UTEP vs Florida Atlantic Odds, Picks: Saturday’s Betting Value on Miners (Oct. 30)
Tyler Ingham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Gavin Hardison.
UTEP vs. Florida Atlantic Odds
-105o / -115u
|Florida Atlantic Odds|
-105o / -115u
UTEP had yet another cover and outright win as an underdog prior to its bye week, as the Miners upset Louisiana Tech in a blowout as 6.5-point underdogs.
The Miners continue to be one of the true success stories in college football, but they face one of their toughest challenges of the season when they visit Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
The Owls will be one of the most challenging matchups of the season for Dana Dimel’s UTEP defense, which has passed nearly every test it has faced this season. It’s also a brutal look-ahead spot for the Miners, as they have a high-profile matchup with nationally ranked UTSA next on the schedule.
Despite the step up in competition and look-ahead spot, the UTEP defense has shown to be undervalued in the market the entire season. That continues to be the case with a double-digit spread on a relatively low total.
The Miners’ defense has statistical advantages across the board and while it may not end in a win for UTEP, the Miners should be able to keep this game close.
The Miners’ offense had no issues moving the ball two weeks ago against Louisiana Tech, scoring touchdowns on their first two offensive drives and then crossing midfield on two of the next three before fumbles cut the drives short.
UTEP doesn’t have much of a rushing attack, ranking 120th in Rushing Success Rate. It will be difficult for them to consistently run the ball against an FAU run front that is 44th in Rushing Success Rate allowed, but the Owls are prone to allowing big plays on the ground.
UTEP has been a boom-or-bust rushing offense for most of the season, as has the FAU defense. The Miners have a significant edge in early-down rushing explosiveness against this FAU defense and it might only take one or two big runs to help produce points in this game.
The Miners averaged 9.8 yards per pass against Louisiana Tech, passed it well against Southern Miss the week prior and do an excellent job of protecting quarterback Gavin Hardison.
UTEP is 25th in Pass Blocking and 30th in Passing Success Rate. Overall, it ranks 14th in explosiveness.
Perhaps most importantly, the UTEP offense has been successful early in games. Before the Miners are forced to go off-script, the offense has been excellent. They’ve scored points on five of their seven opening offensive drives of the season this year, and one of those drives that didn’t result in points came after a fumble in plus territory.
The Miners are coming off the bye and should be able to dial up a good offensive drive or two to bank some points and let the defense play with a lead.
Dimel may have an offensive background, but the Miners defense is really what has spurred the revival of the program he took over.
The claims early in the season were that the defense wouldn’t hold up against improved competition later in the year, but UTEP totally shut down a good and pretty explosive offense in Louisiana Tech two weeks ago.
The Miners got an extra week to prepare for another good offense in Florida Atlantic, one that presents many of the same challenges the Bulldogs did.
FAU’s balanced attack should give UTEP more to think about, but the Miners are top 20 in Rushing Success Rate and Line Yards, and almost no one has been able to consistently run on them. Southern Miss ran for 15 yards on 32 attempts. La. Tech managed 92 rushing yards, but needed 28 attempts to get there. Old Dominion totaled 88 on 33 attempts.
The Miners’ defense is stout along the defensive line and forces teams to become one-dimensional on passing downs.
And that’s when the Havoc strikes. Along with tackles for loss on runs, the Miners rank third in Havoc created and 15th in Passing Down Success Rate Allowed.
FAU won’t be able to consistently run the ball to create easier looks and the Miners should be able to unleash a solid pass rush on a bad pass blocking FAU offensive line.
The Owls may not be coming off of a full bye, but they do have a couple of extra days to prepare for this game after a 38-9 beatdown of Charlotte last Thursday night.
FAU struggled in the opening half and trailed at the break before a second-half demolition helped them open up a huge lead.
The Owls don’t have a particular area of strength on either side of the ball, but also don’t have a ton of weaknesses either.
The offense’s biggest weakness has been Havoc allowed because it’s not a great pass-blocking unit and has a tendency to get stuffed on some runs. That’s not a great matchup against a UTEP defense with excellent Havoc numbers and a great pass rush.
If FAU can stay ahead of the chains on standard downs and keep third downs manageable, it can move the ball on the Miners consistently. But negative plays will kill drives and that’s a major concern for an offense that is about average in explosiveness on the ground and through the air.
The biggest strength of the FAU defense is Passing Down Success Rate Allowed, where the Owls are 11th best in the country.
It’s hard to see the Miners being able to consistently string together long scoring drives if they can’t run it against the FAU front and then, need a bunch of third-down conversions through the air.
However, the Owls are vulnerable to explosive plays on the ground and that’s how the Miners produce most of their rushing attack. They’re not going to get five yards a clip on the ground, and FAU won’t allow that. But if the Miners break a big run or two, that could be enough offense to stay inside the number.
UTEP vs. Florida Atlantic Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UTEP and Florida Atlantic match up statistically:
UTEP Offense vs. Florida Atlantic Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Florida Atlantic Offense vs. UTEP Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||53||88|
|Plays per Minute||123||44|
|Rush Rate||64.3% (12)||56.% (61)|
Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.
UTEP vs. Florida Atlantic Betting Pick
UTEP has been one of the most profitable teams in the country this season and even its blowout loss to Boise State was very misleading because of flukes and turnovers deep in its own territory.
The market was slow to catch up on the strength of the 2021 Miners and it still hasn’t caught up yet.
The Miners’ defense should be able to prevent FAU’s explosiveness, shut down the run game and the offense should be able to bank some early points in the scripted offensive portion of the game.
Anything 10 or better is good enough on the Miners.
Pick: UTEP +10 or better
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