College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Southern Miss vs. UTSA: Betting Guide to C-USA Duel

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Southern Miss vs. UTSA: Betting Guide to C-USA Duel article feature image
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Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Dadrian Taylor.

  • No. 23 UTSA remains undefeated after blowing out UTEP in El Paso last weekend.
  • Meanwhile, Southern Miss is just 1-8 and hasn't won a single game in Conference USA play (0-5).
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this matchup and offers up his betting angle.

Southern Miss vs. UTSA Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Southern Miss Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+32.5
54.5
-110o / -110u
+4000
UTSA Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-32.5
54.5
-110o / -110u
-15000
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

UTSA’s trip to El Paso to take on UTEP last week was seen by many as one of the biggest Group of Five games of the season.

The Roadrunners steamrolled the Miners, 44-23. It was a statement victory for UTSA over a 6-2 UTEP squad that had been one of the best in the country against the spread this season.

Maybe there was some extra juice for the Roadrunners after the College Football Playoff committee didn’t rank them in the first CFP rankings of the season the week prior. But either way, UTSA checked in at No. 23 this week and has three games between it and an undefeated regular season.

A New Year’s Six bowl isn’t out of the question for the Roadrunners if they impress the committee in their final three regular-season games and a potential C-USA Championship game.

The next obstacle is a brutal sandwich spot for the Roadrunners on Saturday, as they’ll host Southern Mississippi in between road trips to UTEP and next week’s home game with UAB.

UTSA is a huge home favorite, but a good Southern Mississippi defense and bad situational spot could help provide value on the total in this game.


Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Quarterback Injuries Plague Golden Eagles

Southern Mississippi’s season went off the rails with the injuries in the quarterback room. The Golden Eagles can’t do anything against a competent defense and haven’t found a way to score points or move the ball since Jake Lange took over at quarterback due to injury in Week 5.

They actually managed 14 against Alabama in Week 4, but they’ve failed to cross 20 points in every game since.

Lange is a redshirt freshman who was with the program last year but didn’t see any action. His first year of game time hasn’t gone well.

One major issue is the total nonexistence of the run game. Southern Miss ranks 130th in Rushing Success Rate, good for dead last in the country. The offensive line generates zero push with the 124th-best Offensive Line Yards mark nationally.

USM tries to run the ball every week with an average pass-to-run ratio and completely fails every week.

The pass offense isn’t much better. Lange has had two games over 200 yards passing and one over 300 against Rice but has been held under 170 in each of the last two weeks.

Pass rush and Havoc creation are the strength of the UTSA defense, which means it could be a nightmare in passing downs for Lange in this game once the Golden Eagles get stuffed trying to run on early downs.

It’s hard to see how the Golden Eagles score in this game without flukes or the occasional big play.

Southern Miss Boasts a Solid Defense 

Despite the quarterback injuries and general failure on the offensive side of the ball, the Southern Mississippi defense is a quality unit.

The Golden Eagles rank top-30 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and do an excellent job of making opponents throw to beat them. They’re also an excellent bend-don’t-break defense in the sense that they don’t allow a ton of big plays, tackle well and are excellent at Finishing Drives.

The Golden Eagles rank 31st in PFF tackling grades and 19th in Defensive Finishing Drives.

All three will be a major key on Saturday in trying to contain UTSA star running back Sincere McCormick on the ground.

UTSA will move the ball because it does so against everyone, but if it’s a little sloppy in a let-down spot here, the Golden Eagles will force mistakes, force field goals and keep the scoring relatively close.

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UTSA Roadrunners

UTSA Offense Has Plenty of Playmakers

Frank Harris and McCormick make for an electric Roadrunners offense, especially by C-USA standards.

Harris threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns last week against an excellent UTEP defense, while McCormick took 21 carries and turned them into 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The balance is what makes the Roadrunners so hard to stop, as they have very few negative plays and turnovers. They prevent Havoc and negative plays, rank 14th in Passing Success Rate, constantly have home run potential with McCormick on the ground and typically finish drives well.

Southern Miss is one of the sturdier run defenses the Roadrunners have faced all season, though. The Golden Eagles could contain McCormick and force UTSA to be more one-dimensional.

Harris can probably still beat them easily, hence the 32.5-point spread, but at the margins, they could slow down the UTSA offense in the red zone.

A few touchdown drives turning to field goals should be enough to keep this game lower-scoring. And if the Roadrunners come out flat after last week’s huge road win, they could start slow.

Don’t Expect Much From USM Against UTSA’s Defense

Southern Mississippi cannot run the ball on anyone, and the Golden Eagles definitely won’t be figuring that out on Saturday.

This is all about whether the Golden Eagles can find flukes and big plays to generate points and offense. Against UTEP, it seems unlikely.

UTEP ranks 36th in Defensive Finishing Drives, 36th in Big Play defense and 16th in Havoc created. It should be able to smother the anemic Southern Miss offense and barely let it score at all in this game.


Southern Miss vs. UTSA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Southern Miss and UTSA match up statistically:

Southern Miss Offense vs. UTSA Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 130 27
Line Yards 124 42
Pass Success 97 55
Pass Blocking** 125 18
Big Play 101 36
Havoc 127 16
Finishing Drives 130 36
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UTSA Offense vs. Southern Miss Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 62 30
Line Yards 40 66
Pass Success 14 67
Pass Blocking** 102 86
Big Play 65 61
Havoc 13 68
Finishing Drives 25 19
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 31 76
Coverage 109 85
Middle 8 124 6
SP+ Special Teams 76 29
Plays per Minute 85 47
Rush Rate 56.1% (56) 57.3% (48)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Southern Miss vs. UTSA Betting Pick

With UTSA in a sandwich spot here, there’s a chance of both a slow start or a slow finish offensively. If the Roadrunners are too high coming off the big road win, they may need time to solve a solid Southern Mississippi defense.

And once UTSA is ahead big in the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners may go vanilla, rest starters and look ahead to UAB next week.

It’s impossible to back the Golden Eagles at this number given all of the offensive issues and the Roadrunners’ ability to score points for fun.

But the under is worth a look here, as I’m expecting solid resistance from a good Southern Miss defense and the Roadrunners to shut down Lange and the Golden Eagles’ poor passing attack.

Pick: Under 53.5 or better

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