College Football Picks: Troy vs. Middle Tennessee State Betting Odds and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 10/5/2010
Troy and Middle Tennessee State will square off in the first Tuesday night ESPN2 college football game this season. These Sun Belt rivals have been battling it out for the league title the last few years, and it has been Troy who has been coming out on top each year of late. The Trojans of Troy have won four straight Sun Belt championships and they are now in search of their fifth. Middle Tennessee State has their star quarterback returning to the lineup for this one, and the Blue Raiders realize this game is a must win for them if they want to wrestle away the Sun Belt crown.
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College Football Predictions: The Offenses
The Troy Trojans lost their talented quarterback from last year’s squad, but freshman Corey Robinson has stepped in and done a nice job for this team. Robinson has eight touchdowns and just three interceptions, and he has thrown for 1,244 yards already this year. The real star of the offense is WR Jerrel Jernigan, and he is a great playmaker. Jernigan caught 10 passes for 209 yards last week, and he is averaging 7.6 yards per carry this year running the football. The Troy offense is built on the short passing game. The wide receivers at Troy are all dangerous in the open field.
The Blue Raiders have been without star quarterback Dwight Dasher all year, but he will return for this crucial Tuesday night game. You have to wonder if he will be a bit rusty, but there is no doubt he is their best option. Dasher was named the Sun Belt’s Preseason Player of the Year, and he can do it with his arm or his feet. The best news for the Blue Raiders is they have developed a solid running game, which will take the pressure off Dasher in his return. There are also numerous quality wide receivers on this unit. This is an offense that has the potential to be the best in the Sun Belt because of their depth across the board.
The Trojans have struggled mightily so far this year on the defensive side of the football. Bear Woods was the emotional leader of this defense the last couple years, and they certainly miss him. The cornerbacks are talented, but they have been taking far too many chances this year. Troy is allowing 296 yards per game through the air and 164 per game on the ground. The defense must improve if they expect to win a fifth straight Sun Belt title.
Middle Tennessee State has had to lean on the defense a little bit this year in the absence of Dasher. The Blue Raiders are very good against the pass this season. They have allowed just 179 yards per game through the air. Both safeties are experienced and do a terrific job helping out the cornerbacks. The run defense has been a little inconsistent, but they appear to be improving as the season moves along.
Troy vs. Middle Tennessee State Betting Odds and Line Movement
The Blue Raiders opened as 2.5-point home favorites in this key matchup. It appears that the public is pushing the line higher rather quickly in this one, as most books are up to 3.5 already. As more bettors realize that Dasher is back, don’t be surprised if this number climbs even farther before the kickoff.
Troy vs. Middle Tennessee State Betting Trends
Troy is 21-7 ATS in their last 28 Sun Belt Conference games, but they are just 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Middle Tennessee State is 7-0 ATS in their last seven conference games, but they are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings with Troy. The ‘under’ is 5-0 in the last five meetings between these two teams.
College Football Picks: Troy vs. Middle Tennessee State Betting Predictions
The Blue Raiders haven’t fared well against the Trojans in their last four meetings, but I think this is their best chance to overtake Troy as the leader in the Sun Belt. A national television audience and a fired up crowd should have them ready for this big game. Middle Tennessee State has the better defense and more depth overall. I think Dasher will have a big game, and the Blue Raiders will cover the spread.
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