North Texas vs UTSA Betting Odds & Predictions: 2 Picks for C-USA Title

North Texas vs UTSA Betting Odds & Predictions: 2 Picks for C-USA Title article feature image

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The North Texas football team.

North Texas vs UTSA Odds

Friday, Dec. 2
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
North Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

North Texas and UTSA will meet up in the Conference USA Championship on Friday night in the Alamodome in what should be a highly entertaining contest.

This will mark the second appearance in the C-USA title for each team. The Mean Green will seek their first championship after finishing as runner-ups in 2017, while the Roadrunners will look to make it back-to-back titles in their own building after beating Western Kentucky last year.

So, who has the edge from a betting perspective? Let's first take a closer look at each team.

North Texas Mean Green

The Mean Green clinched a spot in the conference title on the final day of the regular season with a close win over Rice. As a result of that victory, they finished second in C-USA due to the head-to-head tiebreaker over Western Kentucky.

North Texas actually already made a trip down to San Antonio to take on UTSA earlier this year in a game it lost in the final seconds.

Offensively, quarterback Austin Aune has led a very potent passing attack that really spreads the ball around to a number of playmakers.

The Mean Green want to get the run game going but have been much more successful through the air. Overall, this is an offense that I have ranked just inside the top 50 nationally after adjusting for opponent.

I can't say the same about the defense, which ranks well below average nationally. The strength on this side of the ball is in coverage, but it really struggles to stop the run since its undersized front can get bullied.

That said, overall, it's a unit that generally improves as the season progresses under coordinator Phil Bennett.

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UTSA Roadrunners

After dropping a pair of nonconference bouts to fellow in-state foes Texas and Houston, the Roadrunners ran through their conference slate with an unblemished record to lock up a second straight C-USA title in their own building.

UTSA features one of the best offenses at the Group of Five level thanks in large part due to electric dual-threat quarterback Frank Harris.

He can get it done with his legs when needed but has made huge progress with his arm, throwing for 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions on the season.

It doesn't hurt to have a trio of stud receivers on the outside in Zakhari Franklin, Joshua Cephus, and De'Corian Clark. While the Roadrunners will miss the latter due to injury, Franklin and Cephus each have 76 catches and over 900 yards on the season.

This offense can put up points in a hurry.

Similar to North Texas, the UTSA defense leaves a lot to be desired. However, unlike the Mean Green, the Roadrunners excel at defending the run with their stout front but really struggle to defend the pass.

Overall, it's a very poor unit that can be exploited by competent passing quarterbacks.

North Texas vs UTSA Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how North Texas and UTSA match up statistically:

North Texas Offense vs UTSA Defense
Rush Success1109
Line Yards4615
Pass Success4447
Pass Blocking**6352
Finishing Drives3411
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

UTSA Offense vs North Texas Defense
Rush Success51120
Line Yards13128
Pass Success484
Pass Blocking**9353
Finishing Drives24107
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling64124
PFF Coverage4861
SP+ Special Teams2051
Seconds per Play24.1 (25)23.8 (20)
Rush Rate55.7% (52)52.3% (78)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

North Texas vs UTSA Betting Pick

I like North Texas at anything over a touchdown in addition to the over in this game.

Let's start with the total, which I think opened way too low. When these two teams met earlier this year, the total closed at around 72/73, which is where I think the market should be here.

Yes, the game stayed under, but that came after a very flukey first half that only saw nine total points. In the second half? They combined for a whopping 49 points.

Both offenses should have no problem moving up and down the field against each vulnerable opposing defense. Plus, these are two teams that play with tempo, which only will help the over.

I bet the over 67.5 and still see a tad bit of value but would really like it at 69 or better — whether live or if it comes back down before kick.

In regard to the side, I do think UTSA is a bit overvalued coming into this week. Not only did it go 4-0 in one-possession games against league opponents, but it also benefited from facing four straight backup quarterbacks to close out the regular season.

If you remove some of the horrid backups they faced, the defensive metrics get much more concerning. Even Army somehow threw for over 300 yards against the Roadrunners.

Aune should have a field day against this leaky secondary in what should be a back-and-forth affair throughout. Plus, the backdoor could get kicked down fairly easily if needed.

It also doesn't hurt that UTSA will likely be without leading rusher Brenden Brady in a now very thin backfield, especially if Trelon Smith isn't 100% healthy yet. That's big considering the ideal way to attack this Mean Green defense is on the ground.

North Texas also holds the edge in special teams where it is excellent across the board.

Lastly, for those into trends, teams with revenge in conference championship rematches have no historical edge (23-23 ATS since 2005).
However, 31 of the 46 (67.4%) teams improved their scoring margin in the second meeting by an average of 7.9 points, which would apply to UNT here.

Another trend working in the Mean Green's favor is how well unranked teams have fared as underdogs against ranked foes in conference championships. Since 2005, they have gone 14-6 ATS (70%), covering by an average margin of 10.58 points. This year, North Texas and Purdue fit that mold.

Pick: North Texas +7.5 or Better · Over 69 or Better

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