It's time for another edition of the college football mid-major betting report. The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are the team in focus this year. They are a team that some have picked to rise toward the top of Conference USA this year.
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. Click here for more free picks for Week 5 NCAA football.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs led MTSU 27-7 early in the third quarter last week before the Blue Raiders staged a massive comeback. MTSU's offense caught fire, and their defense came up with just enough stops. MTSU ended up making a goal-line stand in the final minute to beat Louisiana Tech 38-34. It was a crucial win for the team, and with the kind of comeback MTSU had here, it has the chance to be a momentum-building win for the program.
Louisiana Tech actually outgained MTSU 622 yards to 553 yards. The Bulldogs had 35 first downs to MTSU's 25 first downs. Based on the makeup of the two teams before last week, you would have assumed Louisiana Tech had gashed MTSU on the ground all game. That wasn't the case. In fact, the Bulldogs had only 118 yards on the ground and averaged only 3.2 yards per carry. That part of the defensive effort had to be encouraging for MTSU. On the other hand, Louisiana Tech threw for a whopping 504 yards last week. That's a warning sign for the MTSU secondary.
The Blue Raiders didn't turn the ball over all game, and that's really what won them this game. Louisiana Tech had one costly turnover.
The three unit play from last week on the over cashed in as the offenses really got things rolling in the second half.
Notes of Interest
-Aldo Giovanni Amato, MTSU beat writer for the Daily News Journal, wrote an article about the importance of I'Tavius Mathers' contribution to this team so far this season. Mathers is averaging an amazing 6.6 yards per carry. He has rushed for 447 yards on the year. MTSU's leading rusher last season finished with 469 yards on the ground. Coach Rick Stockstill said he really likes the way Mathers finishes runs. He also said that Mathers has worked extremely hard to get to where he is as a complete running back. When Mathers first transferred over from Ole Miss, he wasn't a good pass catcher, but he has turned into a weapon in the passing game as well. Mathers has given MTSU that extra dimension they badly needed. Brent Stockstill and Richie James are great, but they needed a workhorse runner in the backfield, and now they have him.
-Coach Rick Stockstill said after last week's game that the win over Louisiana Tech was one of his favorite moments as a coach. He said in this week's press conference, "I've always said that character, attitude, and competitiveness is more important to me than talent." He went on to say that the competitive spirit the team showed in that comeback victory is what made it so special to him.
-MTSU dropped at least five passes in last week's game, and the coaching staff is making it an even bigger priority moving forward to finish the catch.
-North Texas' Mason Fine has the MTSU coaches attention before this weekend's game. Fine has showed the ability to run, and MTSU hasn't played a mobile quarterback so far this year.
-MTSU is 4-1 against the spread in their last five conference games.
-MTSU is 0-4 ATS in their last four games in the month of October.
-North Texas is 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
-The 'under' is 5-1 in the Blue Raiders last six conference games.
-The under is 5-2 in North Texas' last seven games.
MTSU vs. North Texas College Football Odds
MTSU opened as a 14.5-point favorite on the road in this one. The line has shifted up to MTSU - 15.5 at most books. The posted total here was opened at 61.5 points. The total was bet down to as low as 59 points before being quickly bet back up to 62 at most spots and even 63 points currently at Bookmaker.
MTSU vs. North Texas College Football Picks
This one is a tricky game to handicap. North Texas was held to 53 yards of total offense by Florida (yes you read that correctly). The Mean Green are coming off a nice comeback win over Rice, but Rice appears to be down again this season. MTSU's defense still has a lot of questions, while the offense is clearly very good. If this number were short of two touchdowns, I would probably lay it with the Blue Raiders. Given the number though, I'm going to pass on the side.
I'm going to play the over for a one unit play here. I'm keeping this to a one unit play because I'm not sure if I can count on North Texas scoring enough to get to the over. Still, both of these teams like to play quickly, and the total isn't all that high.
Pick #137 1 Unit Play on MTSU/North Texas over 62
Season Results- 2 Wins 2 Losses (-$270)
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