College Football Odds, Picks for UTEP vs. Northwestern

College Football Odds, Picks for UTEP vs. Northwestern article feature image

Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: UTEP head coach Dana Dimel.

UTEP vs. Northwestern Odds

Saturday, Sept. 9
3:30 p.m. ET
-115o / -105u
Northwestern Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Northwestern looks to get back on track with a victory over UTEP on Saturday afternoon, with the game airing on the Big Ten Network.

After an offseason of turmoil, the Wildcats opened the year with a loss at Rutgers last week in which they finished with just 201 total yards of offense.

Meanwhile, the Miners picked up their first win and cover of 2023 at home against FCS foe Incarnate Word in Week 1 after dropping their opener at Jacksonville State.

The pair of offenses on display in this game may not make this a very entertaining affair, but I do believe the visitors are a good pick to pick up a huge victory.

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UTEP Miners

One of the primary issues for UTEP under head coach Dana Dimel has been its struggles on the road, and we have already seen that continue into this season.

The Miners fell in a 17-14 loss at Jacksonville State in Week 0, but they bounced back at home with the win over Incarnate Word. The victory pushed their record to 12-3 at the Sun Bowl over the last three seasons.

When it comes to playing away from home, the program has secured only five wins in its last 30 games. This must improve if Dimel is going to stick around for another season in El Paso.

The recipe for the win was on display last week: a dominant ground attack that racked up 329 yards. That marks the second-most rushing yards in the Dimel era.

Running back Deion Hankins was the star of the game, gaining a career-high 174 yards on 7.2 yards per rush. If Hankins can continue to perform behind the veteran UTEP offensive line, it will open the play-action passes that Dimel loves to draw up.

Northwestern Wildcats

This was a summer to forget for the Northwestern football program. Longtime coach Pat Fitzgerald was first suspended and then fired in July amid a hazing scandal. With a number of players on the transfer portal fence, defensive coordinator David Braun was given the interim tag for the season.

This is a Wildcats team that has lost 12 straight and 21 of its last 25 games coming into this one.

On the field, Northwestern has some huge holes to fill on offense, starting with running back Evan Hull, who finished with over 1,400 yards in 2022.

Braun was also left with a very inexperienced offensive line that returned just 27 career starts after four starters from last season departed.

This is going to be a very difficult season for Northwestern, especially if the team enters conference play without a win.

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UTEP vs Northwestern

Betting Pick & Prediction

Regardless of who comes out on top in this one on Saturday, there will be a long losing streak snapped. The Wildcats could end a run of 12 straight losses, or UTEP could pick up the program’s first road victory over a Power 5 opponent since 1967.

Can #MinerNation party like it's 1967 this weekend?@EastBreese gives us a history lesson + G5 best bets with @Ianniello21 on BBOC ✅

Full episode:

— Action Network Podcasts (@ActionPodcasts) September 6, 2023

Northwestern was a 3-point favorite when the first line opened, but the line has since flipped to the Miners entering as the slight betting favorite.

I agree with this move, which is why I’m taking UTEP on the moneyline at odds of -130 or better as my best bet.

Even before all of the forced changes over the summer, this Wildcat program was already in bad shape. It's easy to forget that Northwestern lost at home to both Southern Illinois and Miami (OH) last season.

The team then lost multiple key players and is led by a first-time head coach, which feels like a recipe for disaster.

As for the visitors, Dimel’s team is unlucky to not have two wins this season after finishing with more yards, first downs and time of possession in the loss at Jacksonville State.

I do believe the Miners can hold their own in the trenches on both sides of the ball, which I believe will be enough to secure a huge victory over a Big Ten program.

Pick: UTEP ML -130 or Better

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