College Football Picks ATS: BYU Cougars at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Jamaal Williams is averaging five yards per carry, but BYU has struggled since losing its starting QB.
Jamaal Williams is averaging five yards per carry, but BYU has struggled since losing its starting QB.

Time: 3:30 PM ET
Spread: BYU -3
Total: 62

Betting odds courtesy of Bookmaker

BYU started the season nicely, winning its first four games. Since then, things have gone quite sour for the Cougars, as losers of its last four contests. This week could bring a reversal in fortunes according to college football oddsmakers at Bookmaker, setting the line 3-points in favor of the Cougars against Middle Tennessee.

The Cougars lost badly to Boise State last week, giving up 55 points in a 25 point loss. Boise State totaled a ridiculous 637 yards in the game and converted 7-of-13 third downs. Moreover, BS controlled the clock, keeping the ball for 36 minutes comparative to BYU’s 23 minutes of possession.

Christian Stewart had a tough game, averaging just 6.8 yards per reception on 23-of-38 passing. He threw one TD and one INT, and for the Cougars to win he’s going to have to be a lot more productive. Taysom Hill suffered a serious leg injure that pressed Stewart into duty, and it’s been with disastrous results.

In the backfield, Jamaal Charles has had a lot more pressure on him, since Hill was such an effective ball carrier. Charles has rushed for 469 yards with a five yard per carry average, and he’s also accounted for four TDs. Hill had eight prior to injury, a good illustration of what the Cougars have lost offensively. By comparison, Stewart averages just 2.4 yards per carry to Hill’s 5.3.

Middle Tennessee has won three of its last four games, with the lone loss coming to a tough Marshall team. Victories over Old Dominion, Southern Miss and UAB last week have helped the Blue Raiders to a 4-1 mark in Conference USA. This is largely due to a strong offense which averages 36 points per game. The Raiders have been effective with both the pass and the rush, the latter of which ranks 31st in the nation.

Despite that, Middle Tennessee has had troubles defensively, ranking near the bottom of NCAA teams allowing 31.9 points per game. The lowest allowed by Mid Tenn this year has been 35 points, and even a Cougars team missing its best player should be able to wreck havoc on the Raiders.

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