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2005 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raders Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Like so many Sun Belt Conference teams, Middle Tennessee State has been a consistent straight up loser on the field while simultaneously offering occasional good sports handicapping value and results to the more sophisticated college football sports bettors. In 2000, the Blue Raiders went 7-2 against the odds, which included six consecutive covers. In 2001, after beating the sports betting odds in three of their first four games to make for 10 covers in 13 games, Middle Tennessee State proceeded to go through a sports handicapping market correction in which they lost five of their final seven games against the pointspread. In 2002, after covering their season opener, the Blue Raiders dropped three consecutive games against the odds to extend their streak into the red seven out of ten games. They then covered two straight before dropping three of their final five against the odds. In 2003 they were up and down with little pattern and finished 6-5 against the sports betting line. As is typically the case with Sun Belt Conference teams, Middle Tennessee State received scant attention from the sports betting bloggers at the start of the 2004 season.

Middle Tennessee State proved to be an excellent value in their season opener at Akron where they won straight up 31-24 as 6-point dogs in a game that attracted little sports betting interest. After that encouraging win, however, the Blue Raiders went on to drop three consecutive games both straight up and against the sports betting line. At this stage of the season they stood at 1-3 both straight up and against the pointspread.

With whatever remained of their sports handicapping appeal shot with such a slow start, the Blue Raiders came through as 6.5-point home chalks in a 45-17 win over Arkansas State. They gave away the good will in their next game, however, in a 16-52 loss at Florida as 28.5-point dogs, for their fourth loss in five games against the odds.

Incredibly enough, Middle Tennessee State was to be installed as chalks by the sports betting odds makers in three of their next four games and they only failed once to get the cash in that span. This set up the season finale at Troy State, where as 13.5-point dogs the Blue Raiders lost 17-37 to finish the season 5-6 both straight up and against the odds. As another Sun Belt loser, however, they will continue to appear on few lists of football picks.





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