Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State - 12/16/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-4) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6-6)
College Football: Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Cramton Bowl)
The Line: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders -3.5 -- Over/Under: 60 See the Latest Odds
The Camellia Bowl features the MTSU Blue Raiders facing the Arkansas State Red Wolves in college football action.
The MTSU Blue Raiders won three of the last four to close the regular season and receive an unexpected Bowl invite. Middle Tennessee was supposed to challenge for the CUSA crown but when star quarterback Brent Stockstill was injured, surviving became the goal of this team. Stockstill returned for the final four games but the offense as a whole wasn’t explosive at 24.8 points on 398.9 yards although the team still threw effectively with an average of 252.7 yards per contest. The Blue Raiders leaned on a solid defense more then expected but the unit generally held up with 24.2 points allowed on 349.3 yards with top 50 numbers against both the run and pass.
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Despite missing half the season Stockstill still threw 204 times and connected on 58.3% for 1,440 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions so MTSU will continue to live or die on the passing attack in their Bowl. Ty Lee is the top Blue Raiders receiver with 75 receptions for 916 yards and five scores but five other caught 20+ passes so the passing game does spread the ball around. Middle Tennessee didn’t run the ball a lot but were effective none the less with Brad Anderson and Tavares Thomas combined for 1,000+ yards on 166 carries with Anderson catching 33 balls out of the backfield.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves went 2-2 in their final four games which dropped the team to third in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State was impressive offensively with 498.4 yards and 38.5 point. Most of the Red Wolves production came through the air with the #6 passing game averaging 341.2 yards. The ASU defense was sturdy as well with just under 25 points given up on 381.5 yards. If the Red Wolves had a weakness it was against the pass with opponents averaging 242.3 yards because either couldn’t run or had to throw because they were behind.
Red Wolves quarterback Justice Hansen was the focal point of opposing defenses yet he succeeded by taking whatever he could get whether it be long, short or anything in between. Hansen completed 274-430 for 3,635 yards with 34 scores and 15 picks and averaged around 8.5 yards per attempt. Arkansas State had plenty of receiving options with the trio of Justin McInnis, Chris Murray and Blake Mack combining for 131 receptions and over 1,350 yards. Warren Wand was the top back with 660 yards on 124 touches but the offense wasn’t know for cranking out rushing yards.
Over is 7-0 in MTSU last 7 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game and MTSU are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games and over is 4-0 in MTSU last 4 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Under is 12-2 in Arkansas State last 14 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game and under is 6-1 in Arkansas State last 7 games following a straight up loss and under is 14-3-1 in Arkansas State last 18 games on fieldturf. Favorite is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings and home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings and MTSU are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Both teams like to put the ball in the air and don’t run the ball with authority. I can see points being scored as incompletions will stop the clock and extend the game…