I said in last week's article that the MTSU game at Marshall would be very telling because we needed to see how MTSU would respond to Brent Stockstill being out of the lineup. It wasn't pretty. MTSU was dominated by a Marshall team that hasn't been good at all this season. The Blue Raiders need to bounce back.
Through the remainder of the season, I'll continue to follow everyone associated with the MTSU football program on Twitter. I'll also be reading the work of beat writers and following team press conferences. Any way I can, I'll be looking to find extra bits of information to try to gain an edge. Essentially, I'll be looking to make myself an expert on this MTSU Blue Raiders team. The goal of this article is to show that specialization can be a profitable sports betting strategy.
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This is the sixth straight season I'm doing the mid-major report for Doc's Sports. How have the selections on the mid-major betting report done? Overall, the record is 32 wins and 24 losses with a gain of $1,460. We are coming off a really strong season following the Temple Owls. The selections on the Temple games last year went 11-4 and we gained $1,050 over the course of the season.
There will be a selection on each game at the end of the weekly article. We'll be using the Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will allow readers to follow along and track the results.
MTSU took a 10-7 lead in the first quarter at Marshall, but it was all downhill from there. Marshall went on to win 42-17 after dominating the fourth quarter. Marshall outscored MTSU 21-0 in the fourth. Marshall outgained MTSU 453-283. The Thundering Herd had 29 first downs compared to only 15 for the Blue Raiders. Marshall did not turn the ball over, while MTSU had four costly turnovers.
John Urzua was 25/37 passing, but he averaged only 5.9 yards per pass attempt, and he threw two interceptions. It didn't help that MTSU's running game averaged a paltry 2.5 yards per carry in the contest. I'Tavius Mathers lost two fumbles in this one as well. On the other side, Marshall rushed for a whopping 11.7 yards per carry. Based on the numbers for the year overall, the Blue Raiders biggest weakness has been their run defense. Darryl Randolph was the standout for the MTSU defense. Randolph had 15 tackles in the game. Again, though, it isn't a good sign when a safety has to make 15 tackles in a game.
Last week's selection was Marshall +9.5, which was a one unit winner.
Notes of Interest
-Coach Rick Stockstill said at his press conference this week, "It's about us improving and correcting the mistakes we made last week." Stockstill then pointed out that MTSU turned the ball over eight times in their first eight games. They have turned the ball over eight times in their last seven quarters of play! Stockstill said he continues to tell Urzua that the team needs him to protect the football.
-Stockstill and the MTSU team all talked about the fact that the Charlotte 49ers team they are playing this week is much improved. Charlotte is one of the most veteran teams in the country. The 49ers have a ton of fifth-year seniors. The 49ers have four wins and would love to win their last two contests and become bowl eligible.
-MTSU's defense is allowing 4.38 yards per carry overall on the year. A closer look at recent trends is even more concerning. The Blue Raiders have allowed at least 207 yards on the ground in four straight contests. In those four games, the Blue Raiders are allowing 4.96 yards per carry, which is one of the worst marks in the country.
-Charlotte has rushed for at least 219 yards in five of their games so far this year. The 49ers rank first in Conference USA in rushing offense. The 49ers have won four games, and they also have two losses by a single point this year. Charlotte actually led Rice 21-10 at halftime last week but lost 22-21 after they failed to score in the second half of that contest.
-MTSU beat Charlotte 73-14 last season. The Blue Raiders were ahead 42-7 at the end of the first quarter in that game.
-MTSU is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against a team with a losing record.
-Charlotte is 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
-The over is 4-1 in MTSU's last five games.
-The under is 7-3 in Charlotte's last 10 home games.
MTSU vs. Charlotte College Football Odds
This line was opened at MTSU -6 by BetOnline this week. On the other hand, Bookmaker opened this one at MTSU -3.5 on the road. The line has shifted around a bit during the week, but most books currently sit at MTSU -4.5. The posted total opened at 63.5 but has been bet down to a current level of 60.5 points.
MTSU vs. Charlotte College Football Picks
Both of these teams are coming off bad losses. MTSU wasn't competitive late in the game against Marshall. Charlotte couldn't put away the worst team in Conference USA at home. I'm not going to get involved in a side for this one. Instead, I'll play the under here. The early weather forecast for Saturday calls for 20-25 mph winds throughout the game. That should keep both offenses more predictable than normal, and 60.5 points is quite a few when weather is going to be an issue. A two unit play on the under.
Pick: #343 MTSU/Charlotte under 60.5 (2 unit play)
Season Results- 6 Wins 4 Losses (-$240)
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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