UTSA vs Florida International Odds, Picks and Predictions: Offenses Don't Have Enough

UTSA and FIU come into this matchup with a hefty total, but they may not have the firepower to justify it. Our college football betting picks for Week 7 break down why we think this game will stay Under the total.

Phil Naessens - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Phil Naessens • Betting Analyst
Oct 14, 2022 • 17:04 ET • 4 min read
Frank Harris UTSA College Football
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C-USA football bettors try to tackle Friday night when the UTSA Roadrunners take on the 2-3-0 Florida International Panthers. 

The Roadrunners are hot speeding into this game, with three wins on the bounce ahead of tonight. The Panthers, meanwhile, come into Friday with their tails between their legs after getting crushed at home at the hands of UConn.

Who will win this Friday night C-USA tilt? Find out in my free college football betting picks and predictions for UTSA vs. FIU on October 14.

UTSA vs Florida International best odds

UTSA vs Florida International picks and predictions

Sixty-four is a big number for a Friday night game, and we’re looking for this contest to end Under the total.

By DVOA metrics, UTSA has the 34th-ranked offense in the country and senior QB Frank Harris can really sling it. Harris has thrown for the fourth most yards and his 13 passing TDs are 25th in the college. Senior WR De’Corian Clark has 618 receiving yards, and Harris has two other wideouts with 500+ receiving yards.

The Panthers' defense yields a 68th-best 391 yards of offense, but also coughs up a 62nd-best 237.5 passing yards per contest — and that isn’t going to get the job done Friday night. The Roadrunners can score the football through the air, and there won’t be much FIU can do to prevent that from happening.

The trouble with UTSA is turnovers and penalties. Its -0.6 turnover margin and 64 penalty yards per game is what slows the Roadrunners down. Harris has thrown five picks, UTSA has lost three of its 10 fumbles, and turning the ball over like it does is what will slow this offense down Friday.

Offensively speaking, FIU scores an average of just under 17 points per game. Sophomore QB Grayson James has thrown for just 919 yards with seven TD passes along with four miscues. Senior WR Tyrese Chambers has 267 receiving yards with three trips to the end zone, RB Lexington Joseph and WR Kris Mitchell each have two TD catches, but that’s about it for the Panthers passing game.

UTSA allows a 111th best passing yards and 33 points per game, and while I do believe James can move the ball against this defense, their -1.0 turnover margin and 52 penalty yards per game will keep FIU from doing too much damage to the Roadrunners.

UTSA is a much better football team than FIU, but both offenses lack the discipline to take advantage of the shortcomings of both defenses. Sure, we’ll see some fireworks from Harris and Co, but their lack of discipline and turnover issues will keep UTSA from reaching its full potential against a young, progressing, FIU defense. 

The Panthers offense is led by a young QB with a bad offensive line. James has just enough weapons to be dangerous but lacks the discipline it takes to consistently move the ball. That's what has hurt this FIU offense the most and why it’ll have such a hard time scoring Friday night. 

My best bet: Under 64 (-110 at Betway)

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UTSA vs Florida International spread analysis

I thought it was a joke when I saw the spread Monday morning. 33.5 points is where it opened, and that number has dipped to 33 points. 

FIU has covered the number in each of its last three meetings, but this Panthers team is bad on both ends of the field. The Panthers are 0-2-0 against the spread at home and 1-4-0 ATS overall.

Finally, 33 points is quite a bit for a C-USA game or, for that matter, any NCAAF game. The FIU defense is No. 131 in DVOA against a Roadrunners offense that can really burn rubber, but penalties and turnovers cause UTSA to have too many flat tires. I’m leaving this one alone. 

UTSA vs Florida International Over/Under analysis

I’ve already broken down the total play as my best bet, but I do have a couple of other thoughts about the total.

FIU got smoked on Homecoming Night by UConn, and it can’t be too happy about that. Turnovers killed the Panthers, and I expect them to take better care of the ball, burn some clock, and hopefully keep the potent UTSA offense on the sidelines as much as possible.

Another total I was considering is the FIU TT Under 14.5. The Roadrunners defense leaves much to be desired, but so does the Panthers offense. FIU hasn’t scored 14.5 points in any of its last four contests, and I look for that trend to continue Friday. 

UTSA vs Florida International betting trend to know

The Under is 3-2 in the Panthers' last five contests.  Find more NCAA betting trends for UTSA vs. Florida International.

UTSA vs Florida International game info

Location: Riccardo Silva Stadium, Miami, FL
Date: Friday, October 14, 2022
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS Sports Network

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