MTSU managed to get back on track with a 38-31 win at Charlotte last week. That pushed the Blue Raiders record to 7-4 on the season. The Blue Raiders host Florida Atlantic in their final regular-season game this Saturday. There will be 22 seniors recognized on Saturday afternoon.
I'll continue to follow the MTSU program through the bowl season. 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. 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 stormed to a 24-6 lead at halftime. The Blue Raiders then led 31-13 during the third quarter before Charlotte came storming back. The 49ers scored 18 straight points to tie the game up at 31. MTSU got the ball back late in the fourth quarter with the score tied, and Ty Lee ran 61 yards for the game winning touchdown.
John Urzua's first game as the starter didn't go well at all, but this game was certainly an improvement. Urzua completed 26/44 passes for 250 yards. He threw four touchdowns and two interceptions in this game. It certainly helped that the running game was working again this week. Overall, MTSU ran for 221 yards, and they averaged 7.4 yards per carry. I'Tavius Mathers ran for 101 yards. Mathers also caught six passes out of the backfield for 43 yards.
MTSU had two turnovers in this game and Charlotte only had one. It isn't very often that you can win a close game with a negative two turnover margin. How did MTSU do it in this one? The defense did a great job of bending without breaking. Charlotte went 4-for-20 on third down conversion attempts. It turns out Charlotte decided to go for it on fourth down six times in this game as well. MTSU was up to the task on those plays. The 49ers converted on only two of their six fourth down attempts. That was the key to this Blue Raiders victory.
My selection of under 60.5 was a loser. The line moved strongly in our favor before the game because of bad weather, but the end result was a two unit loss.
Notes of Interest
-MTSU has played Florida Atlantic 13 times. The Blue Raiders are 10-3 all-time in those matchups, but seven of the games have been decided by one possession or less, including each of the last three. It should also be pointed out that while Florida Atlantic has lost eight games this year, four of those losses have been by one possession or less.
-For a second straight week, Coach Rick Stockstill talked about turnovers at his press conference. He said, "I'm really disappointed in our ball security." He has good reason to be disappointed, too. In their last three games, MTSU is minus eight in turnover margin. Compare that to their first games, when MTSU only committed a grand total of eight turnovers, and they had a plus-five turnover margin.
-Florida Atlantic has given up a lot of big plays this year. The Owls have allowed 10 plays of 50 yards or more this season, and they have allowed seven plays of 60 yards or more. MTSU needs to rack up the explosive plays in this contest.
-MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro said this week that MTSU will be going to a bowl game this season, but it is unclear which game it will be. He said it is unlikely the Blue Raiders will go back to the Bahamas Bowl this season. Experts have thrown out a lot of projections for which bowl MTSU might end up in, but the most common projections have been the Boca Raton Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl.
-Florida Atlantic is 22-9 against the spread in their last 31 road games.
-Florida Atlantic is 0-4 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record.
-MTSU is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against Florida Atlantic.
-The 'over' is 5-1 in MTSU's last six games overall.
Florida Atlantic vs. MTSU College Football Odds
MTSU was installed as a 13-point home favorite on the open in this one. The line has slowly crept up, and now MTSU is favored by 13.5 at some books and 14 at others. The posted total opened at 64.5 points. It has dropped a bit everywhere and now it sits at 64 points at many books, but it is 63.5 points at Bookmaker.
Florida Atlantic vs. MTSU College Football Picks
Both of these defenses have struggled of late. With Urzua, the Blue Raiders still have chances for big plays, but they also have a higher chance of turnovers resulting in quick scores for the opposition. Florida Atlantic isn't likely to slow down MTSU much in this one, but I hate to lay two touchdowns with MTSU given the recent history of these contests. Instead, I'm going to play over 63.5 for two units here. Expect some big plays from both teams throughout this one. The long range weather looks nice for this weekend, so it is unlikely that weather will hurt this play. A two unit play on over 63.5.
Pick #191: Florida Atlantic/MTSU over 63.5 (2 unit play)
Season Results- 6 Wins 5 Losses (-$460)
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