We’ve got Thursday night American Athletic Conference action to entertain us in college football Week 11 as 3-6 Tulsa travel to Tennessee to take on the Memphis Tigers. Get prepared for Power Six action with the latest odds, DFS and fantasy picks, and a Tulsa vs. Memphis prediction.
Tulsa vs. Memphis Betting Preview
Memphis (-245); Tulsa (+205)
- Game time
7:30 p.m. ET
Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, TN
- Predicted weather at kickoff
63 degrees, clear, 3.4 mph winds
- How to watch
Despite losing four games on the bounce, Memphis enters this matchup with Tulsa as the moneyline favorite. They lost to the Golden Hurricane in Tulsa last season. Prior to that, however, the Tigers had proven too dangerous and roared to three consecutive wins between 2017 and 2019. With two scoring defenses languishing in the bottom 30 teams in the FBS, the program with the better offense should prevail. Advantage, Memphis.
With two defenses that have struggled this season, hammering the over might be the easiest part of this Tulsa vs. Memphis prediction. The Tigers are 8-1 against the over this season, with seven of their nine games covering the 61.5 point spread. Meanwhile, although Tulsa is a little more conservative at 5-4 against the over, six of their games have tallied over the over/under line for tonight’s game.
The spread is a more borderline element of this Tulsa vs. Memphis prediction. Neither team has performed admirably against the spread this year. Memphis is 3-6 against the spread, while Tulsa is 2-6-1. Although five of Tulsa’s six defeats have come by more than the -6.5 spread line, I wouldn’t attack the spread with any degree of confidence in this Thursday night matchup.
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
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- QB Seth Henigan, Memphis ($11,000)
- QB Braylon Braxton, Tulsa ($9,000)
- QB Davis Brin, Tulsa ($9,000) *Questionable
- RB Deneric Prince, Tulsa ($8,600)
- RB Brandon Thomas, Memphis ($7,300)
- RB Asa Martin, Memphis ($6,900)
- RB Jordan Ford, Tulsa ($6,000)
- RB Jevyon Ducker, Memphis ($5,600)
- RB Steven Anderson, Tulsa ($5,400) *Questionable
- WR Keylon Stokes, Tulsa ($9.200)
- WR JuanCarlos Santana, Tulsa ($7,900)
- WR Eddie Lewis, Memphis ($7,100)
- WR Joseph Scates, Memphis ($6,900)
- WR Isaiah Epps, Tulsa ($6,500)
- WR Gabriel Rogers, Memphis ($6,000)
- WR Jason Ivory, Memphis ($5,900)
- WR Malachai Jones, Tulsa ($5,800)
- TE Caden Prieskorn, Memphis ($7,700)
- TE Colby Powers, Tulsa ($4,500)
- TE Ethan Hall, Tulsa ($4,400)
There is an immediate red flag flying over this Tulsa vs. Memphis game when making your DFS and fantasy picks. Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin, an explosive passing force that has thrown for over 2,000 yards and averaged almost nine yards per pass attempt, missed the Golden Hurricane’s defeat to Tulane and has been battling injury since the clash with Ole Miss.
It’s a short week for Brin, and Tulsa head coach Phillip Montgomery would only say “we’ll see how Brin progresses” when questioned about his starting QB earlier this week. From a fantasy and DFS perspective, freshman backup Braylon Braxton is a more dangerous dual threat.
However, placing faith in either Tulsa QB over Memphis’ Seth Henigan would be misplaced with so much uncertainty ahead of kickoff. As per fantasydata.com, the Tigers talent is one of just five AAC quarterbacks who has surpassed 200 total fantasy points this season. Although the Tulsa defense has been stingy against the passing game — as we’ll get to later in this Tulsa vs. Memphis prediction — his ability to break the plane with his legs makes Henigan a high-value fantasy attribute.
There is only one tight end in this Tulsa vs. Memphis matchup to pick for your fantasy lineup. Caden Prieskorn leads the Tigers in receptions (36), receiving yards (454), and receiving touchdowns (six). Although he hasn’t found the end zone in the last three games, he’s been good for multiple receptions and 50+ receiving yards in each of those.
While the Memphis ground game might not be the most potent in yards per game, Brandon Thomas has punched it in for a score in every game bar the season opener against Mississippi State. He presents as the best value back in this matchup, although Asa Martin presents as a threat as a receiver in addition to his 5.8 yards per carry. While Steven Anderson has been a more potent touchdown threat for Tulsa, Deneric Prince has handled the workload over the past three and is the Tulsa running back to play, if you have to.
While touching Tulsa’s running backs isn’t advisable, targeting Keylon Stokes has become pivotal to any success for the Golden Hurricane. Stokes leads his team in targets (57), yards (964), and yards per catch (16.9) while tying Juan Carlos Santana with six touchdowns. No Memphis receivers can match the Tulsa tandem, making both pass catchers worthy plays for DFS purposes.
Prediction for Tulsa vs. Memphis
This is a big game for both teams in the American Athletic Conference, there’s no doubt about that. While neither team is challenging for a championship, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to play for. Tulsa must win otherwise they’ll be ineligible for bowl season for the first time in three seasons. It’s also a must-win for Memphis’ bowl aspirations with a tough game against SMU sandwiching a cupcake clash with North Alabama next week.
Tulsa’s hopes of victory will hinge on the return of quarterback Brin. Without him against an impressive Tulane defense, the Golden Hurricane whimpered to 13 points and just 257 yards of total offense that included just 146 passing yards. The Memphis defense has been highly suspect against the pass, allowing the second most passing yards per game (276.8 YPG) in the AAC while giving up the second most passing touchdowns (20).
With Brin, expect the wide receiver duo of Santana and Stokes to give the Tigers defense the run around like gazelles escaping their pursuers on the plains of Africa. Memphis has allowed a 65.06% completion percentage to opposition quarterbacks while failing to stop opponents on 43.70% of third-down attempts.
While the Memphis defense has been largely miserable in preventing teams from walking down the field on them, they’ve limited opponents to fewer yards per play (5.5 vs. 5.8), points per play (0.425 vs. 0.490), and red zone scoring (82.35% vs. 86.67%) than Tulsa has so far this season. Allowing an average of 31.6 points per game compared to 33.2 points per game, they’re better equipped to emerge victorious even if the game descends into a shootout.
It’s easy to point out that Tulsa actually has one of the statistically better pass defenses in the AAC. The Golden Hurricane has allowed just 176.4 yards per game, a quarterback completion of 55.2%, and given up just 6.8 yards per passing play. However, they’ve also faced the second-fewest pass attempts.
Memphis’ ability to drive down the field with the passing game and then punch it in on the ground, should be enough to take advantage of a Tulsa defense that has allowed 17 rushing touchdowns and 5.03 yards per carry. Don’t be surprised to see Henigan register scores by land and air as Memphis adds a fifth victory of the year to their résumé.
Prediction: Tulsa 28, Memphis 34