We're back with another edition of the college football mid-major betting report. We're covering the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders this season. They are a team that some have picked to rise toward the top of Conference USA in the season ahead.
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. 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.
In all of my years of doing the mid-major betting report, I think last week's loss was the toughest one. I had a five unit play on the over in the Bowling Green vs. MTSU game. It was 14-14 after one quarter and things were looking great. Then, 12 seconds into the second half the score was 35-21 MTSU. What happened next? Rain had been coming down hard most of the game, but the second half was a total monsoon. The field started literally ripping up and conditions were about as bad as you will ever see. There was only one touchdown the rest of the game, and the over came up just short. I feel confident that in normal conditions, the over would have comfortably won. The two unit play on MTSU -6 did win.
How did the game as a whole turn out? MTSU outgained Bowling Green by only three yards (436-433). The Falcons actually had 24 first downs to MTSU's 20 first downs. The Blue Raiders took advantage of several big plays, and they did a much better job at cashing in on their opportunities. Also, Bowling Green turned the ball over a whopping four times. Obviously, part of that was due to the awful conditions. MTSU turned it over two times. I'Tavius Mathers had four touchdowns, and he was clearly the breakout star of the game for MTSU.
Bowling Green hadn't been good on the ground before last week's game, but the Falcons tore through MTSU's run defense. Bowling Green ran for 304 yards in that game. That's a very troubling sign for the Blue Raiders. In back to back weeks, they have been shredded on the ground.
Notes of Interest
-This week's game against Louisiana Tech is the Conference USA opener for the Blue Raiders. Louisiana Tech has been one of the teams to beat in the conference the last few years. The Bulldogs are actually the least-experienced team in the conference this year, but they have played really well so far. Louisiana Tech lost by a single point on the road against Arkansas as a massive underdog of more than three touchdowns. The Bulldogs then beat South Carolina State handily before falling 59-45 to Texas Tech last weekend. Louisiana Tech is averaging 39.7 points per game on the year (MTSU is averaging 40.0).
-At his press conference this week, Rick Stockstill pointed out how many graduate transfers Louisiana Tech is playing on defense. While they did have to replace a lot of guys, Stockstill is impressed with the talent they brought in to fill the gaps. Middle linebacker Dalton Santos is a guy he highlighted. Santos is likely the best player on this defense, and he transferred over from Texas. Another key transfer was cornerback Ronald Lewis, who starts at cornerback for Louisiana Tech.
-Star quarterback Brent Stockstill was asked about the weather conditions at Bowling Green and said, "I've never seen anything like that. We had standing water on the field." He also said that the offensive line play so far this year for MTSU has been terrific.
-Louisiana Tech is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games following a loss.
-The Bulldogs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning record at home.
-MTSU is 7-1 ATS in their last eight September games.
-The Blue Raiders are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games.
-The 'over' is 4-1 in Louisiana Tech's last five games overall.
-The 'under' is 7-2 in MTSU's last nine games overall.
Louisiana Tech vs. MTSU College Football Odds
The Blue Raiders opened as 5.5-point chalk in this one, and the line has stayed right at that mark at most books so far this week. The posted total opened at 66.5 points and has gradually been bet up to 68 points.
Louisiana Tech vs. MTSU College Football Picks
Louisiana Tech has another good running back this year in Jared Craft. Craft is averaging 7.1 yards per carry on the season. He is likely to find a lot of running room against this MTSU defense here. The Blue Raiders are allowing 4.71 yards per carry so far this year despite not playing against any great running teams.
At the same time, MTSU is likely to be able to move the ball at will through the air. The Louisiana Tech secondary is definitely a question mark, and I consider Stockstill one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country. MTSU is definitely playing faster with Tony Franklin as their offensive coordinator.
The forecast looks great for Saturday, and I think both offenses will have the upper hand. I'll make a three unit play on the over 68 points in this contest.
Pick #377 3 Unit Play on LA Tech/MTSU over 68
Season Results- 1 Win 2 Losses (-$570)
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