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Week 9: Blazers vs. Miners Preview/Pick

NCAA Football Betting Odds – UAB Blazers at UTEP Miners

UAB Blazers (2-5 SU & ATS) at UTEP Miners (3-4 SU & ATS)
Saturday, October 31 – 3 PM ET
BetUS NCAA Betting Odds: UTEP -7, Total 64

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

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UAB has covered one of its last six games
UAB has lost five of its last six games SU
UAB has covered one of its last five road games
UAB has lost 23 of its last 25 road games SU
UTEP has lost 17 of its last 25 games SU
UTEP has played four of its last five home games UNDER the total

Both of these teams are literally defenseless. UTEP ranks 117th in the country, allowing 484 yards a game, and surrendering a bloated 5.2 yards per rushing attempt. UAB is ranked 115th (460 yards per contest), and their particular weakness is against the pass, and the 314 yards the have yielded through the air is the highest figure in the country. Why wouldn’t it be, when the Blazers are allowing 66% completions and 17 TD passes? You have a challenge in the NCAA betting odds when you defend like that.

At the same time, UAB is not horrible (comparatively speaking) against the run (4.2 ypc allowed), and so maybe Donald Buckrum, who is ranked 12th in the country in rushing, doesn’t run wild. There is considerable question as to whether UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe is in a position to exploit any secondary, considering his level of inconsistency. Vittatoe, who threw for 33 TD’s with just nine interceptions in an outstanding 2008 campaign, has to be classified as a major disappointment, as he’s tossed nine INT’s already but has only produced six TD’s himself. He’s suffered eight of his interceptions over the last four games, and the Miners have dropped two of them in the NCAA betting odds.

Meanwhile, if UTEP can’t slow down running games they are going to have a real difficult time dealing with Joe Webb, who may not be a particularly skilled passer (55% ) but is good enough with his feet to be ranked ninth in the nation rushing the football. Webb takes the ball out of the shotgun and runs the spread offense with delight, and has rambled for 117 yards a game, which is best among quarterbacks, outdistancing Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, Georgia Tech’s Josh Nesbitt, Navy’s Ricky Dobbs and Florida’s Tim Tebow. If Webb doesn’t hurt the Blazers with mistakes, that’s a bonus. In fact, he has tossed just one pick in his last four outings.

UTEP surely has done better against the higher-level opposition, as straight-up wins against Houston and Tulsa (in a great 4th-quarter comeback effort last week) will attest, and coach Mike Price had remained upbeat about his team despite an awful start. The Miners couldn’t handle success after the Houston win, though, getting clocked by Memphis the next week. Hey, not that UAB has followed up very well after beating Southern Miss, but UTEP has covered only three of the last 19 times it has been a favorite, We’re on the “take” here with UAB, the seven-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA betting odds.

OUR PLAY: UAB +7 **

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