Upcoming Free Picks

UTEP vs. Western Kentucky Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 11-17-2018

This is a past game! View all upcoming NCAAF games instead!

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#413 UTEP
Miners 47.5
#414 Western Kentucky
Hilltoppers -6.5

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

UTEP Miners

1 - 9

5-5
ATS
5-4
O/U
18
PPG
31
OPPG

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

1 - 9

4-6
ATS
4-6
O/U
18
PPG
30
OPPG

Betting Trends

All NCAAF

No betting trends available for this game. Click here to see all available for NCAAF.

Check out our best plays in this week’s Fab Five:

UTEP at Western Kentucky

When and Where: Saturday, Nov. 17, Houchens Industries-L.T. Stadium, Bowling Green, Ky., 7:30 p.m. EST.

A pair of one-win teams trying to lay down a building block for next season meet Saturday night when Western Kentucky looks for its first Conference USA victory at the expense of UTEP.

Miners trying to regroup after being denied back-to-back wins

UTEP (1-9, 1-5 C-USA West) lost for the 21st time in 22 games last weekend, stretching a run without back-to-back victories dating back to 2015 to 42 games with a 48-32 defeat to Middle Tennessee.

Quardraiz Wadley ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns for the Miners, who topped 30 points in consecutive contests in conference play for the first time since 2014. UTEP has scored 66 of its 189 points in the last two games, with Wadley rushing for 190 yards.

As the Miners have improved their play of late, first-year coach Dana Dimel is trying to help his team keep an even keel as opposed to dealing with the pressure of a winnable game.

“We didn’t feel pressure against Rice,” Dimel told the El Paso Times. “You’d think it could be the case but I didn’t feel like we felt pressure. For us, it’s just continuing to control what we can control, getting guys stepping up and playing all four quarters. Playing hard for each other. …

“We need to put all the elements together, that’s what our team is focusing on right now. Can we execute at a high level all four quarters? We know what we can do at times, now we need to put it together.”

Dimel said a quarterback rotation is likely for a second straight week since Kai Locksley is not 100 percent due to a foot injury. Both Locksley and Brandon Jones threw touchdown passes against the Blue Raiders and combined for 218 yards, and Locksley had a team-high 935 yards but only three passing scores.

Hilltoppers out to avoid seventh straight loss

It has been a staggeringly quick fall from the elite for Western Kentucky (1-9, 0-6 East), which won 12 games in 2015, 11 in 2016 and went 6-7 in last season. The Hilltoppers are mired in their longest losing streak since going 0-12 in their first season in the Sun Belt Conference in 2009, which was their third season at the FBS level.

They are coming off a 34-15 loss at Florida Atlantic last weekend, hanging tough for three quarters before giving up 17 points. Steven Duncan threw for 228 yards and a touchdown, continuing what coach Mike Sanford called small steps of progress.

“I thought a couple factors, I think he has shown some growth and has done some really good things, he threw some good balls,” he said at his weekly press conference. “But also the growth that he’ll have from one week to the next in red zone situations and identifying coverages, being in those situations again [and again]. He’ll be better because of that, no doubt.

“The other thing too about him is he’s durably-built, he has proven to be the quarterback that played the majority of the snaps this year that can play week-in and week-out physically. And that plays huge, just the durability of who he is.”

The bigger issue for Sanford and the Hilltoppers is finding quick fixes for a defense that was shredded for a season-worst 576 yards by the Owls — the seventh time it has allowed 400 or more yards. Western Kentucky has given up 29 or more points in its last five games and at least 20 in every contest.

The Hiltoppers have allowed an average of 462.5 yards and 33.0 points during their losing streak.

Duncan has thrown for 765 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions while completing 58.2 percent of his passes. The sophomore had been splitting snaps with Davis Shanley before being the full-time quarterback last week.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

There are few places where these teams separate themselves, but the one area that gives the Miners a distinct advantage is Wadley. He has given UTEP a consistent source of offense the past two weeks, and while Dimel’s team has just one win, his team has been methodically making progress over the course of the season.

Additionally, the Miners’ lone win came on the road, and while they may face the pressure of this being a winnable game, they at least can fall back on a winning experience to keep this game close and cover.

Prediction: Pick: UTEP +7

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The combination of UTEP’s improved offense and Western Kentucky’s inconsistent defense is a strong foundation for the over to hit here, and while the Hilltoppers have struggled offensively while settling on a quarterback, the Miners have also had plenty of issues defensively. UTEP has given up 24 or more points in all five of its road games and given up an average of 32.6 points in those contests.

Prediction: Pick: OVER 47.5 points

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

Dimel has the Miners not only pointing in the right direction, they are also playing their best football of the season. The hedge is UTEP gets the job done here via Wadley and is leading outright at halftime.

Prediction: Pick: UTEP +4

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

The fact this line stayed under 24 points is the primary reason for taking the over, with the expectation it will stay close enough that both teams register at least two scores to clear 23.5 points.

Prediction: Pick: OVER 23.5 points

Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73)

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.

Login

Forgot Password?
Forgot your password? Enter your email and we'll send you a reset token:

Return to login
Enter the token from your email and a new password. Don't forget to check your spam folder if you didn't get the email.

Upcoming Free Picks

Bank the Bet Podcast
Tuesday, Dec 11
NBA
#531 Portland Trailblazers 219
#532 Houston Rockets -6.5
8:05pm
View Pick
#533 Phoenix Suns 217
#534 San Antonio Spurs -11.5
8:35pm
View Pick
#535 Toronto Raptors
#536 Los Angeles Clippers
10:35pm
View Pick
NCAAB
#601 Villanova -7
#602 Penn 137
7:00pm
View Pick
#603 Georgia Southern 142.5
#604 UCF -12
7:00pm
View Pick
#605 Colorado -5
#606 New Mexico 169
9:00pm
View Pick
NHL
#43 Toronto -135
#44 Carolina 6
7:05pm
View Pick
#45 Vancouver 6
#46 Columbus -215
7:05pm
View Pick
#47 Los Angeles
#48 Buffalo
7:05pm
View Pick
#49 Arizona 5.5
#50 Boston -175
7:05pm
View Pick
#51 Detroit 6
#52 Washington -265
7:35pm
View Pick
#53 Florida -105
#54 St. Louis -115
8:05pm
View Pick
#55 Chicago 6
#56 Winnipeg -240
8:05pm
View Pick
#59 Montreal 6
#60 Minnesota -160
8:05pm
View Pick
#57 Ottawa
#58 Nashville
8:05pm
View Pick
#61 Edmonton 6
#62 Colorado -150
9:05pm
View Pick
Thursday, Dec 13
NFL
#301 Los Angeles Chargers 56.5
#302 Kansas City Chiefs -3.5
8:20pm
View Pick
Sunday, Dec 16
NFL
#313 Dallas Cowboys 47
#314 Indianapolis Colts -2.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#327 New England Patriots
#328 Pittsburgh Steelers
4:25pm
View Pick
#329 Philadelphia Eagles 52
#330 Los Angeles Rams -9
8:20pm
View Pick
Saturday, Dec 15
NCAAF
#207 Eastern Michigan 48
#208 Georgia Southern -1
5:30pm
View Pick
#209 Middle Tennessee State 50.5
#210 Appalachian State -6.5
9:00pm
View Pick
Thursday, Dec 20
NCAAF
#215 Marshall -2.5
#216 USF 54.5
8:00pm
View Pick
Friday, Dec 21
NCAAF
#217 FIU 66.5
#218 Toledo -5.5
12:30pm
View Pick
Saturday, Dec 22
NCAAF
#221 Wake Forest 73
#222 Memphis -5
12:00pm
View Pick
#223 Houston 67.5
#224 Army -3.5
3:30pm
View Pick
Wednesday, Dec 26
NCAAF
#229 Boston College
#230 Boise State
1:30pm
View Pick
#231 Minnesota
#232 Georgia Tech
5:15pm
View Pick
#233 TCU
#234 California
9:00pm
View Pick
Thursday, Dec 27
NCAAF
#235 Duke
#236 Temple
1:30pm
View Pick
#237 Miami - FL
#238 Wisconsin
5:15pm
View Pick
#239 Vanderbilt
#240 Baylor
9:00pm
View Pick
Friday, Dec 28
NCAAF
#241 Auburn
#242 Purdue
1:30pm
View Pick
#243 Syracuse
#244 West Virginia
5:15pm
View Pick
#247 Iowa State
#248 Washington State
9:00pm
View Pick
Saturday, Dec 29
NCAAF
#249 Florida
#250 Michigan
12:00pm
View Pick
#251 South Carolina
#252 Virginia
12:00pm
View Pick
#245 Arkansas State
#246 Nevada
1:15pm
View Pick
#255 Notre Dame
#256 Clemson
4:00pm
View Pick
#253 Oklahoma
#254 Alabama
8:00pm
View Pick
Monday, Dec 31
NCAAF
#257 Virginia Tech
#258 Cincinnati
12:00pm
View Pick
#259 Pittsburgh
#260 Stanford
2:00pm
View Pick
#261 Michigan State
#262 Oregon
3:00pm
View Pick
#263 Missouri
#264 Oklahoma State
3:45pm
View Pick
#265 Northwestern
#266 Utah
7:00pm
View Pick
#267 NC State
#268 Texas A&M
7:30pm
View Pick
Tuesday, Jan 1
NCAAF
#269 Iowa
#270 Mississippi St
12:00pm
View Pick
#271 Kentucky
#272 Penn State
1:00pm
View Pick
#273 LSU
#274 UCF
1:00pm
View Pick
#275 Washington
#276 Ohio State
5:00pm
View Pick
#277 Texas
#278 Georgia
8:45pm
View Pick