A Deeper Look - Scouting The Mid-Majors (Free Picks Inside)
by Strike Point Sports - 09/26/2007
Back by popular demand, this season it will be a bit different. Each week we'll delve into some of college football's smaller conferences and focus and breakdown more obscure matchups that are off the radar for most beyond the Top 25. Here's what we have going on this week:
Arkansas State -4 over Memphis - Thursday, 7:00 pm EST
We cashed with the Indians two weeks back as a free play, and we like them in this spot just the same. Memphis is still fairly young, and they haven't shown much to prove they can take this game away from a team that is at home and hoping to get some shine from the national spotlight.
Arkansas State is not a good defensive team, but they can score, and they proved that in Tennessee last Saturday against the Vols. They lost, but put up 27 points in the shootout setback, and did even better the weekend before when they scored 45 in a win over SMU.
The Indians have covered four of the last five in this series, including an outright victory last season in Memphis. Arkansas State has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. Conference USA.
Prediction: Arkansas State 34, Memphis 26
UNLV +3.5 over Nevada - Saturday, 4 pm EST
A very underrated defensive unit resides in Vegas. The Rebels gave Hawaii a stiff test for a half and hassled Wisconsin all game long when the Badgers narrowly escaped out of town with a victory. And just recently they turned in their best performance yet with a 27-0 shutout performance over a Utah team that thoroughly embarrassed top 15 UCLA the prior weekend.
Conversely, Nevada hasn't really been about defense. The Wolfpack have allowed 35 ppg in their first three games of the year, while UNLV has done well with a 3-1 ATS mark so far.
Vegas won't wow you with any spectacular, flashy play, nor do they have any superstar individuals. They just keep plugging away in winning fashion.
Prediction: UNLV 27, Nevada 24
New Mexico +6 over BYU - Saturday, 8:30 pm EST
Brigham Young may have a vaunted offense like in years past, however the Cougars have shown over the first month of the season that they are a bit Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to playing on the road.
BYU has done well at home, going 2-0 in the win column and against the number, allowing just 7.5 ppg. On the road it's been a completely different story. Away from Provo they are 0-2 in the standings and 0-2 ATS, having allowed 41 ppg in those two setbacks.
Coming into Albuquerque, where the Lobos have improved on offense from game-to-game, this will be a difficult test for them. New Mexico has won both its home games and covered the only lined match-up against intrastate rival New Mexico State back in Week 2.
If quarterback Donovan Porterie can utilize both his arm and his legs from the pocket, it could be a long day for the Cougar defense.
Prediction: New Mexico 41, BYU 38