UAB Blazers vs. South Alabama Jaguars Betting Picks

September 22, 2020

Date:Thursday, September 24th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Venue:Hancock Whitney Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:UAB -6.5
O/U:47.5

The College Football spotlight will be on the 1-1 UAB Blazers and 1-1 South Alabama Jaguars as the stand-alone game on Thursday night. The Jaguars will host their first-ever game in Hancock Whitney Stadium as 6.5-point underdogs and you can catch it on ESPN. Let’s dive in!

When the UAB Blazers Have The Ball

The UAB Blazers have done what’s expected so far, beating Central Arkansas 45-35 in week one before losing 14-31 to the Miami Hurricanes. After a weekend off, they’ll go into South Alabama to face off with a Jaguars team that nearly upset Tulane a week ago.

QB Tyler Johnston was hurt in week two against Miami and he will sit out with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Freshman Bryson Lucero will step in and he was already involved before the injury occurred, so there is obvious talent there. He’s thrown for 138 yards and a touchdown through the first two games.

After a disappointing 2019 season, RB Spencer Brown has looked great so far with 5.0 YPC and two scores. He’s been spelled by Jermaine Brown Jr., who’s a promising sophomore that will take over next year when Brown departs. This duo is going to be one of the best in the Conference USA and UAB will look to establish the run game on the road with a freshman at QB.

When Lucero does drop back to pass, he’ll look at Myron Mitchell and Austin Watkins. They’re the only two receivers with over five catches and have combined for 22 receptions, 268 yards, and two touchdowns. The eight other pass-catchers have combined for less than 200 yards, though TE Gerrit Prince has been a threat in the RZ with two of his four catches finding the endzone.

When The South Alabama Jaguars Have The Ball

The South Alabama Jaguars opened up the season with a 32-21 win over Southern Mississippi before being edged out 27-24 by Tulane a week later. They held the lead for most of the game before Tulane struck twice unanswered in the fourth quarter.

QB Chase Lovertich has been announced the starter, which sends Desmond Ridder to the bench. Lovertich was excellent after taking over for Ridder, throwing for 247 yards and two scores without throwing a pick. 

Believe it or not, this South Alabama offense has a couple of weapons that elite power-5 schools would love to have. Jalen Tolbert and Kawaan Baker will be playing on Sundays next season and Lovertich will pepper them with targets if he’s smart. Jalen Wayne is an excellent compliment to the pair and he went over 100 yards in the opener with a TD.

When the Jags do run, it’ll be with explosive sophomore Carlos Davis. He’s been over 80 yards in each game and is always a broken tackle away from a score with that speed. It all comes down to how Lovertich is able to orchestrate the offense against a tough UAB defense. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: South Alabama +7.5

The road favorites are the popular pick here and I’m not biting. While UAB has a solid defense, they aren’t very explosive offensively and I expect South Alabama to match them. They have the weapons and defensive line to keep this one close at home. Lovertich was extremely impressive a week ago and I expect him to be the better of the inexperienced QB’s.

While I do like the Blazers to win the game, I can’t handle 7.5 points against a South Alabama team that’s at home and just as dangerous. They might not be as disciplined or hard-nosed, but they will keep things close and I wouldn’t be shocked if they pulled out a W. Give me South Alabama and the points.

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Total Prediction

The over is my favorite bet in this game. While both of these teams pride themselves on defense, this is a weird situation. The number is priced like two terrible QB’s are at the helm and while they are young, both have been impressive. 

The weapons are there on both sides of the ball and there’s no way this game stays under if Baker and Tolbert are targeted by Lovertich. Brown will get his for UAB behind that monstrous offensive line and it’ll open things up for Lucero. I expect this game to be a bit higher scoring than expected and don’t mind jumping on an alternate total line. 

The Pick: Over 47.5
Final Score Prediction: UAB 31, South Alabama 27
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