Tulane vs. SMU Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Feb. 1 (Trust Mustangs to Cover)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Tulane vs. SMU matchup in college basketball on Thursday.

Jan 11, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave forward Kevin Cross (24) smiles after a
Jan 11, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave forward Kevin Cross (24) smiles after a / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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SMU is off two straight losses in AAC play, but the team will look to get back on track against Tulane at home.

The Mustangs defense is one of the best units in the entire conference, and are expected to take care of business against the Green Wave, should we bet on it? Here's how I'm eyeing Thursdays tilt in Dallas.

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Tulane vs. SMU Odds, Spread and Total

SMU vs. Tulane Betting Trends

  • SMU is 11-7-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Tulane is 8-10-1 ATS this season
  • Tulane is 2-4 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Tulane went OVER in 11 of 19 games this season (one push)

Tulane vs. SMU How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 1
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Moody Coliseum
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN2
  • Tulane Record: 12-8
  • SMU Record: 13-7

Tulane vs. SMU Key Players to Watch

Tulane

Kevin Cross: Tulane's up-tempo style leads to big stat lines like Cross, who is enjoying a career high 17 points per game with nearly eight rebounds and about four assists. Cross will have his hands full against an elite SMU defense, but he's been a stat sheet stuffer all season.

SMU

Zhuric Phelps: The junior guard is a high usage threat, but he has seen his numbers dip over the balance of the season, down to 14 points per game while shooting 24% from beyond the arc. Phelps is the ball handler of this SMU offense and the team's most reliable perimeter defender, but can he find his stroke from beyond the arc to get this SMU offense back into the NCAA Tournament picture?

Tulane vs. SMU Prediction and Pick

SMU is in a great spot to get back on track, either as a moneyline parlay piece or to take to cover the point spread.

The Mustangs are in great shape to dispose of Tulane at home. SMU is off back-to-back road losses to North Texas and Wichita State and draws a strong matchup against a soft interior of the Green Wave.

Tulane is outside the top 300 in rebounding percentage, but this will be glaring on the defensive glass where SMU bolsters the second best unit in AAC play, rebounding nearly 38% of available second chances. Meanwhile, Tulane is dead last in AAC defensive rebounding rate, which can open up plenty of opportunities for the hosts to build a lead and lean on its elite defense that is 26th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency and playing the best in league play.

Further, Tulane has struggled when playing better competition all season. The Green Wave has lost to all but one KenPom top 75 team its played this season, beating Memphis by two at home.

Further, elite defenses have stymied Tulane completely. Mississippi State (18th) and North Texas (38th) are the only other two top 40 defenses the Green Wave have faced, and the team lost by double digits in both. The Mustangs ability to turn Tulane over will show in this one, and the team should get a comfortable win.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!