UTSA Roadrunners vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders: Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 9/30/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro, TN
Where to watch: CBS Sports Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: UTSA -5
FanDuel: UTSA -4.5
BetMGM: UTSA -4.5
Caesars: UTSA -4.5

Season record
UTSA: 2-2
Middle Tennessee: 3-1

What a big week and some fun shake up in the top 25, as we enter Week 5 of the college football campaign. And what a week it was for our own Wayne Root with a 7-1-0 stint to continue what has been a strong start for our champion handicappers through the early stages of this college football season. But now things are going to get interesting with conference play underway and some big-time matchups in the coming weeks. You're going to want to follow our top-notch handicappers if you want to get on this action. Make sure you visit our Best Bets page to find out more.

UTSA - Middle Tennessee preview, analysis and prediction


Last week
UTSA: won 52-24 vs. Texas Southern
Middle Tennessee: won 45-31 at No. 25 Miami (FL)

The UTSA Roadrunners would’ve loved to have had a better start this season. There just hasn’t been that much consistency, combined with a few heartbreaks, to put this 2-2 start into perspective. One week after losing by 21 to Texas – which now looks like more of a shameful loss than expected – UTSA bounced back to win 52-24 at home against Texas Southern on Saturday. 

At least it was at home and things look a little better after two tough losses to begin the year. Frank Harris was spectacular with the UTSA quarterback throwing for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Texas Southern cut it to 21-17 at halftime, but UTSA just kept rolling. De’Corian Clark, who had a dominant game of nine receptions for 217 yards, caught three of Harris’ touchdown passes, including a nice 69-yard strike 47 seconds into the second half. 

That put the game essentially out of reach for Texas Southern. UTSA, when clicking, is a really good team. There’s a reason why they were a few games away from potentially clinching a New Year’s Six Bowl. 

Barring an unbeaten conference run, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time around. One thing’s certain, though: UTSA has a talented quarterback that should be going in the first round, if not the second, and should really be a dangerous threat going forward. Sure, it was a 28-point win over an FCS team and there’s still a lot to clean up. But if you sleep on UTSA, that might be your own fault.

Something about that loss to James Madison to begin the year must’ve lit an inferno-like fire under the collective behinds of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, because they can’t be stopped now. Just ask the Miami Hurricanes for that. There were a lot of eye-popping upsets around college football this weekend, but MTSU’s 45-31 upset victory at Miami might have been the most shocking. 

The Hurricanes were a top-25 team, once upon a time. Now they aren’t because of such a catastrophe. But man, what a performance by the Blue Raiders this was. Quarterback Chase Cunningham was absolutely tremendous going 16 of 25 for *checks notes* 408 (!!!) yards and three touchdowns. DJ England-Chisholm caught just two passes, but both were for touchdowns and totaled 169 yards. Efficient, thy name is Middle Tennessee.

"We came down here and I told them Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis and those guys weren't coming out of that tunnel," said Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill. "We came down here with a strong belief and just a great, great competitive spirit."

The Blue Raiders never trailed in the game and the 4th down defense was strong, stopping Miami three times in those instances. It was one of the rarer, amazing feats from a team in the Conference USA that we’ve seen in a long time. We’re slowly starting to see that this conference isn’t just a mid-major type of deal anymore. It’s a Group of 5, not a Power 5, but absolutely willing to go against anyone.

Prediction


UTSA opens as high as 5-point favorites in most books, and that seems like a fair number to take advantage of. I can imagine the home crowd will be rowdy and charged up. But UTSA has been here before and that Texas game was a major learning experience. UTSA by 10

Betting trends


UTSA is 8-8 ATS in its last 16 as a favorite.

UTSA is 4-2 ATS in its last six after failing to cover two of its last three.

UTSA is 8-6 ATS in its last 14 after playing at home the prior game.

Middle Tennessee is 67-70 ATS as an underdog since 1992.

Middle Tennessee is 8-6 ATS in its last 14 against conference opponents.

Statistical leaders


UTSA:
Passing: Frank Harris -- 1,310 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Brenden Brady -- 206 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: De'Corian Clark -- 417 yards, 6 TD

Middle Tennessee:
Passing: Chase Cunningham -- 1,000 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Frank Peasant -- 292 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: Jaylin Lane -- 231 yards, 1 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this UTSA Roadrunners - Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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