Week 3 College Football Betting Preview: Memphis Tigers at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

America East Tournament PreviewMemphis-Middle Tennessee
Time: 7 PM EST, Sept 14
Spread: MID TEN -8.5
Total: 52.5

Odds courtesy of 5dimes

Memphis began their season last week with a 28-14 loss to Duke. Duke thoroughly dominated the game, with 470 total yards compared to the Tigers’ 237. The Tigers struggled with the pass, getting only 148 yards, but had slightly more success keeping the ball on the ground (89 rushing yards). Memphis finished 4-8 last season, but this season gives them a more favorable schedule. An improvement to a .500 season is a logical leap for this team, and they’ll try to get their first win of the year against a Middle Tennessee squad that is favored by 8.5 points at 5dimes.

Jacob Karam is a very senior QB who threw for 1,895 yards and 14 TDs last season, which was a school record. He also boasted a 64 percent completion ratio. The Tigers can air it out, but the team must improve the rush even further. The top two rushers Brandon Hayes and Jai Steib combined for over 1,000 yards and junior receiver Keiwone Malone is a nice option in the air (44 catches, 476 yards).

The Tigers defense made big leaps last year and led C-USA by allowing only 331 yards per game. The defense returned three good lineman and is well stocked in the secondary, so Memphis is hoping a key turnover or two could be forced to swing the game in their favor.

Middle Tennessee went 8-4 last year and the team has one of the better lesser known QBs in Logan Kilgore. Kilgore is coming off back-to-back 2,000 yard seasons and he has an experienced receiving corp that includes Christian Collis, Kyle Griswould, Marcus Henry and Tavarres Jefferson. The line returns four starters, too, so this is a Blue Raiders offense that should peak in 2013.

The team is highly motivated after having been robbed of a bowl bid and the eight wins came after winning just two in 2011. This program has been evolving for its eventual peak this season. The total seems precariously low for two teams with such high powered offenses, but Middle Tennessee and Memphis are both better defensive teams than some of the statistics would tend to indicate. Still, the ‘over’ seems like a decent value.

MEM

4-0-1 ATS in last 5 on turf, 4-0 ATS in last 4 after allowing 280 + rushing yards, 4-0 ATS in last 4 vs C-USA

MID-TEN

OVER 4-0 in last 4 at home vs teams with losing records, 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 overall, 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 non-conf.

Head-to-head: Underdog 4-1 ATS in last 5 mtgs.

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