College Football Season is back! Although this is considered Week 0, and the matchups are not as appealing overall as what next weekend will present, there is still value in the available matchups. Let’s dive into one of my favorite matchups in an overlooked Conference USA matchup between the UTEP Miners and Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
Odds according to Bet MGM: Favorite: UTEP -1.5
UTEP went 5-7 in 2022 and is led by head coach Dana Dimel, who is in his sixth season leading the Miners. Dimel has a 17-40 career record at UTEP and a 47-79 record all-time, which includes three seasons at Wyoming and three more at Houston.
His UTEP team has five returning starters on each side of the ball but will be hitting the road for Jacksonville State’s FBS Football debut. Returning quarterback Gavin Hardison will lead the charge for UTEP. He threw for 2,044 yards, 11 touchdowns, and eight interceptions last season.
The Miners are rated as the fifth-best team in Conference USA according to FanDuel, with 850 odds to win the conference championship. Their over/under win total is set at just 5.5.
The Gamecocks went 9-2 last season as a member of the Atlantic Sun conference and have eight starters back on offense and six on the defensive side. Jacksonville State also returns their signal caller from 2022, senior Zion Webb.
Webb threw for 1,737 yards last season with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions while running for another 645 yards and 13 touchdowns. Webb was approved to play his seventh year of college football and is 24 years old. Although Jacksonville State has won at least five games in every season since 2001, the oddsmakers expect a tough transition to the FBS level with an over/under win total set at only 112.
|UTEP vs JVS total o9 -104 being hammered by 92.9% of the betting public.|
This game isn’t going to grab alot of national headlines, but it does mean alot to Jacksonville State in both their Conference USA and FBS debut at home. Last season was the first at Jacksonville State Rich Rodriguez, and it was a success.
Rich Rod also brings 16 years of FBS head coaching experience to the table, including stints at West Virginia, Michigan, and Arizona.
I like the Jacksonville State Gamecocks to cover the 1.5.
The UTEP defense ranked first in the Conference, allowing just 352.9 yards per game last season. On offense, the Miners were eighth, managing just 384.8 yards per game. Going against a Jacksonville State team that loves to run the ball, I am leaning under 54.5.
UTEP vs Jacksonville State Prediction Game Preview https://t.co/Wr3gtV10NZ
— College Football News (@ColFootballNews) August 24, 2023
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| Title: UTEP vs. Jacksonville State Saturday August 26 College Football Preview
| Author: David Marotta
| Date: August 25th, 2023