WAC Football Betting: Fresno St Bulldogs at Nevada Wolf Pack

Fresno St Bulldogs at Nevada Wolf Pack
Mackay Stadium – Reno, Nevada
Saturday, October 22, 2011, 4:00 pm Eastern, WAC Sports Network, Altitude, Comcast-California, ESPN Game Plan
Opening Line: Nevada -8 1/2
Current Line: Nevada -11
Opening Total: 57 1/2
Current Total: 59
Opening Money Line: Nevada -380 / Fresno St +315
Current Money Line: Nevada -440 / Fresno St +350

The Nevada Wolf Pack are 11 point favorites at home against Fresno St in a battle for first place in the WAC, thouhh both teams are a combined 6-7 this season.

When Boise St left the WAC for the Mountain West, we knew the quality of play would decrease somewhat. However, no one knew it would be this bad. All 8 teams in the WAC have at least 3 losses this season, not even the Sun Belt or the MAC has that dubious achievement midway through the season. It is telling that 3-4 Fresno St and 3-3 Nevada meet in Reno with first place in the conference on the line. Fresno is 2-0 in conference and Nevada is 1-0. Every other school has at least one conference loss. It will get even worse next season when Nevada Fresno St and Hawaii join Boise St in the Mountain West.

Fresno St, coached by Pat Hill, has home wins over North Dakota 27-22 and last week against Utah St 31-21, along with a road win at Idaho 48-24. The Bulldogs have losses to California 36-21, at Nebraska 42-29, and home losses to Ole Miss 38-28 and Boise St 57-7. Nevada is coached by Chris Ault, and has a road win at San Jose St 17-14, and home wins against UNLV 37-0 and New Mexico 49-7. The Wolf Pack have losses at Oregon 69-20, Texas Tech 35-34, and Boise St 30-10. Granted, both Nevada and Fresno St have had brutal schedules so far and might not be as bad as their records indicate. If you look at their 7 losses, all are against likely bowl teams, except for Ole Miss.  Fresno St leads the overall series against Nevada 24-16-1, including 10-9-1 in Reno. Nevada has won 3 in a row against Fresno including 35-34 last year in Fresno.

Fresno St hosted Utah St last week. The Aggies were actually 2.5 point road favorites on the college football betting line. Utah St was up 21-14 at halftime but Fresno St outscored them 17-0 in the second half to win 31-21. The Bulldogs had 403 total yards including 248 passing yards from quarterback Derek Carr who threw 2 touchdown passes without an interception, and also had 6 carries for 39 yards and a rushing touchdown, Running back Robbie Rouse had 24 carries, 140 yards, and a touchdown, along with 4 catches for 40 yards. The game featured 18 turnovers (11 by Utah St) and 3 turnovers ( 2 by Fresno). The Aggies had 454 total yards including 260 rushing yards.

Fresno St is averaging 373 yards, including 237.9 passing yards and 135.1 rushing yards  a game. The Bulldogs score 27.3 points a game. Fresno St has 13 turnovers and has allowed 11 sacks this season. The Bulldogs are 39/109 on third and fourth down conversions, and 16/20 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are giving up 403.6 yards, including 186.4 rushing yards and 217.1 passing yards a game. The Bulldogs are allowing 34.3 points a game. Fresno has forced 6 turnovers and 11 sacks this season. Bulldog opponents are 46/112 on third and fourth down conversions, and 21/24 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are averaging 6.6 penalties a game  for 62 yards a game. Fresno has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Carr is 141/234 passing for 1,665 yards, 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He also has 3 rushing touchdowns despite rushing for -6 yards on the season. Rouse has 167 carries, for 812 yards, and 5 touchd0wns, along with 11 catches for 83 yards. Five Bulldog receivers have at least 19 catches this season. Jalen Saunders has 22 receptions, 524 yards, and 5 touchdowns, along with 5 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. Josh Harper has 26 catches, for 320 yards, and 3 scores.  Rashad Evans has 29 catches, 252 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Evans is probable with a concussion. Devon Wylie has 19 catches for 222 yards.  Isaiah Burse has 23 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Kevin Goessling is 23/23 on extra points but only 6/10 on field goals with a long of 48 yards. Fresno has four players out for the season including 2 fullbacks and 2 defensive backs.

Nevada was a 30 point favorite at home last week against winless New Mexico. New Mexioc scored a meaningless touchdown late in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout but were still pounded 49-7 by the Wolf Pack. The game was sloppy as it featured 16 penalties and 5 turnovers. Nevada had 9 penalties and 3 turnovers, but Nevada ran back a fumble return for a touchdown in the first quarter to take a 21-o lead. Nevada had 598 total yards including 338 rushing yards. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo had 289 combined passing and rushing yards, along with 2 rushing touchdowns and an interception. Running back Stefphon Jefferson had 14 carries, 108 yards, and a touchdown. Lampford Mark had 9 carries for 39 yards but had 3 rushing touchdowns. Nevada held New Mexico to 257 total yards and 14 first downs.

Nevada is averaging 488.3 yards and 27.8 points a game. The Wolf Pack is tenth in the country in rushing with 248.8 yards a game. Nevada has 17 turnovers and has allowed 5 sacks. The Wolf Pack are 47/94 on third and fourth down conversions, and 21/27 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns. Nevada is allowing 338.3 yards and 25.8 points a game. Nevada is allowing 178 rushing yards, and 160.3 passing yards.  They have forced 10 turnovers and 10 sacks. Nevada opponents are 37/10 on third and fourth down conversions, and 13/20 scoring in the red zone with 12 touchdowns. Nevada has one defensive touchdown this season.

Nevada quarterbacks Tyler Lantrip and Fajardo have split the snaps this season. Lantrip is 70/125 passing for 995 yards for 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 45 carries for 167 yards. Fajardo is 37/50 passing for 369 yards, one touchdown and 4 interceptions, along 38 carries, 323 yards, and 5 touchdowns.   Running back Mike Ball has 90 carries for 413 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also has 6 catches for 18 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson has 53 carries for 345 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 40 yards. Mark has 24 carries, 114 yards and 4 touchdowns. Receiver Rishard Matthews has 38 catches for 632 yards and 3 touchdowns. Shane Anderson and Corbin Louks also get significant catches.  Kicker Anthony Martinez is 8/9 on extra points and 3/5 on field goals with a long of 25 yards. He has missed the last 3 games with a hip injury and is questionable against Fresno St. Allen Hardison has replaced him and is 12/12 on extra points and 4/5 on field goals with a long of 41 yards.

Nevada is 4-2 against the spread this season and the total is 2-4 in those games. Fresno St is 3-4 ATS this year and the total is 5-2 in those games. The Bulldogs are 1-6-1 ATS in October games, and 0-4 following a cover. Nevada is 4-0 ATS overall, as a favorite of 10.5 points or more, and on turf, 5-1 following a straight up win and a cover, 4-1 at home, 18-6 in home games against teams with losing road records, and 24-9 as a home favorite.

Both these teams are flawed but the winner will have a leg up on the WAC title. I like Nevada at home, but I think it could be too many points. I do expect to see a lot of points as both defenses have struggled this season,

Our college football handicappers are red hot this season and crushing the sports books. Check out our college football odds page for the best lines on every game.

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