College football lock of the week

College Football Lock Of The Week: Memphis vs. UL-Monroe Is Easy Money

There are a lot of games each and every week on the college football slate that jump out at you making it that much harder to zero in on one game each Saturday. In this weekly series we’ll circle one game, break down the matchup and layout the evidence as to why this is the lock of the week.

Our lock of the week will always be a pick against the spread. While we’re not saying it’s wrong to bet over/unders or money lines, we’re just going the spread route.

Nobody said the lock of the week has to involve two big-time teams and this week is a prime example of that as we’re looking at Memphis visiting UL-Monroe.

Memphis (-15) @ UL-Monroe

Memphis: (4-0, 1-0 in American Conference)

UL-Monroe: (2-2, 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference)

Kickoff: 3:45 PM EST, Oct. 5

Memphis giving up 15 points may sound like a lot, but this line should be closer to 20, maybe even 22 points when you look at these two teams and their seasons thus far.

ULM’s two wins this season are a 31-9 win against Grambling and a 30-17 win against a poor South Alabama side. Their biggest feat this year came in a 45-44 overtime loss to Florida State, which may scare some people off, but this was before FSU started showing life a couple of weeks ago. This ULM side also gave up 72 points to Iowa State which isn’t a world-beating offense as it ranks 45th in the country.

Monroe’s offense is well-balanced but comes into this contest averaging 443 yards per game which is good enough for the 41st best average in college football. Their big game offensively came in the opener against a terrible Grambling squad that gave up 501 yards.

Memphis isn’t giving up 501 yards on Saturday, and the Tigers defense is the biggest factor here.

A post shared by Memphis Football (@memphisfootball) on Sep 29, 2019 at 11:06am PDT

Memphis is giving up just 263 yards per game making them the 11th best defense in the nation in that category. In year’s past, it’s been Memphis’ offense that has made them relevant again, but it’s the other side of the ball this year. They held Ole Miss to just 10 points in the season opener and gave up just six to South Alabam two weeks ago.

The Tigers will have to score points to cover this 15-point spread, not just play lockdown defense, but that shouldn’t be a problem either. They’re averaging just under 37 points per game while Monroe is giving up just under 36 points per contest against an atrociously bad opening schedule. ULM’s defense also ranks 123rd out of 130 Division I teams giving up 500 yards per game.

Memphis is averaging 197 yards per game on the ground and ULM is giving up 248 yards rushing this year, so expect Kenneth Gainwell to have a monster day as he’s averaging 6.6 yards per carry out of the backfield.

Tigers quarterback Brady White has also been extremely efficient this season completing 73.3% of his 90 passing attempts to go along with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. The two key pieces for Memphis are far more talented than the key pieces on the ULM side, which should result in some points.

One last thing to point out, Memphis is 3-1-0 against the spread this year while Monroe is 1-3-0 this season.

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