College Football Odds – 2018 Conference USA Title Game Betting Preview
The Conference USA race was very interesting this season, and the eligibility of Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to win the East division crown depended upon last week’s game against the UAB Blazers, who might have been playing somewhat “vanilla” against them. So what you had was something of a laydown. This week, don’t expect that from UAB, a program with a story unlike any other that currently exists in the FBS ranks. The C-USA championship game will take place on Saturday at 1:30 PM ET at Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, TN. And if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers on this game, and all the others, even after the opening kickoff, when you access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
College Football Odds – 2018 Conference USA Title Game:
In the NCAA football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Middle Tennessee is the favorite on their home field:
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders -1.5
UAB Blazers +1.5
Over 45.5 points -110
Under 45.5 points -110
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College Football Odds – 2018 Conference USA Title Game: CJ’s Take on UAB at Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee, of course, is led by Brent Stockstill, son of coach Rick Stockstill, and he has thrown for over 11,000 yards in his college career. Truth be told, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have been able to, as he has actually been there six years, benefiting from a regular redshirt and a medical redshirt along the way. Stockstill has come on strong down the home stretch, completing eleven touchdown passes with only one interception in the final four games of the regular season. And Middle Tennessee has covered its last five, although the straight-up victories along the line have not necessarily been in challenging situations. They also lost 34-23 to a nationally -ranked Kentucky team, in what was indeed a competitive game.
UAB was in a strange situation last week, as they could have knocked Middle Tennessee out of the title picture entirely with a victory. Instead, they not only get the Blue Raiders again, but have to go on the road if they want to win the title. They lost 27-3 last Saturday, with only 89 yards of total offense. But Bill Clark has to be lauded for the incredible job he’s done, as the Blazers are in their second year of reinstatement since shutting down the program for two years. Last season they made it to a bowl game, and this year they briefly appeared as the #25 team in the Amway Coaches’ poll, before getting their bell rung against Texas A&M.
Stockstill completed 22 of his 29 passes against UAB last week, and he is very accurate, although he doesn’t necessarily get the ball far down the field on any single play, evidenced by less than 11 yards per completion. What the Blue Raiders (8-4 SU & ATS) have missed for most of the season is balance in the offense; they are ranked only 100th in the country in rushing offense, and it’s a little too late to address that.
UAB (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS) has had tremendous defense for most of the season. And they are very high up in the national rankings in several statistical categories. They are, for instance, eighth in total defense, ninth in scoring defense (where they allowed just 16.7 points per game), sixth in tackles for loss, and second-best in third down conversion percentage, where they have allowed foes only 25.5% success.
And here’s where it could become a tough matchup for Middle Tennessee – their offensive line has not done a tremendous job protecting Stockstill, allowing 34 sacks on the season. Meanwhile, UAB has one of the more ferocious pass rushes in the country, sacking opposing passers 41 times. And UAB’s rushing game, led by the steady Spencer Brown, has the ability to chew up clock and control things.
What this might come down to is whether you think UAB was just laying down last week in anticipation of this one, or whether they have legitimately been slowing down. AJ Erdely recently came back to action, but he was sacked sevcen times by MTSU last week. However, the Blazers, on an overall basis, have the better team, and we are okay taking the small number with them on the road.
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By Charles Jay