UTSA vs. Army Betting Odds & Picks: Offenses to Show Off Firepower
Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ay’Jaun Marshall (Army)
- The UTSA Roadrunners travel to West Point to take on the Army Black Knights in a Saturday afternoon college football matchup.
- Two solid offenses are set to take the field here, and we're expecting them to put on a show.
- Read on for BJ Cunningham's full betting breakdown and pick for UTSA vs. Army at 12 p.m. ET.
UTSA vs. Army Odds
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
UTSA is one of the favorites to win the Conference USA this season, and nothing has changed even though it lost to Houston.
However, a second straight non-conference loss to open the season would start to raise some questions.
This is now the ninth year for Jeff Monken at Army, and he’s starting to build the program into something special. Four out of the last five years Army has won at least nine games. It also beat UTSA in San Antonio in both 2019 and 2020.
While Army lost its opening game at Coastal Carolina, 38-28, it actually outgained the Chants on a yards per play basis.
The UTSA offense was absolutely electric last season. The Roadrunners averaged 6.0 yards per play (38th in FBS), were 29th in EPA/Play and most importantly, were 26th in Finishing Drives.
That didn’t change in the opener against Houston, as the Roadrunners put up over 400 yards of offense and averaged 6.05 yards per play.
A lot of that had to do with their dynamic dual-threat quarterback Frank Harris, who had a 80.3 PFF passing grade, averaged 7.9 yards per attempt and threw for 27 touchdowns last season.
Harris went crazy in the opener against Houston, throwing for 337 yards and rushing for 63 yards with four combined touchdowns.
FRANK HARRIS FOR HEISMAN! pic.twitter.com/lanYaYo9yw
— Texas Football Life (@txfblife) September 3, 2022
As a passer, Harris led UTSA to a ranking of 12 in college football in EPA/Pass, making it one of the most efficient passing attacks outside of the Power Five in 2021. He returns his top four targets from last season, so this offense is going to be electric.
UTSA did lose its top back, Sincere McCormick, who had more than 1,500 yards rushing last season. However, Jeff Traylor went out and got Trelon Smith from Arkansas, who averaged 5.2 yards per carry in his career in Fayetteville.
Plus, UTSA has four starters and 121 starts back on its offensive line, so it’s going to be a long day for a Black Knights defense that just gave up 437 yards to Grayson McCall and Coastal Carolina.
UTSA held off Houston for large stretches of the game on Saturday, but ultimately ended up falling short in the end. The Roadrunners weren’t as bad as the final 37 points allowed indicated. Houston was only able to average 4.6 yards per play and only 3.2 yards per carry.
However, facing the triple option is going to be a whole different story in and of itself, and it’s something UTSA has failed to slow down in its previous meetings vs. Army in 2019 and 2020.
In both meetings, Army gained over 5.5 yards per play.
UTSA lost two starters from its 2021 front seven that was top-40 in Stuff Rate and Rushing Success Rate Allowed. But facing the triple option is a different animal, so I expect Army to have success on the ground.
Black Knights Offense
Army’s offense showed up in Week 1 against Coastal Carolina, gaining 7.3 yards per play and over 5.0 yards per carry on the ground.
Army lost its quarterback and leading rusher, Christian Anderson, from last season, but Anderson missed some games due to injury in 2021.
Tyhier Tyler was able to start a few games, gain some experience and has become an electric weapon as the point guard running the option.
Tyhier Tyler's TD run to give @ArmyWP_Football breathing room in the third quarter is this week's AWPAA Play of the Week!
— ArmyWestPoint Sports (@GoArmyWestPoint) October 19, 2020
Tyler averaged 3.9 yards per carry with seven touchdowns in 2021 and has a lot of weapons around him this year.
The biggest weapon is A-Back Tyrell Robinson, who averaged an absurd 8.5 yards per carry in 2021 with a 84.6 PFF rushing grade. He had a cool 135 yards on only nine carries in the opener against Coastal Carolina, and will be a major problem for the UTSA front seven.
Tyrell Robinson finds an opening and he is GONE!
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) September 3, 2022
Army also gets both of its starting full backs, Tyson Riley and Jakobi Buchanan, back from last season, so the triple option is alive and well at West Point.
Black Knights Defense
Army has some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball — it lost its best player on the defensive line, Noah Cockrill, and its best linebacker, Arik Smith.
Army was a top-40 defense by EPA/Play last season, but it played one of the easiest schedules in FBS. Where the Black Knights really struggled was against the run and giving up explosive plays.
Army was outside the top 50 in Defensive Line Yards and Stuff Rate, and was 127th in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed. That reared its ugly head in the opener, as Coastal Carolina went on to gain 263 yards on the ground. Running back Reese White had seven rushes of over 10 yards.
Facing Harris and company is not what Monken wants to see after that performance in Week 1.
UTSA vs. Army Betting Pick
Even though Army was the slowest team in terms of pace last season, UTSA was near the top at 35th in college football in plays per minute.
Coastal Carolina and Army were both bottom-five in terms of pace last season, but put up over 60 points in the opener.
That just goes to show you that if you have an efficient, effective offense, you can put points on the board no matter how fast your pace is.
With how good these two offenses are, I think the total of 54.5 is quite low, as I have 68.1 points projected for this game.
I love the value on Over 54.5 (FanDuel), and I would play it up to 60.