A couple of schools that prefer to run the football, Miners of UTEP (+13) are gearing up to welcome their CUSA counterpart Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-13) to Sun Bowl. Kickoff for this showdown is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET and ESPN+ will broadcast the action.
Betting Preview: UTEP Miners vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
UTEP is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 13 points in this Saturday CUSA matchup. The Blue Raiders are also receiving -550 moneyline odds while the Miners are +375. Oddsmakers have determined the over/under (O/U) to be 48 points, and some decent live betting opportunities should present themselves during the contest.
The early action has been leaning toward the Miners, as the opening line was 15. The over/under hasn’t changed after it was set initially at 48.
The profitable Blue Raiders are 5-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 4.7 units so far. They’ve been a good under bet and have recorded an Over-Under mark of 3-6.
The Miners have lost 3.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 5-4 ATS and own an even O/U record of 4-4.
The Blue Raiders are 6-3 straight up (SU), including 5-1 SU against CUSA opponents. The Miners are 1-8 SU overall and 1-4 SU in conference play.
The Blue Raiders are coming off a resounding 29-10 win over Western Kentucky last week where Brent Stockstill completed 24-of-42 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Chaton Mobley (198 rushing yards on 25 attempts) spearheaded the running attack. Patrick Smith (eight receptions, 60 yards) and Ty Lee (five catches, 81 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the win.
UTEP is coming off of a 34-26 win over Rice. Kai Locksley completed 13-of-21 passes for 193 yards and one interception. Quardraiz Wadley (91 yards on 20 rush attempts, two TDs) and Treyvon Hughes (76 yards on 12 carries, one TD) spearheaded the running game while Warren Redix (four receptions, 63 yards) and Erik Brown (three catches, 60 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the win.
Middle Tennessee has run the ball on 52.2 percent of its offensive possessions this year while UTEP has an overall rush percentage of 60.3 percent. The Blue Raiders have rushed for 140.6 yards/game (including 152.3 per game versus Conference USA opponents) and have 12 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Miners are totaling 138.4 rushing yards per game (109.8 in conference) and have 15 total rush TDs.
The Blue Raiders offense has averaged 228.0 yards in the air overall (222.8 per game versus conference opposition) and has 17 passing scores so far. The Miners have recorded 170.4 pass yards per game (210 against CUSA competition) and have five total pass TDs.
Defensively, Middle Tennessee has allowed 170.7 rush yards and 244.6 pass yards per game. The UTEP defense has given up 188.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 194.4 yards per game to opposing runners. The Blue Raiders are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 5.81 to opponents, while the Miners have given up a 7.02 ANY/A.
Offensively, Stockstill is up to 1,666 passing yards this season. He’s connected on 66 percent of his 248 attempts with 15 passing scores and only four interceptions. He has a 6.20 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 6.82 over the last two games.
The Blue Raiders have tried to control tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Chaton Mobley (290 rush yards, two rush TDs) and Terelle West (127 rush yards, 26 receiving yards) have been focal points in the Middle Tennessee offensive scheme.
In the other locker room, Kai Locksley has completed 61-of-120 passes for 720 yards, two TDs and four INTs. Locksley’s ANY/A sits at a very poor 3.54 for the year and 5.79 across his last two outings.
The Miners will also try to dictate the game’s pace by turning to their backfield. Warren Redix (355 receiving yards) has stepped up lately, but Quardraiz Wadley (462 rush yards, five rush TDs, one receiving TD) and Treyvon Hughes (252 rush yards, one rush TD) have gotten a lot of touches recently.
When these two programs met a year ago, Middle Tennessee knocked off UTEP easily 30-3.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at UTEP Miners NCAA Tip
SU Winner: UTEP, ATS Winner: UTEP, O/U: Under
Team Betting Trends
- The Middle Tennessee defensive unit has 23 sacks on the year while UTEP has just 14.
- UTEP has lost seven fumbles this season while the Middle Tennessee offense has lost six.
- Both teams have produced six pass plays of 40 or more yards and 10 pass plays of 30+ yards.
- The Middle Tennessee defense has allowed 10 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while UTEP has given up seven such plays.
- The Middle Tennessee offense has created nine rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while UTEP has created 13 such runs.
- Both teams have allowed 15 rushing plays of 20+ yards. The Blue Raiders have given up 45 running plays of 10+ yards while the Miners have given up 50 such plays.
- The Over/Under for UTEP’s last game was set at 45.5. The over cashed in the 34-26 victory over Rice.
- Over its last three contests, UTEP is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- In its last three games, Middle Tennessee is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- Middle Tennessee has won six of its last seven games SU, with an October 13th defeat to FIU accounting for the only loss over that span.
- The O/U for Middle Tennessee’s last game was set at 53. The under cashed in the team’s 29-10 victory over Western Kentucky.
- Middle Tennessee has produced 4.2 yards per carry across its last three games and 5.5 over its last two.
- UTEP has averaged 2.6 yards per carry over its last three outings and 3.0 over its last two.