Tulane had a magical 2022 season. The program won the AAC championship, played in a New Year’s Six bowl for the first time in several decades, and then scored a historic win over USC in the Cotton Bowl. What will this team do for an encore in 2023?
2023 Tulane Green Wave Odds
Odds To Win AAC: +210 at BetUs
Odds To Win National Championship: +25000 at BetUs
Best Bet To Win Heisman
Quarterback Michael Pratt has been through a wild journey at Tulane. He very nearly quarterbacked the Green Wave to a huge upset of No. 2-ranked Oklahoma at the start of the 2021 season. Tulane trailed by three scores, but pulled within 40-35. They had the ball just past midfield in the final three minutes of regulation, driving for a possible game-winning touchdown. The drive was cut short, but Pratt introduced himself to the nation with a gutsy performance against a team which was picked by many to make the national championship game of college football that season.
16 months later, Pratt – having led Tulane to the 2022 AAC championship – went up against the same coach he almost defeated in that Tulane-Oklahoma game: Lincoln Riley. It was Riley who coached Oklahoma in 2021. He then was coaching USC in the 2023 Cotton Bowl on January 2. Pratt led Tulane on a game-winning drive in the final minutes. He was in the same basic situation he inhabited in 2021. This time – against USC – he completed the drive, throwing a winning touchdown pass in the final half-minute to author a spectacular 46-45 triumph. Tulane was down 45-30 with under five minutes left, but the Green Wave scored 16 points to stun the Trojans.
Now Pratt comes back for one more season at Tulane. He’s a fully-seasoned quarterback who has been through all the battles. He knows how to handle every situation under veteran head coach Willie Fritz. Pratt should be in for a very big year. He is listed as +30000 to win the Heisman, but he’s obviously Tulane’s best chance.
Pick: Michael Pratt
Best Player Prop To Bet
Shedro Louis Rushing Yards
Shedro Louis is the new starting running back for Tulane in 2023. He’s replacing star running back Tyjae Spears from last season’s team. Spears was a top-85 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, an electric talent who starred in Tulane’s Cotton Bowl upset of USC. Spears was a dynamic, versatile athlete who could thrive in open space. He was also tough and able to burst through the first point of contact. When Tulane beat USC in the Cotton Bowl, the Green Wave were able to run the ball with great success. They passed the ball on their final game-winning scoring drive, but for most of the day, they didn’t have to throw. The ground game was more than enough, due to Spears’ overall excellence.
Now that Spears is gone, the 2023 Tulane offense figures to run through the passing game and Michael Pratt. If you have any rushing yardage prop for Shedro Louis, go under. He is not likely to come particularly close to Spears’ overall production or influence on games. This will be a more quarterback-centric offense in 2023.
Pick: Shedro Louis Under Rushing Yards
Regular Season Win Total
Tulane, by having veteran quarterback Michael Pratt back for one more year, was going to be formidable no matter what the other circumstances were this coming season. We all saw Pratt lead his Tulane offense to two clutch late-game touchdowns to stun USC and win the Cotton Bowl in early January. This came after Pratt was a dependable and reliable quarterback for Tulane in a 13-game season (12 games plus the AAC Championship Game win over UCF).
Tulane’s Willie Fritz is regarded as one of the best coaches in college football. He simply doesn’t get the recognition or publicity of other coaches because he works at a smaller program in a smaller conference within the Group of Five, which is the lower half of the FBS compared to the Power Five conferences (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and Pac-12). People in the college football industry have felt for many years that if Fritz ever had top-tier resources at an elite program, he would win national championships and become a giant of the sport. As is, he stayed at Tulane and took a historically impoverished program and turned it into a big-time winner. With Fritz coaching Pratt for one more season, Tulane’s offense was going to be great no matter what.
Now, however, Tulane has gained a specific advantage in the AAC and in the Group of Five at large. This year, the AAC has lost multiple teams which went to the Big 12 Conference. Cincinnati – which made the College Football Playoff in 2021 – is gone, as are UCF (the team Tulane beat in the 2022 AAC title game) and Houston. Having those three teams out of the AAC removes three huge obstacles from Tulane’s schedule. The Green Wave had to win at Cincinnati late last season to make the AAC title game. Then they had to beat UCF to win the AAC and get a Cotton Bowl bid. Houston has been a tough, talented team in the AAC in recent years.
The Green Wave don’t have to play any of those teams in 2023. Their toughest AAC game will either be at Memphis – a team which struggled last season – or at home against UTSA, a new AAC member which came over from Conference USA. Tulane should have little problem with most of the teams on its 2023 schedule: Rice, Tulsa, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Southern Mississippi, and South Alabama. The one game which seems certain to be a loss for Tulane is a game against Ole Miss. Even if the Green Wave lose one game other than the Ole Miss game, that still puts them at 10-2 for the season. Betting the over on Tulane’s win total is the right play.
Pick: Over 9.5 Wins at BetOnline