Middle Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech Odds, Prediction, Pick: The Bet to Make on Saturday’s Over/Under
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Fuentes.
- Middle Tennessee and Virginia Tech take the field in Week 2 college football action on Saturday.
- Alex Kolodziej sees value on this game's over/under and explains why below.
- Check out his full breakdown below, complete with updated odds, a pick, and a prediction.
Middle Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech Odds
|Middle Tennessee Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
Virginia Tech pulled off the first signature upset of the 2021 college football season, downing then-No. 10 North Carolina 17-10.
The next order of business for head coach Justin Fuente and Co. is avoiding a clear letdown spot against a middle-of-the-road Conference USA club.
Here's how the two programs stack up for Saturday's nonconference clash.
Rick Stockstill's still patrolling the sidelines in his 16th season. He's off his worst campaign in Murfreesboro, posting a 3-6 record with all three victories by six points or fewer.
Middle Tennessee typically wins with its offense, but it never had a chance in 2020, averaging 5.0 yards per play last fall — right on par with Bowling Green.
Luckily, Stockstill has a formidable option under center, thanks to the transfer portal.
Blue Raiders Offense
The Asher O'Hara era was frenetic, to say the least.
There was always the added element of the run — the dual-threat quarterback led the team in yards in a landslide last season — but struggled consistently as a passer, registering eight interceptions and just 6.8 yards per attempt in 2020.
He fled for Sacramento State, paving the way for NC State transfer Bailey Hockman to take the reins. We didn't learn much in MTSU's season-opening rout of Monmouth, but it was all gravy for the veteran quarterback who completed 17 of his 22 passes for 215 yards and three scores in a 50-point outburst.
Blue Raiders Defense
Middle Tennessee was rarely tested out of the gates. Monmouth's quarterback duo of Tony Muskett — who sounds like a made-up recruit name in the NCAA video game series — and May Smyth registered a paltry 4.4 yards per attempt through the air, while the run game mustered just 2.3 yards per clip.
The Blue Raiders brought a majority of last year's production back (75% TARP D), but experience may be the only thing going for this group: It allowed 35.4 points per game against nine mid-major clubs last season.
Sandwich spot, trap game, you name it. Virginia Tech stunned a legit contender, but a program that's recently suffered losses to Liberty and Old Dominion can't afford to look ahead to West Virginia in Week 3.
Frankly, barring a complete mental lapse, the offense should rip off chunk after chunk against an undersized defense.
You don't want to nitpick. However, Virginia Tech's advanced numbers were spotty in Week 1.
The Hokies recorded just a 49% Success Rate on offense. Granted, the number plummeted following a 29% clip in the fourth quarter, but Fuente was perfectly fine playing keep-away and leaving the Tar Heels on the sidelines. The Hokies dialed up passes on just 31.8% of plays.
The offense won't reinvent the wheel this week against a Group of Five defense, much less with West Virginia on deck, but it doesn't need to. Under an ordinary game script, Virginia Tech will eat up a healthy amount of yards per play against an undersized back seven.
The Hokies will fluctuate tempo and offer different looks in the RPO game with Braxton Burmeister, who outplayed counterpart Sam Howell in the opener.
That'll be enough to keep the Blue Raiders on their heels all afternoon.
It was pure domination in Week 1.
Virginia Tech notched a 15% Sack Rate and 14% Havoc Rate en route to single-handedly demolishing Howell's Heisman hopes. The Hokies held the Tar Heels to a dismal -0.179 EPA/play and forced three interceptions.
Not to discredit Virginia Tech, but North Carolina looked infinitely less explosive without the quartet of Dazz Newsome, Dyami Brown, Michael Carter and Javonte Williams, who all moved on to the pros.
The team's new No. 1 wide receiver, Josh Downs, cribbed a 37-yard tunnel screen. Otherwise, the Tar Heels looked like a shell of the unit that threw up 41 points per game last fall.
Middle Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Middle Tennessee and Virginia Tech match up statistically:
Middle Tennessee Offense vs. Virginia Tech Defense
Virginia Tech Offense vs. Middle Tennessee Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Middle Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech Betting Pick
Let's fade both defenses, particularly Virginia Tech's, which had a whole offseason to prepare for an offense perhaps the market overrated.
I'm content investing in Hockman to contribute on the scoreboard. He's played in meaningful ACC games and won't be fazed by a Blacksburg crowd that should face a hangover itself after blowing the roof off the decibel levels last week.
Virginia Tech's offense, meanwhile, was conservative in its win, but it doesn't have to be here. This is a good opportunity to run it up before the competition stiffens next week.
Plus, we're getting two defenses in the back half of the country in Rushing Success Rate, Passing Success rate, Havoc and Line Yards.
Sounds like a recipe for points to me.