Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Arkansas State Red Wolves
Tuesday, 11/2/2010, 7:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: MTSU -2
Current Betting Line: MTSU -1.5
Opening Total: 55.5
Current Total: 58.5
Current Moneyline: MTSU -125 / Arkansas State +105
Middle Tennessee State has won three straight Sun Belt Conference road games and is coming off a 38-10 home win over the ULM Warhawks last week. Under head coach Rick Stockstill, the program has performed decently on the road by compiling a 14-19 mark. The Blue Raiders have also won six of their last seven games against Arkansas State, but lost in 2008 in its last trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas. MTSU also enters have won seven straight games in the month of November and 10-4 during the month with Stockstill manning the sidelines. Playing during mid-week games has not been a strength for this team, posting a dismal 3-9 record in the last 12 such contests. The squad is 2-5 ATS this season and 1-5 ATS after a bye week. The college football lines page has the team slightly favored on the road.
The Blue Raiders will try to overcome a major problem in this contest by scoring just 17 points off turnovers this season compared to 82 by its opponents. “Now that we’ve got some interceptions, it’s like we set a fire. Once you set that fire, you want it to continue to burn,” said cornerback Rod Issac. “We want it to catch on and spread.” MTSU’s defense has been improving and ranks 16th nationally in sacks (20.0) and 24th in tackles for loss, leading the conference in both categories. Offensively, the Blue Raiders have averaged 237 yards passing in the last nine meetings, while the Red Wolves have been held to just 161.7. The unit is led by quarterback Dwight Dasher, who became the 19th player to join the 4,000 passing yards-2,000 rushing yards club in FBS history.
Arkansas State is in the midst of its longest homestand since the 2008 season and will now take on the Blue Raiders on nationally television. The Red Wolves have forced 14 turnovers this season, including a season-high three in their last game, a 37-16 victory over Florida Atlantic at home. “They’ve had a couple of games that I think have really skewed the statistics,” said head coach Steve Roberts about MTSU. “I know in the Memphis game they turned the ball over a whole lot.” The team should be ready to roll at home in this contest, bringing a 31-11 record under Roberts at ASU Stadium and this being the first time the venue has hosted a nationally televised game. The club is 1-9 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 the last three years.
The Red Wolves rank second in the Sun Belt in scoring offense at 28.9 points per game and total offense, generating 403.4 yards per game. The unit has been explosive at times, running 41 plays (5.1 per game) this season that have covered at least 20 yards. Playing up-tempo has also been a staple for the team this season by averaging 74.4 plays per game and are currently on pace to break the school record of 848 set in 2007. Quarterback Ryan Aplin is 17 completed passes from setting the program’s single-season record of 194.
Bettors will be interested in playing the Blue Raiders due to their 8-1 ATS conference mark, while the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
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