College Football Picks: Middle Tennessee vs. Brigham Young

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:25 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013 1:25 PM GMT

The BYU Cougars have enjoyed great success at home under Bronco Mendenhall, but should college football bettors expect another positive result when they take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Friday night?

 

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this non-conference matchup at LaVell Edwards Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 5.

Causing turnovers

Middle Tennessee State is 3-1 SU and 1-3 ATS through four games this season, while the defense has collected 16 interceptions in its last nine contests dating back to 2012.  Seven different players have accounted for the team’s seven picks during 2013. 

The Blue Raiders are 2-12 SU and 4-9-1 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 8-6 in that situation. 

Falling into a pattern 

BYU has alternated wins and losses over its first three games, as it looks to bounce back from a disappointing 20-13 setback to the Utah Utes as seven-point home favorites last Saturday.   

The Cougars have outgained all three of their opponents by a combined 414 yards, as they look to improve upon their 4-0 SUATS mark as favorites of 21.5 to 31 points since 2011. 

30 is the key number

College football handicappers may elect to back the road underdog if they believe it can score 30 or more points, as the Blue Raiders are 32-3 SU when reaching that number under head coach Rick Stockstill.

Middle Tennessee State is going to have a hard time moving the football in this game, as BYU has been one of the best defensive teams in the country under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. 

Running game 

There’s no question that the Cougars will take to the ground in this contest, as they come in averaging 306.7 rushing yards per game, while the Blue Raiders allow 152.5 rushing yards on defense.

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has ran the ball 48 times for 400 yards this season, but he should also take to the air in connecting with wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who has caught a pass in 34 consecutive games.

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Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cougars with their college football picks, as they’ve gone 8-0 ATS following a SU loss—covering those games by an average of 14 points.

College Football Pick:  BYU Cougars -21.5

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