Army vs. UTSA kicks off this Friday at 7:00 pm EST in San Antonio as a home game for the Roadrunners. Army is currently a +9.5 underdog and +270 on the moneyline while the total is set at 45. Read on for more Army vs. UTSA best bets and predictions as points may come at a sluggish pace in this contest pointing towards the under.
Army Vs. UTSA Prediction & Best Bet
Even in a narrow win, it was a worst-case scenario as the Roadrunners witnessed their quarterback Frank Harris go down with an injury. He was starting to string together some success, throwing for 423 yards and two touchdowns in his two starts this season. Turnovers were an issue, throwing for three interceptions in that same time frame, yet the drop-off in production from him to his backup is large.
As of writing, Harris has yet to be ruled out for their Friday showdown against the Army Black Knights. The short turnaround from Saturday to Friday is not ideal, losing a precious extra day to rest up before taking on a very physical Army defense.
Even if Harris is good to give it a go, which is the way I’m leaning, then we may see a more simplified UTSA offense in an effort to keep pressure off of him. This may be detrimental for their offense as they already struggle to generate any sort of consistency with their ground game.
UTSA currently ranks 100th in Rush Success Rate and 66th in Rush PPA, meaning that they fail to gain the standard yardage per the situation that adds potential points to their drives. They routinely put themselves in an unfavorable position on early downs, bringing in added pressure to convert from an unfavorable distance.
What’s more intriguing is that while Army boasts a great pass defense, they actually struggle to contain the run. They currently rank 38th in Def Pass Success rate and fifth in Def Pass Explosiveness yet a lowly 69th in Def Rush Success Rate. With Harris at less than 100%, Army gets the fortunate ability to stack the box at a higher rate in an attempt to slow down the one-dimensional UTSA offense.
With a run-heavy script on deck for both units, this bleeds precious time off the clock towards our under tickets liking. Especially with the new clock rules in place, constantly ticking until the final two minutes of both halves.
Army Vs. UTSA Prediction & Best Bet: Under 45
Army Vs. UTSA Betting Odds
Before the injury to Frank Harris, oddsmakers had the Roadrunners as a -14.5 favorite heading into this game against the Black Knights. As uncertainty rises as we near kick-off, that number has steadily been bet down to the current number of -9. Should Harris be ruled out, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this go even lower.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 44. That number has steadily risen, currently resting at the current number of 45 as of writing. An odd correlation as the injury status of Frank Harris directly correlates to the Roadrunners’ ability to find downfield success against a stout Army defense.
Army Vs. UTSA Key Matchups
Can the Roadrunners limit Army’s quarterback Bryson Daily production under center?
Bryson Daily Vs. UTSA Linebackers
It’s hard enough to defend a triple-option offense when you rarely see it. It’s even harder to defend it on short notice. It’s nearly impossible to defend it when the opposing quarterback can burn you with both his feet and arm.
That’s exactly what the Army offense throws at you with quarterback Bryson Daily under center. It’s not exactly a deep pass situation as their third-rank Pass Explosiveness implies, instead running the same formation to disguise a quick out to get a playmaker in the open field. Known as a rocket scheme, a variant of the triple option.
While UTSA is middling at best in defending the pass, they do an excellent job at containing Explosiveness. Exactly what we need with a low under, avoiding long-gained fluke scores. Couple their Def Pass Explosiveness with their ability to shut down the run and their defense meets all the criteria to limit the Army offense. UTSA currently ranks 36th in Def Rush Success, ninth in Def Rush PPA, and 55th in Def Rush Explosiveness.
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