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College Football is finally here, and we have an interesting Conference USA matchup in week 0 that features my favorite angle of the week. Let's break it down.

UTEP vs. North Texas Best Bet and Pick: Will Breon Hayward Carry UTEP'S Defense To A Win?

UTEP is coming off of one of the best seasons in school history as they finished 7-6. They had only tallied 7 or more wins once since 2006 so they made tremendous strides last season. These strides were largely due to their improved defense as they were 4th in Conference USA in points allowed per game as they only gave up 25.2 PPG. They also played the 2nd hardest schedule in all of Conference USA last year so that really speaks to the resiliency of their team.

But last year is last year and UTEP did lose some key players to graduation and the transfer portal, but they also bring back a large chunk of their core. Come check out my prediction, picks, and odds for UTEP vs. North Texas and find out who I like in this one.

UTEP vs. North Texas Start Time, Where To Watch, And Odds

  • Date: August 27, 2022
  • Game Time: 9:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: Stadium
  • Spread: North Texas -1
  • Total: 54.5

Click here for UTEP vs. North Texas odds

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UTEP vs. North Texas Line Movement

UTEP vs. North Texas Prediction

On defense, UTEP brings back 6 returning starters including their top 3 tacklers from last season so there should be a lot of continuity to build off of what was a successful defensive unit last year for the Miners. On the offensive side of the ball, UTEP returns 7 starters including their starting QB and RB.

Gavin Hardison is the starting quarterback for UTEP and at 6’3, 205 pounds, he has a very solid presence in the pocket with just enough mobility and elusiveness to escape pressure to make throws on the move. He made a lot of big strides last season as he threw for 3200 yards and led his team to a winning record.

On the other side, North Texas also returns their starting QB in Austin Aune so they have some continuity there, but Aune really struggled as he only threw 9 TDs while also throwing 9 interceptions with a completion percentage of just over 50%. North Texas had a middle of the pack defense in regard to points allowed per game and passing/rushing yards per game as well, but they lost a lot of key pieces on that side of the ball.

Most importantly, North Texas lost a few starters on their defensive line and their defensive front may not be as stout as it was last year which should lead to less pressure on the QB and more holes for UTEP to run through.

The line dynamic on this game is also very interesting as UTEP enters this game as a 1–2-point underdog on some books. Last season, UTEP went into North Texas playing some of their worst ball on the season on a 2-game losing streak and were still 1-point favorites. They started strong but eventually lost the game as UNT had a big 2H push.

The roles and line dynamic are essentially reversed in this game as now North Texas is on the road as a short 1-point favorite and the only reason I think they are favored is that they defeated UTEP in 2021. UTEP was 5-1 at home last season and had marked increases in nearly all of their offensive and defensive metrics at home. I fully expect UTEP to play their best game in this revenge matchup and I had this game lined closer to UTEP -3 so there is some real value on the Miners here. With that being said, I am rolling with UTEP +2 at -111 for 1.5u at my first College Football play of the 2021-2022 season and My Most Confident Pick of Week 0.

UTEP vs. North Texas Pick

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Article Author


Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.


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