The Sun Belt takes center stage on Thursday night in the secondary game on the NCAA football betting slate, as the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
The Hilltoppers haven’t won a game at home against an FBS opponent since coming up to the FBS level, but the good news is that this is a road game in a location where they have won before. In fact, their first win against an FBS team at the top level of college football came against these Blue Raiders in 2007. The offense for Western Kentucky should really have improved from last year to this year with both QB Kawaun Jakes and RB Bobby Rainey coming back. However, Jakes has only thrown for 523 yards and three TDs in four games this year. Rainey has been good with 427 rushing yards, and he is also the top receiver on the team with 16 receptions for 137 yards. No receivers have more than one TD on the year, both Rainey has found the end zone three times in total. The WKU defense has had some bad, bad games this year, allowing 44 points to the Indiana State Sycamores and 40 to the Navy Midshipmen in back to back weeks in the middle of September.
The Blue Raiders were supposed to be an accomplished team last year with QB Dwight Dasher, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Now, they really don’t look anything like a bowl team, though the Sun Belt season is just getting started. MTSU only has one win this year, which came last week at home against the Memphis Tigers. Memphis is arguably the worst team in the FBS, and the Blue Raiders were 22.5 point favorites in the game. They trailed for quite some time and were lucky to come up with a 38-31 ‘W’. The good news is that this offense is putting up 465.2 yards per game and 29.5 points per game, and though both numbers are relatively solid, there are definitely still some holes in this offense. QB Logan Kilgore has thrown for 10 TDs against four picks, and his favorite target is WR Malcolm Beyah, who has 19 grabs for 254 yards and four TDs.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers @ Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Pick: Historically, there are some odd results here in the Sun Belt, and big time underdogs tend to find ways to stick around in games and pull off upsets. The Blue Raiders couldn’t even remotely come close to covering last week against Memphis, and after almost losing to the Hilltoppers last year on the road, we’re not so sure that they are going to be able to win this one by double digits.
NCAA Football Pick: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +11.5 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.