Middle Tennessee at Army - 9/5/20 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (0-0) at Army Black Knights (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm (Blaik Field at Michie Stadium)
The Line: Army Black Knights -3.5 -- Over/Under: 55 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and the Army Black Knights meet in a college football matchup from Michie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will be on the hunt to rebound from their first sub-.500 season since 2011 after ending the 2019 campaign with a record of 4.-8 including a 3-5 record in C-USA conference play. Asher O’Hara returns as the do-it-all pocket-knife QB after leading the Blue Raiders with 1,058 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground as well as over 2,600 passing yards and 20 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions last season. The bad news is that after O’Hara there’s not a ton of returning talent, and O’Hara is all the Blue Raiders have in terms of a proven ground attack as no MTSU back rused for more than 300 yards outside of O’Hara last year and their two running backs that could take the starting role in Martell Pettway and Amir Rasul have seen little to no action and are being plugged into the system from the word go. O’Hara will have targets out wide with Jarrin Pierce and Jimmy Marshall back after combining for almost 1,100 receiving yards last season. Defensively, the Blue Raiders need to be better after having an inane ability to give up first downs when defending on 3rd and finished second in FBS in sacks last season. More than half of the top dozen tacklers from last year’s team are no longer with the team but DQ Thomas returns after logging 12 tackles for a loss and 74 tackles last season and the defensive line also has Rakavian Poydras coming back as well.
The Army Black Knights come into the 2020 campaign looking to get back into the above .500 column, after finishing 2019 with a record of 5-8, breaking the run of three straight above-.500 seasons including back-to-back double-digit win totals. The bad news for the Black Knights is that a lot of their experience with the offense is gone, as Kelvin Hopkins, Kell Walker and Connor Slompka are all done with the program. The good news is, the option offense allows for interchangeable parts and it’s going to be business as usual for Army this season. Jabari Laws is expected to take over QB duties for Army after finishing with 484 yards and 4 touchdowns last year while Christian Anderson had 429 yards and 4 scores as well as another viable option at QB. Sandon McCoy is expected to take over Slompka’s role at FB as one of the bigger backs for Army in the lineup while Cade Bernard and Artice Hobbs are both back on the outside for Army this season. Defensively, the Black Knights lose three of their four starting DBs from last season, but Cedrick Cunningham returns at safety and Arik Smith is back in the middle for Army at linebacker after finishing second with 83 tackles for the Black Knights last season.
Middle Tennessee is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games while the over is 7-2-1 in their last 10 road games. Army is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
It’s kind of hard to figure out what we’re going to see from both sides in game one, but if it’s anything like last year, there’s going to be a lot of downhill running and for me that tends to lean itself towards a lower scoring game with lots of possession, so give me the under as my free pick for this game but my stronger play is on the side and I have that available as a premium pick that you can find here.