UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee Betting: Will the favored Roadrunners bring the Blue Raiders back down to earth?

Eddie Griffin

If Middle Tennessee is to parlay their huge road upset of Miami into a big season, they must successfully navigate a grueling stretch to open Conference USA play, starting with Friday’s matchup against UTSA.

The Blue Raiders put themselves on the map in a major way last Saturday in a 45-31 win, racking up 507 yards, forcing three turnovers, and forcing the Hurricanes into substituting QB Tyler Van Dyke in the third quarter.

But as memorable as that win was, if the Blue Raiders don’t want it to be the highest point of their season, they will need to put together a good campaign.

First up are the Roadrunners, who are 2-2 this season after winning 12 games and the C-USA title last season.

Those two losses came against Houston and Texas, so UTSA will be well-prepared for Friday’s visit to Murfreesboro. And in Frank Harris, the Roadrunner have one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.

UTSA Roadrunners vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: UTSA Roadrunners (2-2, 0-0 Conference USA) vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-1, 0-0 Conference USA)
  • Venue & Location: Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
  • Date: Friday, September 30, 2022
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time (6:30 p.m. local time)
  • How to Watch UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee: CBS Sports Network

UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from our other recommended sportsbooks may also appear in this article.

Spread

  • UTSA -4.5 (-104)
  • Middle Tennessee +4.5 (-118)

Over/Under

  • Over 62.5 (-110)
  • Under 62.5 (-110)

Moneyline

  • UTSA -178
  • Middle Tennessee +146

UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee Prediction and Best Bets

UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee Prediction: UTSA to win

UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee Best Bets: UTSA -4 (Best Value: -110 at Caesars Sportsbook & BetMGM) & UTSA/Middle Tennessee over 62.5 (Best Value: -110 at FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook & BetMGM)

In last year’s matchup between these two teams, Harris and Sincere McCormick led the Roadrunners to a 27-13 win. It’s highly likely that we are going to see more points on the board this time around.

McCormick ran for almost 3,000 yards across the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and UTSA is not thriving on the ground without him. Brenden Brady is their leader rusher with 206 yards in four games, but he is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry.

But that’s where Harris comes in. The sixth-year senior may not be a household name, but he is one of the key pieces of UTSA’s rise to the top of Conference USA after overcoming injury issues in his first few seasons.

Harris has 162 rushing yards through four games and is on pace to run for over 500 yards rushing for the third straight season. More notably, Harris is also well on his way to his best season as a passer, which is helping offset the loss of McCormick.

In his first three seasons, he had three 300-yard games, and he has already matched that number this season, on top of completing 67.5 percent of his passes and averaging 8.5 yards per attempt.

Game-by-Game Numbers for UTSA QB Frank Harris

  • Houston: 28 for 43, 337 yards, 3 TD, INT; 8 carries, 63 yards, TD
  • Army: 32 for 45, 359 yards, 3 TD; 8 carries, 30 yards
  • Texas: 24 for 35, 222 yards, INT; 10 carries, 38 yards
  • Texas Southern: 20 for 31, 392 yards, 4 TD; 4 carries, 31 yards, TD

MTSU’s defense had an outstanding day against Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke, who has garnered a lot of consideration as a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

But with all due respect to Van Dyke, the threat that Harris provides with his feet pose a challenge that the Blue Raiders will have a more difficult time stopping. And his dynamic abilities will help the Roadrunners open their run at a C-USA title repeat with a big road win.

Middle Tennessee’s offense should move the ball and contribute their share to the over in this one, but I merely like what UTSA brings to the table a little more, even after the Blue Raiders’ stunning win over one of college football’s biggest names.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.