Nevada Wolf Pack vs. San Jose State Spartans Pick – NCAAF Week 15

The feature game of the night in college football is between the Nevada Wolf Pack and San Jose State Spartans. You read that right. Nevada and San Jose State are the biggest game of the night. There are three teams left in the race for the Mountain West Championship, which includes Nevada and San Jose State. This is a neutral site game after it was moved to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. And we thought that football was done at Sam Boyd for good.

If San Jose State wins tonight then they punch their ticket to the conference championship. However, a loss and they’re going to need some help elsewhere. It would get interesting for San Jose State, but they would still be alive. However, if Nevada beats San Jose State, and Boise State beats Wyoming, then the Spartans would be out.

Now if Nevada and Wyoming win, then that’s where things get complicated. They would go by winning percentage, so then the Broncos with a record of 4-1 would miss out, while Nevada and San Jose State would play in a rematch. That would just be a case of Nevada and San Jose State playing more games than Boise State and registered a higher winning percentage.

For the sake of argument, if Nevada and San Jose State is cancelled tonight because of Covid-19, then the Spartans would automatically go to the Mountain West Championship. They would end the regular season with a perfect record of 5-0. San Jose State knows all about Covid-19. Their team was hit hard by the virus, but they’ve persevered and are on pace for their first conference championship since winning the Big West in 1991.

Nevada has been having themselves quite the season as well. The Wolf Pack have only one loss on their resume, with a 24-21 defeat in Hawaii against the Rainbow Warriors two weeks ago. They were able to bounce back against Fresno State for a 37-26 win. Carson Strong, who is an interesting NFL prospect, came back with 354 yards passing and 5 touchdowns to get back in the win column. Another win is needed on Friday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Head below for our free Nevada vs. San Jose State pick for December 11, 2020.

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. San Jose State Spartans NCAAF Betting Odds:

Spread:

  • Nevada +1.5 (-105)
  • San Jose St. -1.5 (-115)
Moneyline:

  • Nevada +108
  • San Jose St. -128
Total:

  • Over 59 (-110)
  • Under 59 (-110)

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Nevada vs. San Jose State Prediction:

Nevada’s offense is spearheaded by the talented Carson Strong. Besides that Hawaii game where he looked ordinary, Strong has looked like a quarterback that could be selected in the draft. He has a big frame at 6’4” and 225 points. Strong has the size and arm strength to make it as an NFL quarterback. If he can continue to work hard, then he’s not going to be a quarterback that NFL executives can ignore. Strong has passed for 21 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 69.5% completions. He’s only a sophomore and has a lot of room to grow and get even better as a junior next year. Strong has helped lead the Wolf Pack to 442.1 yards and 31.3 points per game.

They’ve accumulated the second most yards per game in the conference, with Fresno State the only team ahead of Nevada in that regard. It wouldn’t have been possible without Strong at quarterback for the Wolf Pack. Freshman wide receiver Tory Horton is coming off a monster performance against Fresno State. He caught 5 receptions for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns. The future is bright at Nevada into next season if Horton continues to get better.

San Jose State are third in the Mountain West with 419.2 yards per game. They’ve also scored 30.4 points a game to put them neck and neck with Nevada in that regard. Nevada has the edge at quarterback over the Spartans with Nick Starkel. That’s not to say Starkel hasn’t been sharp. He’s passed for 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, but isn’t as much of a difference maker as Strong with the football in his hands. The senior has improved tremendously after passing for 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 53.6% completions as a junior in 2019.

These are two evenly matched teams battling it out at Sam Boyd Stadium on Friday night. There isn’t much separating Nevada and San Jose State statistically. Nevada holds a slight edge offensively, while San Jose State has a slight edge defensively. However, San Jose State has not faced a quarterback like Strong this season. Not even remotely close. Strong will be their biggest challenge by far. I have more trust in Strong than Starkel in this spot. For that reason, I’m on Nevada in what should be an entertaining affair in the Mountain West.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.