UTEP vs. Jacksonville State Prediction: Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

The college football season kicks off in Week 0 and our UTEP vs. Jacksonville State prediction indicates what to expect from the Miners and Gamecocks in 2023.

The college football season kicks off in Week 0 with our first look at one of the two newcomers to the FBS level in 2023. In our UTEP vs. Jacksonville State prediction and betting preview, take a look at what to expect from the Gamecocks in their first season of FBS play.

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UTEP vs. Jacksonville State Betting Preview

  • Spread
    UTEP (-1)
  • Moneyline
    UTEP (-114); Jacksonville State (+100)
  • Over/Under
    54 total points
  • Game time
    5:30 p.m. ET
  • Location
    Burgess-Snow Field, Jacksonville, AL
  • Predicted Weather at Kick
    94 degrees, mostly sunny, 5-6 mph winds
  • How to Watch
    FuboTV, CBS Sports Network

Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

All values below come from FanDuel’s multi-team entries for the weekend. For each team’s depth chart:

UTEP Depth Chart | Jacksonville State Depth Chart

  • QB Zion Webb, Jacksonville State ($8,600)
  • QB Gavin Hardison, UTEP ($8,200)
  • RB Deion Hankins, UTEP ($7,800)
  • RB Anwar Lewis, Jacksonville State ($7,000)
  • RB Mike Franklin, UTEP ($6,200)
  • RB Daryon Triche, UTEP ($5,800)
  • WR Tyrin Smith, UTEP ($9,000)
  • WR Sterling Galban, Jacksonville State ($6,800)
  • WR Jeremiah Ballard, UTEP ($6,000)
  • WR Perry Carter, Jacksonville State ($6,200)
  • WR Kelly Akharaiyi, UTEP ($5,600)
  • WR Michael Pettway, Jacksonville State ($5,500)
  • WR Jamarye Joiner, Jacksonville State ($4,900)
  • TE Sean Brown, Jacksonville State ($5,200)
  • TE Zach Fryar, UTEP ($4,800)

The matchup here to watch is certainly whether or not the UTEP offensive line can dominate the front seven for the Gamecocks. Jacksonville State played well against their FCS level of competition a year ago but was manhandled by a Tulsa offensive line in their lone meeting with an FBS team in 2022.

With that in mind, Deion Hankins is in line for a start. Hankins is a bowling ball back who doesn’t go down on first contact and should be able to give headaches to the Jacksonville State defense all game long.

In having to throw the ball to keep in the contest, Zion Webb may look intriguing, but there are far better QB options in Week 0. Sterling Galban may be the top-priced WR for JSU in this one, but he’s an interior threat and UTEP’s safety play is among the best in the conference.

Steer away from Galban, Webb, and fade the Gamecocks as they get a harsh welcome to the C USA.

Prediction for UTEP vs. Jacksonville State

As mentioned in the DFS advice, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks could be in or a rude awakening here. UTEP certainly isn’t the top tier of FBS play but they present a unique challenge with a returning core on offense and some potential star players on defense.

The offensive line for the Miners is arguably the best in the conference and certainly the most experienced. Despite the loss of Jeremiah Byers in the transfer portal, UTEP returns four starters and a bevy of upperclassmen.

This game — as proverbially savvy of me to say — will be won in the trenches. And the trenches clearly belong to UTEP.

Hankins should be able to have several yards of cushion before he’s forced to bang off contact and third-year starting quarterback Gavin Hardison should have all day to dissect the JSU defense.

On defense, UTEP’s defenders were stingy in the trenches and clamped down in the red zone last year. The Miners stopped opponents for a loss on 26% of their rushing attempts backed up in the red zone, the fourth-best figure in the country.

Vegas will catch up to both of these teams and it feels like we’re actually farther off UTEP’s prowess than we are JSU’s inexperience.

Prediction: UTEP 30, Jacksonville State 20