest points in the conference (18.3 points per game).

SMU is 2-4 against the spread on the road this season, while Tulane is only 2-5 ATS at home, which isn’t any better. Nonetheless, the Green Wave have the advantage at QB and played in this game last season.

Tulane’s offense has the tough challenge of cracking this sticky SMU pass defense (184.3 yards per game allowed), but I believe they can get it done.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.