Don’t look now, but the San Diego State Aztecs are 5-0 and 18th in the country. Regardless if San Diego State goes undefeated, they aren’t going to be a playoff buster. However, the opportunity to go to a New Year’s Six bowl is alive and well. Think Western Michigan. They went undefeated in 2016 but didn’t get to play in the college football playoff.
Their strength of schedule went against them, but I mean, if they had to play anybody in the regular season, they wouldn’t have been in the Cotton Bowl. The Broncos gave Wisconsin a good fight, though, 24-16 to show that they belonged in the game, though. San Diego State has already knocked off a worthy opponent, the Stanford Cardinal. The Aztecs were the aggressors against a team who are almost always the aggressors.
San Diego State has gotten help from all-around. It’s been a total team effort, with the defense and offense playing well and making an impact. I don’t think anyone has really noticed the Aztecs. Even after beating Stanford they didn’t get much recognition. A win over UNLV isn’t going to impress anyone either. After this game, their next toughest opponent might be next week against Boise State. That isn’t saying much, Boise State hasn’t been good at all this year. But what I’m saying is that San Diego State has a good chance of going undefeated.
They will be a favorite in every game the rest of the way. The Aztecs enter Saturday as -9.5 favorites in Vegas. For San Diego State, it’s important not to lookahead to Boise State a week from now. Like I just said, Boise State hasn’t been good, but they’re fully capable of making teams bring their A game. UNLV have had a topsy-turvy year.
They’ve looked good, and shown major signs of improvement in spots, and then also look very bad. Case in point, a loss to Howard, which went down as one of the biggest upsets, spread wise, in college football history. UNLV was -45 favorites and lost, 43-40. The Rebels come in with a record of 2-2. It should be a somber mood after what happened in Las Vegas at the country music festival. In many cases, getting back to normalcy is the best way to combat something like this. Head below for free San Diego State vs. UNLV pick.
San Diego State Aztecs vs. UNLV Rebels Betting Odds:
San Diego State +10(-105)
vs. UNLV -10(-115)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
San Diego State vs. UNLV Pick:
San Diego State have been a well oiled, balanced machine. They can win in a lot of different ways, and have an underrated quarterback in their corner. San Diego State may be a run first team, but they’re quarterback can make a play if need be. Christian Chapman won’t put up jaw dropping numbers, but he won’t make any mistakes. The running game pulls the secondary and linebackers in, leaving some openings for Chapman. He’s thrown 7 touchdowns and only 1 interception with a 64.1 completion percentage.
When you have a weapon like running back Rashaad Penny, the passing game doesn’t have to be slinging it around the yard every week. I think if Chapman was put on a team where he needed to be that type of quarterback, he’d be fine, but San Diego State isn’t that type of offense. They’d rather run the ball, control the clock, and play defense. San Diego State are 25th in the nation, allowing 316 yards per game. They are particularly good against the pass with 186.2 yards allowed per game.
UNLV can’t defend the pass, they’re 122nd with 297.5 yards given up per game. They are also 83rd against the run, not good for a team heading into a game against Penny. The Rebels have improved since losing to Howard, though, despite getting punched in by Ohio State. They never gave up in that game and came out to play in the second-half. I think in this one you can throw some statistics out of the window. San Diego State could be looking ahead to Boise State. We also have a UNLV team that will probably be playing their hearts out. The Aztecs win, but UNLV hangs around to keep it interesting.
PICK: UNLV +10 (-115)