HomeTexas Sports Betting NewsUTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks Betting Preview

UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks Betting Preview

Conference USA (C-USA) opens its 2023 conference season with an outstanding game between the UTEP Miners and Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Image: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Caesars TX lists UTEP as a -1.0 favorite (-110), while Barstool Sports offers a 51-point total (-108) when the two sides square off Saturday, August 26.

Who will win this important C-USA matchup? Find out below as we preview Saturday’s UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks for Saturday, August 26, at 4:30 pm at Burgess-Snow Field. 

Note: Sports betting in Texas is prohibited, and this preview is for entertainment purposes only.

UTEP Looking For Postseason Bowl Invitation

UTEP is looking to reach a postseason bowl game for the second time in three seasons and return five starters on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

The offense should be able to score the football – senior QB Gavin Hardison has thrown for over 6000 yards with 35 scoring strikes during his four seasons with the Miners. He’ll work behind a solid offensive line with four starters returning. Sophomore wideout Kelly Akharaiyi should be a top pass-catching threat, and RB Deion Hankins will carry the load in the backfield.

Hankins, last season’s total yards allowed leader, will likely take a step backward this season, but they return five starters, including edge rusher Praise Amaewhule. The Miners boast solid linebackers, and safety Koby Hylton will likely lead the team in tackles this season.

Jacksonville State’s First Season in Conference USA

Last season’s Atlantic Sun Conference champion Jacksonville State was 9-2 in 2022 and begins its first season in C-USA with a challenging conference game.

Seventh-year senior QB Zion Webb will lead the Gamecocks offense. Webb scored 728 yards on 115 attempts with 1737 passing yards and 10 passing TDs. Webb has top wideout Sterling Galban returning and last season’s leading rusher Anwar Lewis. They’ll work behind an offensive line returning four starters, and TE Sean Brown is an exceptional blocker and receiver.

Defensive end Chris Hardie returns from a 5.5 sack season, and the big fella is their anchor. Safety Kolbi Fuqua will shore up the defensive backfield after recording a pair of picks and 55 tackles last season, and Laletia Hale will play a combination of linebacker and safety.

UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks Betting Prediction

We have two offenses that are likely farther ahead than the respective defenses. My best bet for Saturday is UTEP Over 51 (-109) at Barstool Sports.

These teams and their veteran quarterbacks with experienced running backs and veteran offensive lines will score the football on Saturday.

Hardison isn’t the most mobile QB on the Miners’ depth chart, but he’s a good throwing quarterback with decent hands to throw to. He’ll work behind a stout offensive line, and this line should rule the trenches against Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks allowed just 98 rushing yards per game against FCS opponents, but Hankins should eat behind his O-Line against Jacksonville State.

Webb has plenty of experience, and he also has a solid offensive line to work behind. Talented hands and a strong ground game of Lewis surround the duel-threat QB. He also has a veteran offensive line that will likely push around the less experienced Miners. UTEP doesn’t have the defense they enjoyed last season, and Jacksonville State and its fast-playing offense will score the football Saturday.

Finally, the offenses are likely further along than their respective defenses. Veteran quarterbacks are in charge of these offenses, and they are two young men who know how to lead their teams into the end zone. The forecast calls for a hot day with some rain expected in Jacksonville, Alabama, but the wind should remain calm, and the wet weather favors both teams running games. Look for a high-scoring game with it ending over 51 points. 

My best bet for Saturday is UTEP Over 51 (-109) at Barstool Sportsbook Texas.