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College football is finally here and Saturday night features an exciting Conference USA clash. Handicapper Ben Rajavuori gives us his UTEP vs. North Texas best bet for Saturday night.

UTEP vs. North Texas Prediction, Picks, Odds: Will Ayo Ayedi and the North Texas Running Game Roll in Week 0?

Week 0 is here, bringing us a plethora of action to bet on this late-August Saturday. It's a beloved day for college football fans and bettors alike, and there are a few great bets for tonight. The one that caught my eye the most takes us to El Paso, Texas, where UTEP hosts North Texas. This line is nearly a pick 'em, as North Texas is around -1.5 on most books. So which side is the best bet in this week 0 matchup?

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

North Texas enters the 2022 season with tons of momentum from the previous year. They found their stride late in the 2021 season and rattled off five wins in a row to earn a bowl game against Miami-Ohio, which they ended up losing 14-27. One of those five wins came against UTEP, who they beat 20-17 late in the 2021 season. They will rematch tonight in Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, with the road team slightly favored.

Both teams will have a run-first approach in this matchup, and both should have success in the box. North Texas ran the ball almost more than anyone else in the country last year, with 49 carries per game. During the five-win streak to end the regular season last year, North Texas averaged 283 rushing yards per game. The shift to a run-first team proved massive for the mean green, which is an approach they should carry into this season. Although they lost DeAndre Torrey, they return three backs who all recorded five-plus touchdowns last season. Ayo Ayedi will likely get most of the work for the Mean Green, as he averaged 6.1 yards per attempt last season. In front of Ayedi will be four returning starting offensive linemen who were imperative to the success of the run game by opening the holes. The mean green should pick up right where they left off with the run game last season, and they also return veteran quarterback Austin Aune when they need to pass it.

UTEP had an opposite turn of events last season as the mean green, as they started 6-1 but ended the season 1-5. The good news is UTEP kept their entire front six on defense, including star defensive end Praise Amaewhule. However, UTEP lost star receiver Jacob Cowing to Arizona. Cowing was crucial in the game against North Texas last season, as he posted 174 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting. It's not just Cowers that they lost, as UTEP lost 70% of their total receiving yards in the offseason. As a result, I expect UTEP to rely on the rushing attack more this year, but if they want to beat North Texas in the box, I do not like their chances.

In a game that will be won in the trenches, I don't see how North Texas loses this game. They were one of the most successful rushing teams in the nation last year and returned nearly all the key pieces to replicate that success once again this year. Meanwhile, UTEP lost the core of its offense and will have to rely on many new receivers, or at least starting receivers. This should be a low-scoring game with the clock constantly running with a lot of plays on the ground. This is the type of game North Texas thrives in, and I will back them to get it done as slight favorites.

UTEP vs. North Texas Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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