Saturday College Football Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Texas vs. UTEP (Sept. 12)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: DeMarvion Overshown.
- The UTEP Miners narrowly avoided defeat against FCS opponent Stephen F. Austin last week — and by measures of success rate and pace, UTEP was the worst of all FBS teams in Week 1.
- So, the question is: Can the Miners even score a single point against the Longhorns on Saturday? Texas is favored by 42.5 points, but the mismatch is so lopsided — and Texas' coaching changes are so signficiant — that the Longhorns may use their game against the Miners as a testing ground for Tom Herman's "tempo wrinkle" offensive system.
- Read on for Collin Wilson's full betting preview with odds, analysis and picks for Texas vs. UTEP.
Texas vs. UTEP Odds
|Texas Odds||-44.5 [BET NOW]|
|UTEP Odds||+44.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||57.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
UTEP came back from a double-digit deficit to beat Stephen F. Austin in Week 1. The victory masked a horrific box score that included zero explosive drives (any drive that averages 10 or more yards per play) and an abysmally low 32% success rate on standard downs.
The Miners narrowly escaped defeat against an FCS opponent, due primarily to their +189 hidden yards differential — a metric that captures head-to-head punt and kickoff yardage. But, by measures of success rate and pace, UTEP was the worst of all the FBS teams in Week 1.
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— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) September 7, 2020
Texas will start a season with new direction after hiring new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Tom Herman described the offense as “tempo wrinkle” and plans to use personnel packages unfamiliar to the Longhorns’ returning players. Expect plenty of bubble screens and downfield passing, as Stephen F. Austin had success against the Miners in similar formations.
On the defensive side of the ball, Chris Ash is a home-run hire as the Longhorns’ new defensive coordinator. Although Ash’s head coaching stint did not work at Rutgers, his previous coordinator stops at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State provided havoc-minded results.
Texas returns 82% of its defensive production that limited Utah to zero explosive drives in the Alamo Bowl. So, Ash should have plenty of experience and talent at his disposal to jump-start a new era for the Texas defense.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There are two main takeaways from the Longhorns’ offseason changes and UTEP’s sluggish Week 1:
- The Texas defense should show significant improvement in success rate and havoc.
- The Miners may have trouble getting any offensive points on the board.
Practice reports indicate that Herman may heavily utilize two-tight end sets, so this may be a grind of a game that stays under the total.
The Bet: Under 58.5