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College Football Betting Preview: UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

August 26, 2023

College Football is back starting this Saturday and while we don't have the most exciting games on the docket to watch and play here today, beggars can't be choosers.  In the 2nd game of the day, the UTEP Miners will be facing the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.  


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks have been elevated to Division 1 FBS after being a part of Division 1 FCS since 1995. Rich Rodriguez enters his 2nd season as the head coach for the Gamecocks after finishing with a record of 9-2 last season. Rodriguez has served as a head coach at West Virginia, Michigan, and Arizona, however, he never reached the success level he had in the early 2000s as head coach for the Mountaineers which were in the National Championship conversation a few years with Pat White and Steve Slaton forming one of the most explosive backfields in college football history. 

Instead, he finished with a record of 15-22 at the University of Michigan and only led the Wolverines to one bowl game which resulted in a loss against the Mississippi State Bulldogs by a score of 14-52 he was fired shortly after that game and would eventually become head coach for the Arizona Wildcats where he finished with a record of 43-35 before being fired for an off the field issue.

This season the Jacksonville State Gamecocks enter the season with an over/under win total of 4.5 wins which means they are unlikely to finish above .500 and wouldn’t be eligible for a bowl game since this is their first season at the Division 1 FBS level.

The UTEP Miners finished last season with a record of 5-7 which led to an 8th place finish in Conference USA and not becoming bowl eligible after being bowl eligible the previous season. The Miners enter this season with an over/under win total of 5.5 wins which means they are expected to be a borderline bowl-eligible team this season and based on Vegas odds are projected to be 5th best team in Conference USA behind Western Kentucky, Liberty, Middle Tennessee State, and Louisiana Tech. 

Dana Dimel enters his 6th season as the head coach for the UTEP Miners where he has had a record of 17-40 and only one winning season which came in 2021 and a loss against the Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of 24-31 in the New Mexico Bowl.

BookMaker has the UTEP Miners listed as 1-point favorites on the road against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. There is no history in the series since this will be Jacksonville State’s first season as an FBS team. The Miners finished last season 5-7 ATS overall, 2-4 ATS on the road, 4-4 ATS in conference games, and 2-3 ATS as a favorite. 

Neither team is expected to be a quality team this season, however, UTEP is the more experienced team and is projected to finish with a better record based on Vegas odds. The Miners may not become bowl eligible this season but there is not any reason to believe UTEP isn’t able to come away with a win against a team in their first season at the FBS level which is why I am taking the UTEP Miners -1 on the road against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in week 0 of the college football season on Saturday.

Spooky Express Pick: UTEP Miners -1

Written By: Daniel Newton