Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Georgia Bulldogs
NCAAF: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia at 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, September 15, 2018
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders face their sternest test of the season when they travel to the Sanford Stadium to face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday evening. Both teams are coming into this game on the back of strong offensive performances in their respective previous games.
Stockstill leads Blue Raiders to first win
After being blown away by the Vanderbilt Commodores in the season opener, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders have bounced back well. Normally, a 61-point offensive game deserves a lot more than “well” as an adjective to describe a performance, but they did also concede 37 points to the UT Martin Skyhawks.
Brent Stockstill had a sensational game, throwing for 407 yards and five touchdowns, the third time in his career. The Blue Raiders led 26-17 at halftime, but the game only picked up intensity in the second half.
The Blue Raiders have put up an impressive start in the air offensively. They average 292.5 yards in the air per game, which puts them 33rd in the country, their best rank among all major statistics.
Georgia’s defense gets better
Faced with a sterner test in the South Carolina Gamecocks, the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs hardly broke a sweat in dispatching the No. 24 team 41-17 to begin SEC play. They have now scored 86 points in their first two games. Jake Fromm passed for 194 yards and a touchdown, finishing with an effective 15 of 18.
From a personnel perspective, OL Andrew Thomas has been listed as questionable with an ankle worry. DB Tray Bishop is day-to-day for personal reasons.
Georgia’s stifling defense was on show against South Carolina. They have allowed just 244 yards per game, which puts them 11th in the country. Against the rush, they’ve given away just 72.5 yards per game, sensational by any standards.
Georgia Bulldogs are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The mismatch in this game is on the defensive end. The Bulldogs have allowed just 8.5 points per game this season, 9th in the country. Not a great sample size, but their performances are still enough to show that they can sustain their defensive efficiency. The Blue Raiders have also struggled with their own rushing offense, putting up just 96.5 yards per game on the ground. Big mismatches to capitalize on.
Prediction: Georgia Bulldogs -31.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Yes, the Bulldogs have enough class and skill to even translate their own defensive efficiency into points, but I don’t think the Blue Raiders do. It will be a blowout, but with the total staying under.
Full-Game Prop Bet
In two games, the Bulldogs have allowed just 488 yards of total offense. That is stunning by any standards. That means they are ranked 11th in the country. The Blue Raiders don’t have the offense to be able to put too many points on the board.
Prediction: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders points: Under
Half-Time Side Pick
The Bulldogs will take a comfortable lead at halftime on account of their efficiency on both ends of the field. Enough to even put the game beyond the Blue Raiders after two quarters.
Prediction: Georgia Bulldogs
Half-Time Total Bet
Again, the apparent mismatches between Georgia’s defense and Middle Tennessee State’s offense will cause the points total to stay under, despite a host of points for Georgia.