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The Houston Cougars and Tulane Green Wave will try to start American Athletic Conference play with a victory when the teams square off on Friday at TDECU Stadium in Houston. The Cougars (2-2), who entered the season as the favorites to win the AAC, have won 13 of their last 16 conference openers and are 7-2 in AAC openers. They are coming off a 34-27 win over crosstown rival Rice. Meanwhile the Green Wave (3-1), who were picked to finish seventh in the 11-team AAC, have lost their last two conference openers, to East Carolina last season and to Navy in 2020. 

Kickoff is 7 p.m. ET. The Cougars are 4-point favorites in the latest Houston vs. Tulane odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 53. Before making any Tulane vs. Houston picks or college football predictions, you need to see what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of more than $3,100 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed the model has seen huge returns.

Now the model has dialed in on Houston vs. Tulane and just revealed its coveted picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see all of the model's college football picks. Now, here are the college football odds and trends for Tulane vs. Houston:  

  • Houston vs. Tulane spread: Cougars -4
  • Houston vs. Tulane over/under: 53 points 
  • Houston vs. Tulane money line: Cougars -178, Green Wave +150
  • HOU: Cougars lead the nation in net punting (46.3 yards per game) 
  • TUL: Green Wave lead the FBS in passing defense (102.5 yards per game) 
  • Houston vs. Tulane picks: See picks here
Featured Game | Houston Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave

Why Houston can cover

D'Anthony Jones has the ability to disrupt the Tulane offense coming off the edge. A 6-foot-2, 270-pound senior from Lawndale, Calif., Jones ranks sixth in the conference in tackles for loss per game (1.2) and ninth in sacks per game (0.5). In last week's victory against Rice he became just the 10th AAC player to produce multiple sacks (two) and multiple forced fumbles (two) in a game. This season Jones has helped the Houston defense earn a 91.4 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus, which ranks third in the country.

By contrast, the Cougars face a Green Wave defense that has struggled getting to the quarterback. The Tulane defense has just four sacks through four games. Just 10 teams in the country average fewer than the Green Wave's 1.0 sacks per game average.

Why Tulane can cover

The defense has excelled at keeping teams out of the end zone. The Green Wave allow just 11.8 points per game, which leads the conference and ranks eighth in the country. Two weeks ago the defense gave up just 10 points in an upset victory at Kansas State.

In addition, Tulane faces a highly penalized Houston team. The Cougars rank last in the country in penalties per game (10.8) and penalty yards per game (96.0). In last week's victory against Rice, Houston committed 10 penalties for 110 yards. By contrast, the Green Wave average just 3.8 penalties per game (sixth best in the country) and 30.0 penalty yards per game (seventh).

How to make Houston vs. Tulane picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 64 points. It also has an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50% of simulations. You can see the model's Tulane vs. Houston pick only at SportsLine.

So who wins Houston vs. Tulane? And which side is covering well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Tulane vs. Houston spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $3,100 on top-rated picks, and find out.