Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#195 UMass vs.
#196 Louisiana Tech
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 7:00pm EDT
Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#195 University of Massachusetts Amherst
#196 Louisiana Tech University
1-5
4-1
1-5
2-3
4-2
2-3
20
26
46
23

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The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will host the Massachusetts Minutemen in non-conference action Saturday night from Joe Aillet Stadium. The Minutemen were crushed 44-0 by FIU last week, and the Bulldogs came through with a 23-20 overtime road win against Rice in their previous action. These clubs last met in 2016 in a game Louisiana Tech won 56-28.

UMass Destroyed by FIU, Plummet to 1-5

The Massachusetts Minutemen enter this one hungry for a win. They were handed their worst defeat of the season last week, losing 44-0 at FIU in a clash that had the Minutemen labeled as 28 point dogs. UMass has used four different quarterbacks this season as they look for a clear #1 to surface. Michael Curtis saw a majority of the action last week and only completed 5 of 19 passes. Randall West has the best numbers, registering 362 passing yards with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio. Andrew Brito sat out last week with a concussion, and he remains questionable. The junior QB has recorded two touchdown passes against four picks.

The Minutemen will run the ball more than they pass. The rushing offense isn’t experiencing any significant success either. Bilal Ally has been one of the few bright spots, rushing for 377 yards on an average of five yards per attempt, and he should see plenty of carries this week.

UMass has four receivers with at least 100 receiving yards. They are led by Zak Simon with 183 yards which included a season-best 74 yards in week four. The UMass offense was productive in weeks three and four which included a 37-29 win against Akron of the MAC.

The Minutemen’ defense has been a glaring weakness all season. They have no answer for both the pass and run. Their rush defense ranks down at 127th and their pass defense 116. UMass is only averaging 20.5 points, ranking them 112th in the country. They are squandering an average of 46.7 points, pegging them down at 130th overall.

L.A. Tech Eyes Fifth Straight Win

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs enter this one well-rested after enjoying their bye last week. L.A. Tech has rebounded from their 45-14 loss to Texas in their season opener by winning four consecutive games including their first two conference games. They defeated FIU, followed by a 23-20 overtime road win against Rice in their latest action in a contest that had the Bulldogs as nine-point favorites. J’Mar Smith wasn’t sharp in the win against Rice, although overall he is having a solid season. The senior QB has accumulated 1318 passing yards with a 6:2 TD to INT ratio on the season.

The Bulldogs' rushing offense hasn’t been as productive as their passing game, but they still feature a threat in Justin Henderson. The junior RB rushed for 141 yards against FIU, and he is averaging a dazzling 7.3 yards per attempt for a season total of 341 rushing yards.

L.A. Tech’s greatest strength is their depth in their receiving core. They have five receivers with at least 157 receiving yards led by Adrian Hardy. The junior WR has made 17 catches in his last three games, and he has accrued 291 receiving yards. The L.A. Tech offense features the 36th ranked passing offense in the FBS, and they should feast against a weak UMass pass defense.

The Bulldogs' defense has played well for the most part. They don’t particularly stand out in any area, and they will give up yards in the air as seen in their 92nd ranked pass defense. L.A. Tech is averaging 27 points, ranking them 85th overall. They are conceding an average of 23.4 points, placing them 48th in the FBS.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I expect a blowout win from Louisiana Tech. This spread may appear large at first glance but it is more than attainable. UMass has been on the wrong end of several huge losses this season. They have lost by at least 34 points in each of their last three defeats which included a 44-0 loss to FIU last week. The Minutemen are going to have trouble scoring points in this matchup. L.A. Tech has held its opponent to 20 or fewer points in three out of their last four games.

Furthermore, the Bulldogs should have a breakout game offensively. The Minutemen defense is among the worst in the entire country. They stand down at 116th in the FBS against the pass and 127th against the run.  L.A. Tech features a potent passing offense that is averaging 277 passing yards per game so I expect the experienced senior QB J’Mar Smith to have a big game.

Prediction: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under is a solid option as well. I expect very little offense from UMass who has shutout by FIU last week. The Minutemen have received awful production from their multiple QB’s. Their four QB’s have only completed a combined 56% of their passes with a 7:9 TD to INT ratio. They will likely struggle on the ground as well as this Bulldogs defense just held Rice to 148 passing yards in their latest action. Also, consider the under is 6-1 in the Bulldogs’ last seven games against a team with a losing record.

In addition, the L.A. Tech offense has been inconsistent this season. They only scored 20 points on their home field against a Grambling State team that doesn’t even play in the FBS, and 23 points against a poor Rice team last week. I expect more than 23 points but don’t see them scoring enough for the over to convert, plus the under is 4-1 in their last five games overall.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Minutemen team total offered on PointsBet is worth a look. The Minutemen do not have the talent to put up points, and they have no offensive identity. This team only scored 20 points against Southern Illinois of the FCS, and they are only averaging 294 total yards per game, pegging them at the bottom at 125th in the FBS. Their QB’s have been sacked 14 times, and I don’t see them doing much of anything offensively.

Prediction: UMass Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I am taking the points with UMass on the halftime line. L.A. Tech hasn’t been very productive in the first half where they are only averaging 10.2 points, pegging them down at 96th overall, while UMass is averaging 13 points. The Bulldogs come alive in the second half where they are averaging 17 points, good for 19th in the FBS, and I expect a big second half in this one.

Prediction: UMass
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.