While this game wasn't one of my 5 Best Bets, it is the favorite of my 4 Strong Opinions and my Strong Opinion are a very profitable 325-254-4 (56%) since 2003, so it is a good bet.
Smu (-6 ½) 33 UTEP 21
UTEP has played an incredibly easy schedule this season and SMU will be the toughest team that the Miners have faced since losing 24-54 at Houston in week 2. El Paso has gained and allowed 5.6 yppl this season, but they've done so against teams that would combine to be out-gained 4.7 yppl to 6.1 yppl by an average Division 1A team - so the Miners are not close to being a mediocre team. SMU has out-gained their opponents 6.6 yppl to 5.1 yppl while rating at 0.9 yppl better than average on offense and 0.2 yppl better than average defensively, so the Mustangs should have no trouble winning this game - even on the road. SMU has faced 4 teams that are about UTEP's caliber and they've won all 4 of those games by double-digit margins over UAB (by 21 points at home), Washington State (by 14 points at home), Rice (by 11 points on the road), and last week at Tulane (14 points). I'll call for another double-digit win by the Mustangs over a bad team, as my math model gives SMU a 55.5% chance over covering at -6 ½ points. I'll consider SMU a Strong Opinion at -7 points or less.
I will have free analysis of 10 NFL games and 44 College games this weekend (posted at 3 pm Pacific on Thursday) in the Free Analysis section of my website.
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