North Texas vs UTEP Odds, Picks and Predictions: Miners Take Home Opener

North Texas comes into this Week 0 matchup as a slight home underdog but we like their chances, led by a stout defense. Read more on why we're fading the Mean Green on Saturday in our North Texas vs. UTEP betting picks.

JD Yonke - Contributor at
JD Yonke • Contributor
Aug 25, 2022 • 09:17 ET • 4 min read
Gavin Hardison UTEP Miners NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

You smell that? College Football is in the air, meaning it’s officially Fall. 

Week 0 kicks off with a warm-up of what’s to come before a full slate of games next weekend. Arguably the most interesting matchup on the board is a Conference USA battle between North Texas and UTEP.

The game is lined close to a pick'em, so it’s expected to be the tightest game of the week. Who will come out on top and grab a conference win to start the year?

Find out in our free college football picks and predictions for North Texas Meen Green vs. UTEP Miners on Saturday, August 27.

North Texas vs UTEP odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

UTEP opened at +2, but the line now resides between a pick'em and +1.5, depending on the book. The total opened at 55.5 and is now down to either 54.5 or 55. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

North Texas vs UTEP predictions

Predictions made on 8/24/2022 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Best college football bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2022 college football season, here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can bet $5 and get $150 in free bets! Sign Up Now

B) New users at DraftKings can get a deposit bonus up to $1,000. Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of College football promo codes for 2022.

North Texas vs UTEP game info

Location: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2021
Kick-off: 9:00 p.m. ET

North Texas vs UTEP betting preview


Monitor gametime conditions with our College football weather info.

Key injuries

North Texas: Detraveon Brown WR (Out).
UTEP: No key injuries to report. 
Find our latest College football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

UTEP is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games. Find more NCAA betting trends for North Texas vs. UTEP.

North Texas vs UTEP picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

It was a tale of two halves for Seth Littrell’s North Texas Mean Green last year. After an opening win against FCS school Northwestern State, they’d go on to lose six straight games. At that point, bowl eligibility seemed like a pipe dream.

Not so fast! Typically operating a pass-first system, Littrell’s team changed its identity to a power run spread attack and reeled off five straight victories to end the regular season. Which are we more likely to see in 2022 — the Mean Green of the first half, or the second half?

The offensive success likely continues, as they return eight starters on that side of the ball while ranking fifth in offensive returning production. A rushing attack that averaged 235.4 yards per game on the ground loses Deandre Torrey but should be fine as Oscar Adaway III returns from injury to combine with Ikaika Ragsdale and Ayo Adeyi.

Four offensive linemen also return to a team that ranked eight in power success rate a year ago. The defense is more of a concern after losing the star brother duo of Gabriel and Grayson Murphy to UCLA.

As for UTEP, the Miners reached bowl eligibility last year for the first time since 2014. This has typically been a moribund program, as they’ve had only two winning seasons since 2005. However, the culture is starting to change under head coach Dana Dimel, and there’s genuine positive momentum.

Dimel inherited an 0-12 team in 2018 and would go 2-22 over his first two seasons. Things started to change with a 3-5 record during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, and the light finally showed through a year ago with a 7-6 record.

The Miners play sound defense and make enough plays offensively to pull out wins. I’m siding with them as I think the wrong team is favored. UTEP returns 15 starters and ranks 51st in returning production for one of the program’s better teams in recent memory.

The offensive line returns three experienced starters who could have all-league potential, there are two experienced running backs to utilize, and quarterback Gavin Hardison managed 9.0 yards per attempt a season ago.

The defense will remain a strength, and this has the makings of a well-rounded team that won’t be easy to beat.

Prediction: UTEP +1.5 (-115 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

There’s been some minor line movement toward the Under, so let’s dive into whether that movement is justified. North Texas operates at a very fast tempo under Littrell, ranking first nationally in plays per game (79.2) a year ago. Will they be efficient with those snaps, though?

The running game loses Deandre Torrey but returns four other productive rushers (Oscar Adaway III, Ikaika Ragsdale, Ayo Adeyi, Isaiah Johnson) as well as four offensive line starters. Still, they may not run wild on a UTEP defensive that is very sound up front and allowed only 3.9 yards per carry.

The team ran wild once they switched their identity mid-year, but it didn’t take long for teams to catch on, and the 2021 Frisco Football Classic was a good example. Miami (OH) had extra time to prepare for the game and focused on shutting down the run. They did just that, limiting the Mean Green to just 89 yards on 32 carries (2.8 yards per carry).

Austin Aune is an experienced option at quarterback, but I question his capability if asked to do too much. He averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt while completing 51.2% of his passes a year ago. UTEP is on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to tempo. The Miners ranked 110th in plays per game (64.4) and will look to grind this one down to a halt. With an experienced offensive line, running back room, and quarterback, they may be able to control the tempo of this one.

UTEP’s offense likes to run the ball to bring the defense into the box and then take long shots deep. The losses of star deep threat Jacob Cowing to Arizona may hurt the efficacy of that attack a year ago, as he was the star of the show a year ago with 1,354 receiving yards on 19.6 yards per reception.

Miners’ games combined for just over 50 points per game a year ago, which is a few points below this total. The Under is 18-7 in the Mean Green’s last 25 road games, and I believe that trend continues in Week 0.

Prediction: Under 55 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

I’m rocking with the Miners for our best bet. UTEP is moving in the right direction under Dimel. This team has a clear identity — they’ll play sound defense, grind the game down to a halt, run the ball a lot, and hit a few deep shots. Fresh off its first bowl appearance since 2014 and with a number of key pieces back, I can only expect improvement in 2022.

One of my biggest questions about this Miners' team is how they’ll replace Jacob Cowing and Justin Garrett at receiver. The duo combined for 2,000 yards a year ago and 11 touchdowns.

Luckily for UTEP, I project North Texas to be among the worst defenses in C-USA. Tyrin Smith averaged 17.3 yards per reception a year ago as the team’s third-leading receiver and should be ready to step up. 

I like the Miners to come away with a victory in Week 0, but this game should still be close. Therefore, the spread is my preferred play.

Pick: UTEP +1.5 (-115 at FanDuel)

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our North Texas vs. UTEP picks, you could win $25.69 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo