NCAA Football Free Pick – Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Charlotte 49ers

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In a battle of two schools that prefer running the football, Head Coach Rick Stockstill and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-3) are gearing up to take on the Charlotte 49ers at Jerry Richardson Stadium. ESPN 3 owns the TV rights and the game’s scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Charlotte 49ers

In this Saturday Conference USA matchup, Middle Tennessee is projected as the favorite and is currently giving up 3 points. The Blue Raiders are also receiving -155 moneyline odds while the 49ers are +135. If one team can find paydirt early it will result in a reasonable betting opportunity in-game. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 61 points.

Odds have swayed some from where they were originally posted. The opening line was 2.5 and the game’s O/U was initially placed at 60.5.

The Blue Raiders are 4-4 against the spread (ATS) and have lost 0.3 units so far. The team’s posted an O/U mark of 6-2.

The 49ers are down 1.4 units this season. The team is 3-5 ATS and seven of its games have gone over the total.

The Blue Raiders have gone 3-5 straight up (SU), including 2-2 SU against CUSA opponents. The 49ers are 3-5 SU overall and 1-3 SU in conference play.

These two squads faced off last year with the final outcome being a 21-13 win for Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders are on the upswing after a 50-17 victory over FIU last week. The passing attack wasn’t great as Asher O’Hara completed just six passes on 12 attempts for 25 yards and one touchdown. O’Hara (159 yards on 22 rush attempts, two TDs) also led the ground attack and was complemented by Brad Anderson (30 yards on 10 carries). Jimmy Marshall (two receptions, 11 yards, one TD) and Anderson (two catches, seven yards) shared the receiving duties in the win.

Charlotte enters this one having just earned a 39-38 win over North Texas. Chris Reynolds completed 24-of-32 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. Benny LeMay (155 yards on 30 rush attempts, two TDs) and the signal-caller Reynolds (96 yards on eight carries, one TD) spearheaded the running attack while Victor Tucker (10 receptions, 140 yards, one TD) and Cameron Dollar (six catches, 27 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the win.

Middle Tennessee has run the ball on 50.6 percent of its offensive plays this year, including 53.4 percent across possessions in conference play. Charlotte has an overall rush percentage of 59.7 percent, and has carried the ball 55.6 percent of the time against CUSA opponents. The Blue Raiders have produced 179.8 rush yards/game (including 229 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 14 scores on the ground this year. The Niners are totaling 206.4 rush yards per game (152 in conference) and have 17 total rushing TDs.

If 2019 results can translate to this game, then the Niners could hold an edge along both the offensive and defensive fronts, since their offensive line has allowed only 14 sacks while the D-line has registered 26 sacks. The Blue Raiders offensive line has given up 17 sacks and their defense has forced only six sacks.

The Blue Raiders offense has averaged 226.8 yards through the air overall (219 per game versus conference opposition) and has 12 passing scores so far. The Niners have put up 209.1 pass yards per game (233 in the CUSA) and have 17 total pass TDs.

Middle Tennessee has allowed opponents to run for an average of 205.4 yards and throw for 269.4 yards per game. The Charlotte D has allowed 220.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 199.5 yards per game on the ground. The Blue Raiders are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of 7.55 to opposing QBs, while the Niners have given up an 8.12 ANY/A.

Offensively, O’Hara has put up 1,516 passing yards on the year. He’s completed 64 percent of his 195 attempts with 11 scores through the air and five interceptions. He’s got a 6.71 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 3.98 over the last two outings.

On the other sideline, Chris Reynolds has completed 95-of-149 passes for 1,288 yards, 14 TDs and five INTs. Reynolds’ ANY/A sits at 8.24 for the year and 8.81 over his past two games.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Charlotte 49ers NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Middle Tennessee, ATS Winner: Middle Tennessee, O/U: Under

Betting Notes

  • Both teams have lost two fumbles this season.
  • The Charlotte defense has tallied 26 sacks on the year while Middle Tennessee has just six.
  • As a team, Middle Tennessee has averaged 6.8 yards per carry over its last three outings and 7.6 over its last two.
  • Charlotte has averaged 4.9 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.7 over its last two.
  • Over its last three contests, Charlotte is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for Middle Tennessee’s previous game was set at 57.5. The over cashed in the team’s 50-17 victory over FIU.
  • In its last three games, Middle Tennessee is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for Charlotte’s previous outing was 65. The over cashed in that 39-38 win over North Texas.