Two schools that prefer running the football, Head Coach Tony Sanchez and the UNLV Rebels (+25) are set to face off against the Utah State Aggies at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium. Interested parties can catch the action live on STAD,FCBK and this MWC game gets underway at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: UNLV Rebels vs. Utah State Aggies
UNLV is the noticeable underdog here and is currently receiving 25 points by bookmakers. If the Rebels seize control early on it’ll result in a worthy in-game betting scenario. Vegas has not determined the over/under (O/U) yet.
The opening line was originally set at -24, but has recently shifted.
The hapless Rebels are 3-2 against the spread (ATS) and have lost 4.6 units so far. The team’s posted an O/U record of 3-1.
The Aggies have gained 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 5-0 ATS and have an O/U record of 5-0.
The Rebels are 2-3 straight up (SU), including 0-1 SU against conference opponents. The Aggies are 4-1 SU overall and 1-0 SU in conference play.
These two teams met a year ago with the final result being a 52-28 victory for Utah State.
Utah State enters this matchup on a two-game losing streak while UNLV has won its last four in a row. The Rebels are most-recently on the rebound after a 50-14 loss to New Mexico last week. Max Gilliam completed just 15-of-35 passes for 123 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brandon Presley (four receptions, 53 yards, one TD) and Darren Woods Jr. (three catches, 37 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.
The Utah State Aggies are coming off of a lopsided 45-20 win over BYU. The team’s defensive secondary allowed the Cougars to air it out for 322 yards and three touchdowns. Talon Shumway was a bright spot in the loss, recording 110 yards on five catches for BYU. For Utah State, Jordan Love completed 18-of-28 passes for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Darwin Thompson (109 rushing yards on 17 attempts) and Gerold Bright (61 yards on 14 carries) mounted the running game while Jalen Greene (five receptions, 53 yards, one TD) and Thompson (three catches, 22 yards) led the receiving attack in the win.
UNLV has run the ball on 66.9 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Utah State has an overall rush percentage of 50.4 percent. The Rebels have rushed for 277.8 yards/game and have 13 scores on the ground this year. The Aggies are averaging 194.2 rushing yards per game and have 18 total rush TDs.
It appears that the Aggies may be the more disruptive team in the trenches, as their offensive line has given up just six sacks while their D-line has logged 12 sacks. The Rebels offensive line has allowed 16 sacks and their defense has got to opposing QBs just nine times.
The Rebels offensive scheme has averaged 98.4 yards in the air overall and has eight passing scores so far. The Aggies have put up 260.6 pass yards per contest and have nine total pass TDs.
Defensively, UNLV has let opponents run for an average of 194.6 yards and throw for 218.4 yards per game. The Utah State D has allowed 200.6 yards per game to opposing passers and 157.6 yards per game on the ground. The Aggies are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 4.31 to opponents, while the Rebels have allowed a 7.54 ANY/A.
Passing-wise, Gilliam has amassed 123 yards this season. He’s completed 44 percent of his 36 attempts with two passing scores and one interception. Gilliam’s got a 2.05 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 2.10 over the last two outings.
We expect the UNLV offense to mix it up in this one. Armani Rogers (488 rushing yards, six rush TDs, 0 receiving yards on the year), Lexington Thomas (419 rush yards, four rush TDs) and Brandon Presley (71 receiving yards, one TD) have each played significant roles lately.
Jordan Love has connected on 82-of-125 passes for 879 yards, seven TDs and three INTs for Utah State. His ANY/A sits at 6.57 for the season and 9.52 over his last two outings.
We’re looking for the Aggies to control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. Ron’Quavion Tarver (118 receiving yards, two TDs this season) has contributed lately, but Gerold Bright (248 rush yards, two rush TDs, one receiving TD) and Darwin Thompson (340 rush yards, four rush TDs) have been key factors in the Utah State offense.
UNLV Rebels at Utah State Aggies Free Pick
SU Winner: Utah State, ATS Winner: UNLV
Team Betting Trends
- Both teams have lost five fumbles this season.
- The Utah State defense has notched 12 sacks on the year while UNLV has nine.
- UNLV has averaged 4.76428571428571 yards per rush attempt across its past three contests and 4.6 over its last two.
- Utah State has averaged 6.4 yards per carry over its last three games and 5.4 over its past two.
- In its last three matchups, Utah State is 3-0 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
- UNLV was favored by 9 points in its last game and the Over/Under was 63. The over cashed and UNLV failed to cover in the 50-14 loss to New Mexico.
- Utah State was favored by one point in its last game and the Over/Under was 55. The over cashed and Utah State covered in the 45-20 victory over BYU.