Alabama Birmingham Blazers (9-3) vs Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (8-4)Date : 12/01/2018
Time : 1:30 pm EST
Location : Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro Tennessee
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Alabama Birmingham Blazers vs Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
In a rematch of a blowout win on November 24th, the Alabama Birmingham Blazers will meet once again with the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders for the Conference USA championship at Floyd stadium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The blue Raiders were able to pick up the 27 – 3 home win versus the Blazers in their season finale last weekend as Middle Tennessee scored 27 unanswered points after Alabama-Birmingham led by a slim, 3 – 0 score in the first quarter while being led by Brent Stockstill, who had two touchdown passes on the night along with 261 yards passing. The defense for the Blue Raiders, ranked in the top 20 in each major defensive category in the country, allowed the Blazers to rush for just -1 yards on the night as they were consistently able to control the trenches throughout the contest. The Blazers will certainly be looking to have much different results in this matchup on Saturday as they will attempt to pick up a huge win over a Middle Tennessee State team that has been dominant in the second half of the season. The under has been to play in the last four meetings amongst these teams while the underdog has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings, overall.
Alabama Birmingham Blazers's Latest Performance :
Alabama Birmingham happens to be yet another team from Conference USA that had an outstanding season. Aside from losing early to Coastal Carolina, the Blazers picked up eight wins in a row heading into a match up with the Aggies of Texas A&M. Alabama Birmingham remained competitive early versus Texas A&M, yet could not hold on as they suffered the 40-21 road loss. Of course, they preceded this loss with yet another defeat at the hands of the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State in their last outing on Saturday.
As stated, their offense was horrible from the beginning as they were allowed only a total of 89 yards for the game while the Blue Raiders stifled their offense for four quarters en route to the home victory. Aside from their 2 game losing streak to end the season, Ederly has not played well all lately as his completion percentage has been 55% or under in his last two outings while throwing for no touchdown passes compared to two pics during this time. The Blue Raiders, on the other hand, are certainly on a high at this time of the season as they are not only winners of five of their last six games, but, are 5-0 against the spread during this time.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders's Latest Performance :
Middle Tennessee began the season at a record of 3-3 after losing to two SEC teams in Vanderbilt and Georgia while also dropping a contest versus Florida International by three points, soon after. Nonetheless, the Blue Raiders have been able to weather the storm soon after these losses as they ended the season winners of five of their last six, with their only loss coming to yet another SEC team in the Kentucky Wildcats by only a 24-23 score on November 17th. With that being the case, the Blue Raiders wrapped up the season last weekend with a dominating performance on the defensive end versus an Alabama Birmingham team that entered the matchup as one of the more dominant teams in rushing the football all year long.
However, as the game came to an end, the Blazers would have negative yards rushing on the ground for the night as Jarryon Street rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries while Quarterback AJ erdely pass for only 90 yards on the night as the Blazers were only allowed to have 3.8 yards per catch. On the offensive end, the Blue Raiders were led by Brent Stockstill, as stated, as he passed for two TDs in the contest while Middle Tennessee also ended with 133 yards on the night led by Chaton Mobley with 52 yards on 14 carries as the Blue Raiders put in a solid effort on both sides of the ball in which to get a much-needed win. They will now look to repeat this type of performance versus a UAB team that ended the season losing two straight games to Texas A&M as well as to the eventual Conference USA East Division champions in Middle Tennessee.
How Alabama Birmingham Blazers & Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Alabama Birmingham is 8 – 4 ATS while the OU is 4 – 8
Middle Tennessee state is 8 – 4 ATS while the OU is 5 – 7
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
As stated, both the Alabama Birmingham Blazers along with Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State have gained an enormous amount of confidence this year through their winning ways. With that being the case, look for both teams to be focused and intense on getting a much-needed victory in the championship game. Nonetheless, the Blazers will really need to get their running game going early in which to stay competitive in this match up as they were certainly not able to do this in their last outing versus Middle Tennessee. Also, look for Middle Tennessee to establish themselves with in the trenches in which to not only get their running game going as well, but, to also assist in neutralizing an offense in Alabama Birmingham that can indeed be dangerous, if given opportunities.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Middle Tennessee State -2.5
My reason for the pick :
Look for this game to be much more competitive than their previous matchup last weekend; However, expect the Blue Raiders to pull out yet another victory over the Alabama Birmingham Blazers in this matchup on Saturday afternoon. The fact remains that the Blue Raiders are simply a much better team on both sides of the ball than the Blazers. This was certainly illustrated in their last matchup last week as the defense for Middle Tennessee State controlled the pace of the game throughout and I certainly see them doing the same in this matchup as well. In all, look for the Blue Raiders to perform well at home en route to winning a Conference USA championship this weekend.
Totals Selection: Pick: Under
My reason for the prediction :
While the over has been to play in three of the last five games for the Blue Raiders while also being the result in three of the last four games for Alabama Birmingham, I will go against the grain and pick the under in this contest as one could expect the 7th ranked defense in the nation in total yards allowed per game in the Blazers to come out with a much better performance than what they illustrated in their prior meeting versus Middle Tennessee State. On the other hand, expect the defense for Middle Tennessee State to remain solid within the trenches in this match up as they will certainly neutralize, once again, the offense for Alabama Birmingham that certainly struggled versus this defensive front in their first time out.
Betting trends for Alabama Birmingham Blazers:
- Under is 5-0 in Blazers last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 4-0 in Blazers last 4 games on turf.
Blazers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss.
Betting trends for Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders:
- Blue Raiders are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
Blue Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.