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Gridiron Players Club (10/10/23)

(1 Pick)


7:00PM EST: Middle Tennessee -3 (3 Units)

This Blue Raiders team is better than their 1-5 record suggests. This is a team that went into Missouri and only lost 19-23. A Mizzu team that just took their first loss of the season in a battle against LSU. MT's offense ranks 3rd in Conference USA averaging 395 yards per game and 2nd averaging 271.3 passing yards per game. They had 563 yards of total offense at Home last week. They've just been absolutely decimated by extremely costly turnovers. It's uncharacteristic of this Rick Stockstill lead football team and positive regression is coming.

Stockstill has been the Head Coach at MT since 2006. Back when Middle Tennessee still played in the Sun Belt conference. He won Sun Belt coach of the year twice and Conference USA coach of the year in 2018. MT went 8-5 last year and beat Hawaii in their bowl game. They rolled off 4 straight wins to end the season. He's had just 2 losing seasons at MT since they joined C-USA in 2013. He went 3-5 and 3-4 in Conference play during those seasons. This is simply to point out they have a coach that knows how to put a winning product on the field.

They were up 23-7 at halftime against Jacksonville State last week before the turnover bug and tough luck nailed them again. They threw an interception on their opening drive in the 2nd half that set up JSU for a TD. They would go on to punt their next drive and after their defense forced a 3 and out they muffed the ensuing punt and JSU scored 4 plays later. Then in the 4th quarter a deflected pass was intercepted and taken 58 yards the other way setting up another TD drive that started inside the red zone. Couple MT drives later a sack fumble went for 6 the other way too.

Against CSU they were up 17-10 in the 3rd. CSU would tie it up and eventually take the lead 17-24. MT's following possession was a fumble by WR Zack Dobson that went for 6 the other way. They lost that game by 1 score. The only game they didn't turn the ball over was against Missouri and they almost pulled off an incredibly upset. Some of it's bad football and making mistakes of course but at some point the ball has to bounce their way.

If there's a spot for it to happen it's here. LA Tech ranks 118th out of 131 teams in takeaways vs FBS opponents at .7 per game. They also have just 1 takeaway in their 3 road games combined. MT's turnover margin has been positive in all but 1 of their past 5 seasons and in the 1 outlier they were -.2. They sit at -1.6 right now.

This Louisiana Tech team is averaging just 17.3 points per game on the road and only scored more than 14 points once. It was 24 points against a UTEP defense that's allowing 28.3 points per game. There's a reason this 1-5 team is laying 3 points. There's also a reason sportsbooks aren't moving this line despite money pouring in on Louisiana Tech.

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