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How and what to watch for in Middle Tennessee vs. Army

Army enters its first game of the season as four-point favorites against Middle Tennessee in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The first Saturday game between FBS opponents is set to take place between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Army Black Knights on Sept. 5. Both teams took a bit of a dip last season and will look to change things in 2020.

Middle Tennessee is coming off a season in which it finished with a record below .500 for the first time since 2011. On the other side, Army had back-to-back double-digit wins season before a 5-8 campaign in 2019.

Middle Tennessee quarterback Asher O’Hara will be an exciting player to watch on Saturday. He rushed for 1,000 yards last season and threw for 20 touchdowns in 2019. He led Conference USA in total yards per game.

Army will be tasked with replacing three players who signed NFL contracts with defensive back Elijah Riley, linebacker Cole Christiansen and fullback Connor Slomka. The Black Knights will also bring in a new defensive coordinator with Nate Woody, who comes in with 29 years of coaching experience.

This will be the first ever meeting between Middle Tennessee and Army.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET at Army’s Michie Stadium in West Point, New York. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Middle Tennessee (+4) vs. Army

Point Total: O/U 55 (-110)

Money line: Middle Tennessee (+155), Army (-195)

  • Middle Tennessee finished 4-8 in 2019 and 6-6 against the spread.
  • Army finished 5-8 overall and had the same record against the spread.
  • Army is 16-2 straight up in its last 18 games played at home.
  • Middle Tennessee lost seven consecutive road games.

The Best Bet

Areas to look at during a limited offseason include coaching changes and capable starting quarterbacks. Middle Tennessee has a stable starting quarterback with O’Hara, while Army is in the process of bringing a new defensive coordinator into the mix having to replace two NFL-caliber players. Middle Tennessee has been a consistently solid program for the past decade, so a return to bowl status should be in the works for the Blue Raiders in 2020. Let’s go with Middle Tennessee to cover the four points.

Pick: Middle Tennessee +4

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