UAB Blazers (0-0) vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks (0-0)
September 1, 2021 7:30 pm EDT
The Line: Jacksonville State Gamecocks +14.5 ; Over/Under: 47.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks visit the UAB Blazers Wednesday in Week 1 college football action from Cramton Bowl. UAB is coming off a 6-3 season last year, ultimately taking the Conference USA championship. As for the Gamecocks, they finished at 10-3 overall last year, taking the Ohio Valley Conference title and earning a trip the the FCS Playoffs. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
UAB came out of the gate strong last year, posting a 4-1 record over their first quintet of games. After two difficult losses (by a combined seven points) to Louisiana and Louisiana Tech, the Blazers finished off the season strong with wins over Rice and Marshall.
The Blazers beat Marshall 22-13 in the C-USA Championship Game to take the conference title and were awarded a trip to the Gasparilla Bowl versus South Carolina. Unfortunately for UAB, South Carolina had some virus issues within their program and the bowl game had to be cancelled.
Over on the Jacksonville State side, they lost their first game to Florida State but picked up steam with wins in their next seven outings. After a rough loss to Austin Peay, the Gamecocks finished off with wins over Eastern Illinois and Murray State.
Jacksonville State kept it rolling in the FCS Playoffs First Round, taking a 49-14 blowout win over Davidson. On May 2 in the FCS Playoffs quarterfinals however, the Gamecocks lost to Delaware by a score of 20-14 to finish off their season.
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The Blazers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games on turf, and the under is 4-0 in the Gamecocks’ last four games on turf. The under is 7-1 in Jacksonville State’s last eight overall and 7-1 in their last eight non-conference games. The under is also 5-1 in the Gamecocks’ last six games as an underdog.
PICK: I’m probably going to stick with Jacksonville State here. This should be a pretty good matchup regardless, however. UAB had a very well-rounded offensive attack last season, averaging just over 400 yards and 28 points per game. The Blazers return a great offensive line as well. As for the Gamecocks, they’re joining a new conference this year (WAC) with a tough schedule, but still have plenty of leadership experience starting with head coach John Grass. QB Zerrick Cooper should provide a lift as well. If the Gamecocks can deal with the quick turnaround I think they’ll be fine on a potential cover in this first game.