Game time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
Where to watch: TBD
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: FAU -3.5
BetMGM: FAU -3.5
Caesars: FAU -3.5
Middle Tennessee: 5-6 (3-4 Conference USA)
Florida Atlantic: 5-6 (3-4 C-USA)
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MTSU - FAU preview and analysis
MTSU: lost 24-17 vs. Old Dominion
FAU: lost 52-17 at Western Kentucky
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Florida Atlantic Owls will meet on Saturday in a matchup to determine which program will become bowl eligible.
It's Senior Day for the Owls, who come into this weekend having lost three straight and are in serious danger of missing out on the postseason.
Two of those three games have come on the road with the latest being a 52-17 loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The week prior, the Owls lost 30-16 at a suddenly-surging Old Dominion Monarchs club that has won four straight.
The constant theme has been FAU's inability to play defense, especially against the pass. Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe threw for 470 yards and six touchdowns, as the Hilltoppers jumped out to a 31-10 halftime lead.
Meanwhile, FAU quarterback N'Kosi Perry had only 213 yards and a touchdown while throwing two interceptions leading this roller coaster of an offense. FAU was held to just 301 total yards, while Western Kentucky more than doubled that output (608) despite turning it over three times. WKU had the ball for 11 more minutes and had 17 more first downs.
Yet despite all that information you just read, the Owls opened as 4-point favorites against Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders are also coming off a recent loss to Old Dominion last week, losing 24-17. Quarterback Nick Vattiato threw for 281 yards and a touchdown, but his interception was one of two MTSU turnovers that played a pivotal role in that loss.
Middle Tennessee had the edge in yards (414-341) and had the ball for 10 minutes more than the Monarchs, yet still lost.
The Blue Raiders have actually been a net-positive team on the books over the last two months, going 4-3 against the spread, while Florida Atlantic has gone 1-5 in the last six ATS.
Betting is weird, man.
It being Senior Day for Florida Atlantic should be an emotional enough reason to take the Owls, but I don't trust them as much as I did in the beginning of the season. There were high hopes and they've disappointed. Not to mention, FAU has lost three straight against the spread. Raiders in a mild upset seems the right call. Middle Tennessee by 10
Middle Tennessee is 9-2 ATS off a loss to a conference opponent.
Florida Atlantic is 7-17 ATS in its last 24 as a home favorite between 3.5 and 7 points.
The under is 11-1 in FAU’s last 12 off an over.
Passing: Chase Cunningham -- 1,318 yards, 16 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Martell Pettaway -- 284 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Jimmy Marshall -- 494 yards, 6 TD
Passing: N’Kosi Perry -- 2,443 yards, 18 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Johnny Ford -- 778 yards, 5 TD
Receiving: LaJohntay Wester -- 607 yards, 4 TD
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