Raycom Media Camillia Bowl
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (6-6 SU, 5-7) vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. ET
Where: Cramtom Bowl – Montgomery, Alabama
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MTSU +4/ASU -4
Over/Under Total: 62.5
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and the Arkansas State Red Wolves will travel to Montgomery, Alabama to play in the Raycom Media Camillia Bowl. Middle Tennessee State finished 3rd in the Conference USA East Division. Arkansas State finished 3rd in the Sun Belt Conference. Middle Tennessee State will be making their 3rd straight bowl appearance after losing Western Michigan in 2015 and Hawaii in 2017. This will be the 7th consectutive bowl trip for Arkansas State after beating Central Florida last season. Middle Tennessee State is lead by 12th year coach Rick Stockstill while Arkansas State has 4th year coach Blake Anderson at the helm. Middle Tennessee State has won 3 of their last 4 games while Arkansas State comes into this games as winners of 2 of their last 3.
Middle Tennessee State has really picked it up on the offensive side in the past 4 games as they are averaging 36 points in that stretch while rushing for an average of 217 yards in those 4 games. This resurgence in the rushing game has been a welcomed sign as they are only averaging 4.3 yards per carry against teams that average 4.8 yards. Blake Stockstill was replaced in week 3 at QB by John Urzua but when Urzua went down with a season ending injury the Blue Raiders turned back to Stockstill who is completing 58.3% of his passes but does have 14 touchdowns in the 6 games he has played. Brad Anderson is the leading rusher for Blue Raiders with 491 yards and an average of 5.5 yards per attempt but he has an injured leg and is questionable for the bowl game. Ty Lee has seemed to hit his stride at the end of the year as he has topped 100 yards receiving in 2 of the last 3 games . Lee has 5 receiving touchdowns on the season.
Arkansas State runs a wide open attack and can score a lot of points as they put up a season high of 67 points on Louisiana Monroe. They are averaging 38.5 points per game against teams that give up 34.3 points. They like to use the passing game to move the ball as they average 341 yards passing per game. Jr. QB Justice Hansen leads the Red Wolves attack as he has thrown for 3,630 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Red Wolves have 3 very good receivers as Justin McInnis, Chris Murray and Blake Mack all have over 600 yards receiving and have combined for 19 touchdowns. Arkansas State averages 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 6.2 yards per play.
The Middle Tennessee defense has defended the pass on average for the season; however, Western Kentucky had a big game against them as they threw for 485 yards. The defense held all other teams below 300 yards passing but that defense will be tested here against the Red Wolves attack. The Blue Raiders have slowed down opponents run game as they only allow 3.5 yards per rush against teams that average 4.2 yards.
The Red Wolves defense struggled to stop the run early in the season but they have held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in 5 of the last 6 games. They are holding teams to 3.6 yard per rush and are allowing 24.9 points per game.
Jerbeek’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this game is going to be controlled by Arkansas State’s passing game and Middle Tennessee State is going to have a hard time controlling that unless they can make their ground game effective. I think the Red Wolves are to play and I look for the Red Wolves to win this game fairly easily by a score of 34-21. My recommendation is to play Arkansas State minus the 4 points. – Move the line on this game up to 20 points by inserting it into a 20 point football teaser at the web’s best sportsbook: 5dimes!