NCAA Football Free Pick: UTEP Miners at North Texas Mean Green

Posts AdminArticles, College Football, Football

The Mean Green (-23) are set to host their CUSA counterpart Utep Miners in North Texas. This daytime game is scheduled to get going at 3:30 p.m. ET and NFL Network will televise the action.

Betting Preview: North Texas Mean Green vs. UTEP Miners

North Texas has been tabbed as heavily favored in this matchup and is currently giving up 23 points to UTEP. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 57.5 points. Some solid in-game betting scenarios could exist during this showdown.

The O/U has not changed after it was set initially at 57.5. Having said that, the line opened at -22 so has recently moved down to -23.

The Miners are 2-4-1 against the spread (ATS) and are down 2.1 units this season. The team has posted an O/U record of 3-4.

The Mean Green have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors so far, losing 6.2 units. They’re 2-6 ATS and have an O/U record of 6-2.

The Miners are 1-6 straight up (SU), including 0-4 SU against CUSA opponents. The Mean Green are 3-5 SU overall and 2-2 SU in conference play.

The Miners fell to Louisiana Tech 42-21 in a thumping where Kai Locksley completed just 17 passes on 30 attempts for 227 yards and one touchdown. Treyvon Hughes (60 rushing yards on 13 attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller Locksley (17 yards on 10 carries, one TD) led the ground attack in the loss. Justin Garrett (five receptions, 60 yards) and Tre’Shon Wolf (four catches, 44 yards) shared the receiving duties.

Back on October 26, Charlotte knocked off this North Texas crew by a score of 39-38. The Mean Green defense allowed the 49ers to pass for 336 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 253 yards and three scores. Benny LeMay was a force to be reckoned with, recording 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts for Charlotte. For North Texas, Mason Fine completed 26-of-38 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns. Tre Siggers (131 rushing yards on 17 attempts) and Loren Easly (22 yards on 10 carries) spearheaded the ground game in the defeat while Michael Lawrence (six receptions, 82 yards, one TD) and Jaelon Darden (five catches, 104 yards, one TD) led the receiving corps.

UTEP has run the ball on 61.5 percent of its offensive plays this year, including 54.9 percent across possessions in conference play. North Texas has an overall rush percentage of 46.9 percent, and has carried the ball 50 percent of the time when playing CUSA opponents. The Miners have produced 133.4 rush yards/game (including 113.8 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 11 scores via handoffs this year. The Mean Green are averaging 163.4 rush yards per game (172.3 in conference) and have seven total rushing TDs.

It seems like the Mean Green should have the advantage along both the offensive and defensive fronts, as their offensive line has given up just 14 sacks while the D-line has logged 17 sacks. The Miners O-line has given up 24 sacks and their defense has created only seven sacks.

The Miners offensive scheme has tallied 166.4 yards/contest through the air overall (181.8 per game against conference opposition) and has four passing scores so far. The Mean Green have put up 296.8 pass yards per contest (309 against CUSA foes) and have 23 total pass TDs.

Defensively, UTEP has allowed 182 rush yards and 239.4 pass yards per game. The North Texas defense has allowed 244.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 189.8 yards per game to opposing runners. The Mean Green are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of 7.15 to opposing QBs, while the Miners have given up a staggering 8.58 ANY/A.

Offensively, Locksley is up to 420 passing yards this year, and has connected on 48 percent of his 66 attempts with one scores through the air and two interceptions. Locksley’s got a 3.35 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 7.68 over the last two outings.

Mason Fine has managed to complete 153-of-249 passes for 1,904 yards, 19 TDs and four INTs for North Texas. His ANY/A sits at 7.65 for the season and 9.10 over his past two games.

When these two teams met a year ago, North Texas knocked off UTEP by a field goal 27-24.

UTEP Miners at North Texas Mean Green NCAA Tip

SU Winner: North Texas, ATS Winner: UTEP, O/U: Over

Team Betting Trends

  • The Miners offense has recorded three pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Mean Green have put up 10 such plays.
  • Both defenses have allowed six pass plays of 40+ yards. The UTEP defense has given up 10 pass plays of 30+ yards while North Texas has given up 17 such plays.
  • The UTEP offense has created nine rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while North Texas has created 15 such runs.
  • The Miners defense has allowed nine rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Mean Green have given up 18 such runs.
  • The North Texas defensive unit has sacked opposing quarterbacks 17 times this year. UTEP has produced just seven sacks.
  • As a team, UTEP has produced 3.0 yards per carry over its past three contests and 2.9 over its last two.
  • North Texas has averaged 4.1 yards per carry over its last three outings and 4.3 over its last two.
  • In its last three matchups, North Texas is 0-3 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
  • The O/U for UTEP’s previous game was 51. The over cashed in the team’s 42-21 defeat to Louisiana Tech.
  • In its last three matchups, UTEP is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • The O/U for North Texas’ last matchup was set at 65. The over cashed in that 39-38 loss to Charlotte.