Football on a Wednesdays?? SIGN ME UP! It looks like Conference USA is taking a page out of the MACtion playbook and hosting midweek football, and I don't mind at all!
Get used to these rotations of below average teams playing on Tuesday's and Wednesday's the next couple weeks! We are soon on our way to becoming Conference USA experts!
Jacksonville State @ Middle Tennessee State
Time: 8pm ET
Lines: MTSU -3.5, o/u 51.5
J'ville St is in their first year as a FBS program with their tenured coach, Rich Rodriguez. JKST is 4-1 in their first 5 games and won their second conference game last week in a thriller against Sam Houston State.
JKST's only loss came against the powerhouse of Coastal Carolina where they lost in a hard fought battle, 30-16. Their other wins consist of a 17-14 win over UTEP, a 49-3 spanking of ETSU, and a 21-0 shutout of EMU.
The Gamecocks have found a lot of their offensive success in the rushing game where they have averaged 224 rush yards per game. They have however struggled in the passing game, putting up a pathetic 138 passing yards per game. JKST has used two QB's throughout the season so far, and from my interpretation, it is because they both have struggled and Rich Rod has no idea who to start.
Defensively, the Gamecocks have been solid for the most part, besides a terrible first half last week. Their defense has kept them alive, and is mostly responsible for their 4-1 record so far.
Middle Tennessee State:
The Blue Raiders have had a less than ideal start to their season, falling 4 of their first 5 games. Their schedule has been a lot tougher in comparison to JKST, but they still have not looked great.
MTSU's sole win came in a 35-14 win against one of the worst teams in the country; Murray State. MTSU almost beat the Missouri Tigers in their first game of the year, but fell short in a 23-19 game. They then lost to a much improved Colorado State team, and then fell to Western Kentucky on the road.
MTSU has a much more balanced attacked on offense compared to JKST. However, defensively, MTSU's numbers aren't as good as JKST's, but remember that MTSU has played way better teams that the Gamecocks.
MTSU being favorited by 3.5 despite being 1-4 against a 4-1 team should paint the picture for you how this game is going to go. Many bettors are going to see the difference and record and hammer Jacksonville State. For that reason, I think a lot of value is going to be on the Blue Raiders in this contest.
Middle Tennessee is a well known program who has had success in the past, and like said before, they have played a tougher schedule. I think they get back on track at home tonight and get a win.
With the line sitting at 3.5, we should wait until closer to kickoff to see if we can get a 3. It may get there, but I doubt it. Even at the 3.5, I like MTSU to cover. I can't trust JKST after they should of lost to the worst offensive team in the country last week. MTSU is the better team, at home, against a JKST team that has false confidence. G