UTEP at Louisiana Tech Betting Odds & Pick: Weather Forecast Creates Value on the Over/Under (Saturday, Oct. 10)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Vanhook.
- UTEP travels to Louisiana Tech on Saturday, as the Miners look to pick up their fourth win of the season.
- But Matt Wispe doesn't think UTEP will find a way to put up many points, even against a subpar Louisiana Tech defense.
- Check out Wispe's full betting preview with updated odds below.
UTEP at Louisiana Tech Odds
|UTEP Odds||+14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Louisiana Tech Odds||-14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+440/-611 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||55.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Louisiana Tech is hoping to bounce back from a crushing 45-7 loss to BYU that derailed its two-game winning streak last week. The Bulldogs were out-gained by exactly 200 yards and committed two turnovers as they were outclassed in nearly every regard.
Louisiana Tech has allowed more than 30 points in each of its three games so far this season, but may find respite against UTEP, which ranks among the worst offenses in the country.
The Miners are riding a two-game win streak followed a bye. They recorded their second win against an FBS opponent two weeks ago as they defeated Louisiana-Monroe on the road. And just like that, after back-to-back 1-11 campaigns, head coach Dana Dimel has already eclipsed the win totals of the previous two seasons combined and will look to add to it here as an underdog.
But the betting value for this matchup isn’t on the spread — with an ineffective run-first offense on one side of the matchup and sustained winds forecasted for game time, let’s examine why I like the under.
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UTEP’s offense has remained relatively steady under Dimel, and that style has mostly been ineffective and slow.
In each of the past two seasons, the Miners ranked in the bottom-10 for total offensive plays per game, and they’ve improved only slightly from 63.7 in 2019 to 67 through four games of 2020. They also remain a run-first team with a passing percentage of 43.7%.
SP+ ranks this as the sixth-worst offense in the FBS, and despite the Miners’ overall 3-1 record, their 35.2% success rate ranks 11th-worst. Between the slow pace and inefficiency, the Miners have averaged just 18.8 points per game. Making matters worse is that UTEP’s only good offensive performance against an FBS opponent came against UL-Monroe, which ranks eighth-worst in defensive SP+.
Havoc allowed has arguably been the only non-issue in El Paso. UTEP ranks 26th in havoc allowed (10.45%) as the Miners average only one forced turnover per game.
With two games against FBS opponents and two against FCS opponents, it is hard to draw solid conclusions about this defense, but here’s where it stands from the standpoint of a few key metrics:
- Yards Per Play: 6.4
- Turnovers Per Game: 1.3
- Success Rate Allowed: 41.23%
- Stuff Rate: 16.49%
UTEP’s defense was outclassed by the Texas offense, allowing 59 points to the Longhorns when the teams met three weeks ago. But in the Miners’ other three games, they’ve allowed only a combined 33.
The defensive concerns likely contribute to the Miners’ slow pace on offense to help control the game as they’ve averaged 55.3 defensive plays per game.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Skip Holtz balanced offense continues in 2020 as the Bulldogs are passing the ball on 49.7% of their offensive plays and they’ve remained consistent with their pace. As it has been since 2016, they’re averaging roughly 70 plays per game.
While they rank inside the top 25 in points per game with 37.0, they fall much closer to the middle of the pack from an efficiency standpoint as their 5.8 yards per play ranks 41st and their 44% success rate is 34th-best.
While the Bulldogs have largely been strong at avoiding havoc, turnovers are a concern as they’ve committed seven over three games. These mistakes will help eat away at the clock as UTEP plays keep away.
Louisiana Tech’s defense is the primary concern with the under. The unit has allowed 37.7 points per game, but UTEP represents a drop down in competition. The Bulldogs’ defense ranks 71st in defensive rushing success rate, and with the Miners looking to run the ball, this will likely keep Louisiana Tech on the field for extended periods of time.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Louisiana Tech’s defense has been subpar this season, and it’s unlikely that the Bulldogs will create a significant amount of havoc against a UTEP team that has largely avoided it. But with a slow-paced and ineffective offense, it’s hard to find an outcome that ends with UTEP scoring a significant amount of points. This likely brings the Miners to 4-1 on unders this season.
Hurricane Delta will likely have an impact on many games in the south as my colleague Danny Donahue has outlined. Significant rain isn’t currently in the forecast, but our Sports Insights weather tool projects this game to have sustained winds north of 10 mph, which could help keep the scoring down.
The total currently sits at 52 after opening at 54. If the weather conditions look worse, this number may drop even further, but I’m playing the under comfortably down to 49.5.
Pick: Under 52 (down to 49.5)