We're back another college football mid-major betting report. Our focus is on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders this year. The Blue Raiders are a Conference USA team that is looking to break out this year. They have been a middle-of-the-pack type of team in this league, and some have predicted bigger things for the Blue Raiders this season.
I'll be following everyone associated with the MTSU football program on Twitter. I'll also be reading the work of beat writers and following team press conferences. 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.
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.
There was no article or selection last week since MTSU played an FCS team and there was no line available until the day of the game. Things are back to normal this week with MTSU taking on Vanderbilt in a key intrastate battle.
MTSU downed Alabama A&M 55-0 in their season opener. MTSU was favored by 47.5 points in that game, and reading too much into anything from that win would be a mistake. Alabama A&M is an FCS program that went only 3-8 a year ago.
MTSU dominated last week's game in every way. The Blue Raiders threw for 435 yards and rushed for 246 more. MTSU had 35 first downs compared to Alabama A&M's six first downs. MTSU star quarterback Brent Stockstill was 30 for 36 passing for 329 yards and five touchdowns.
Notes of Interest
-The injury bug has bitten MTSU in a big way at wide receiver. Terry Pettis and Demetrius Frazier were the second- and third-leading returning receivers on this team. Pettis is out for the season with a leg injury. Frazier is out indefinitely with a leg injury. Also, backup wide receiver Jocquez Bruce is out for the year with an ankle injury. The single biggest strength of this team before the season was their group of wide receivers. MTSU still has star receiver Richie James, but the depth of this unit will now be tested.
-Chris Hale tied for the team lead in sacks last year, and he was expected to be a senior leader on the defensive end. Hale is now out with a knee injury. Where will the pass rush come from now?
-The matchup with Vanderbilt is always a big one. MTSU and Vanderbilt are only about 45 minutes apart, so these guys definitely know each other well. MTSU has extra reason to be pumped up for this year's matchup if you look back at what happened last year. The Blue Raiders led 13-3 with only seven minutes left in that game before Vanderbilt scored two touchdowns in the final minutes to win 17-13. MTSU players remember that game well, and this Saturday's game has been circled on their calendar ever since.
-In the team's press conference this week, Rick Stockstill said the key for this weekend's game will be success in the running game and success stopping the run. Last year, MTSU ran the ball 34 times for a total of 23 yards on the ground against Vanderbilt. That isn't going to win you very many games. Additionally, Vanderbilt ran the ball 41 times for 237 yards on the ground against MTSU in last year's contest. MTSU can expect to see a lot of Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb in this one, and they need to have more success slowing him down.
-MTSU is 6-0 against the spread in their last six September games.
-The "under" is 5-0 in the Blue Raiders last five games against an SEC opponent.
-Vanderbilt is 6-0 ATS in their last six games against a Conference USA opponent.
-The under is 7-0-1 in Vanderbilt's last eight home games.
-The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams.
MTSU vs. Vanderbilt College Football Odds
The line here has been steady at Vanderbilt -5.5 all week. The posted total opened at 47 points before being bet down to 45 points. Interestingly, it has now jumped back up to 47 and is now 47.5 at some books.
MTSU vs. Vanderbilt College Football Picks
I'm not looking to take a side in this game. Vanderbilt is coming off a disappointing loss to South Carolina in their season opener. The Commodores led 10-0 before falling apart late and losing 13-10. There is no way to tell where MTSU is at based on their win over a bad FCS team like Alabama A&M.
Instead of looking at the side, I'll be playing the under here. The Vanderbilt defense is probably the best one MTSU will go up against all year. Vanderbilt's offense isn't good. Last year's game played to a very low score, and in general these intrastate rivalry games are more likely to be low-scoring contests.
Because I'm cautious about Tony Franklin's new offense at MTSU pushing the pace, I'm going to keep this one to a 2 unit play on the under and see how this one plays out.
Pick #359 2 Unit Play on MTSU/Vanderbilt under 47.5
Season Results- 0 Wins 0 Losses ($0)
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