Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA College Football Betting Odds & Pick: Why Not to Bet Roadrunners Against Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA College Football Betting Odds & Pick: Why Not to Bet Roadrunners Against Blue Raiders article feature image
Credit:

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Frank Harris.

Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
6 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Middle Tennessee Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+11.5
-115
60
-110o / -110u
+360
UTSA Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-11.5
-105
60
-110o / -110u
-490
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Middle Tennessee State and UTSA open up their Conference USA schedules this weekend at the Alamodome.

Both teams have started the 2021 season playing well and have improved from last season. UTSA has already knocked off Illinois, while Middle Tennessee was competitive with Virginia Tech.

In last season’s matchup, UTSA was able to sneak by with a 37-35 victory as Middle Tennessee missed a two-point conversation late in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game. This has the potential to be another highly contested conference game.


Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders

Rick Stockstill has been the head coach at Middle Tennessee State since 2006, and the Blue Raiders have been bowl eligible 10 times under his leadership.

He has been a successful coach, but over the past two seasons, Middle Tennessee has only won seven combined games and started last season 0-4 before finishing 3-6.

This offseason, Stockstill made a change at offensive coordinator, and former North Carolina State quarterback Bailey Hockman transferred in and won the starting job under center. It’s early, but Hockman has played well and the team has shown they have the talent to be a contender in Conference USA.


Blue Raiders Offense

Hockman leads the Blue Raiders offense and has been efficient through two games, completing 66.7% of his passes with four touchdowns and only one turnover. Hockman has done a great job spreading the ball around, with four receivers registering at least seven receptions.

The passing game will need to be on point because the running game has been non-existent. Middle Tennessee only averages 81 yards per game and only 2.3 yards per attempt, which is 124th in the nation.


Blue Raiders Defense

The Blue Raider defense allowed over 35 points per game last season, but through two games it has played well and become a more cohesive unit.

The secondary is the strength of the defense and only allowed 159 yards passing against Virginia Tech. The defense will need to be on the same page to negate UTSA’s team speed and ability to create explosive plays.

Last season, Middle Tennessee was able to shut down the Roadrunners’ talented rushing attack, holding them to 88 yards and only 3.1 yards an attempt. Scott Shafer returns as defense coordinator along with 10 starters who were crucial in last season’s defense effort.

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UTSA Roadrunners

Head Coach Jeff Traylor was incredible in his first year at UTSA, leading the Roadrunners to their second bowl game in school history.

When you consider he was able to get his players to buy in with limited practice time due to COVID-19, it adds even more context to how impressive last season was for the program.

UTSA has hit the ground running this season with one of the biggest wins in school history, defeating Illinois and coasting to a win against Lamar in its home opener. With conference play beginning, the Roadrunners are one of the favorites to win Conference USA.


Roadrunners Offense

UTSA quarterback Frank Harris is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country when healthy. He unfortunately has suffered through injuries for much of his career.

Sincere McCormick is the top running back in the conference and already the leading rusher and rushing touchdown leader in school history.

The offensive line is experienced and the receivers are talented enough to make defenses pay for keying on the run game with Harris and McCormick. This is an offense that has the potential to be better than last season if Harris continues to improve his accuracy throwing the football.


Roadrunners Defense

With all 11 starters returning from last season, the defensive will be one of the best in the conference. In the Roadrunners’ win over Illinois, they bent but didn’t break and played well enough to cement the win.

Last week, they cruised to an expected 54-0 win over Lamar and allowed 122 yards of total offense.

When taking a look at last season’s matchup, the UTSA defense allowed 563 yards of total offense and almost 200 yards on the ground.

Due to the Roadrunners’ inability to shut down the running game, the Blue Raiders were able to control the clock and run 18 more offensive plays.


Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Middle Tennessee and UTSA match up statistically:

Middle Tennessee Offense vs. UTSA Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 45
Line Yards 86
Pass Success 57
Pass Blocking* 52 39
Big Play 95 18
Havoc 121 79
Finishing Drives 81
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UTSA Offense vs. Middle Tennessee Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 79
Line Yards 33
Pass Success 15
Pass Blocking* 96 121
Big Play 53 8
Havoc 31 103
Finishing Drives 30
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 15 59
PFF Coverage 75 77
Middle 8 13 31
SP+ Special Teams 81 6
Plays per Minute 54 52
Rush Rate 51.5% (80) 55.2% (67)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.


Middle Tennessee vs. UTSA Betting Pick

These teams played a year ago: The line closed at UTSA -6, and the Roadrunners pulled out a two-point victory.

The Roadrunners are now a double-digit favorite in this conference battle. This has the look of an inflated line, and it points to an overreaction by bookmakers. UTSA has won six out of its last seven home games straight up, but traditionally their home-field advantage has been minuscule and they have struggled against the spread.

The Blue Raiders are confident after last season’s game and return the defensive players capable of keeping this game close and giving Bailey Hockman and the offense a chance.

UTSA should eventually pull out the victory, but give me the points with Middle Tennessee.

Pick: Middle Tennessee +13.5

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