Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#353 Nevada vs.
#354 Utah State
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 10:15pm EDT
Maverik Stadium, Logan
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#353 University of Nevada Reno
#354 Utah State University
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The Utah State Aggies will host the Nevada Wolfpack in MWC action Saturday night from Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Wolfpack recorded a 41-38 home win against San Jose State last week, and the Aggies were crushed 42-6 at LSU in their previous clash on October 5th. This contest marks the first meeting between these two schools since 2016 in a game Nevada won 38-37.

Nevada Rebounds with First Conference Win

The Nevada Wolfpack enter this one with confidence. The Wolfpack rebounded from their ugly 54-3 conference-opening loss to Hawaii by recording a close 41-38 win against an improved San Jose State team last weekend in a matchup that had Nevada favored by three points. Nevada will use multiple QB’s and last week Malik Henry got his first start. The junior QB accumulating 352 passing yards with one TD, although he did toss two interceptions. Carson Strong has seen the most action and he has posted mixed results, recording 729 passing yards with a 3:5 TD to INT ratio.

The Wolfpack rely heavily on Toa Taua on the ground. The sophomore RB rushed for a season-best 160 yards last week. Taua is having a solid season, logging 429 rushing yards on an average of 4.5 yards per attempt.

Elijah Cooks is also coming off his best game of the season. The junior WR has tallied 354 receiving yards and four touchdowns on the season. He should make his presence felt against a weak Aggies pass defense. The Nevada offense has been very inconsistent this season.

The Wolfpack defense has not fared well in their last two games where they have squandered a combined 92 points. They rank down at 120th against the pass, but their rush defense is stellar, holding opponents to 118 yards per game. Nevada is scoring an average of 23.3 points, ranking them 100th overall. They are allowing an average of 39 points, placing them 126th in the FBS. They own a 1-1 road record.

Utah State Romped by LSU, Looks to Improve to 3-0 in MWC Play

The Utah State Aggies have had plenty of time to recover from their rough 42-6 loss to LSU in their previous action on October 5th. The Aggies had their three-game winning streak snapped in the loss to LSU in a clash that had LSU favored by 27 points. QB Jordan Love struggled in the defeat against the Tigers, tossing three interceptions with no touchdowns. The junior QB has not fared well this season after a dominating 2018 year. He has recorded 1337 passing yards with a 6:8 TD to INT ratio. To his defense, the Aggies have experienced a tough schedule.

The Aggies' rushing offense is a strength. The duo of Jaylen Warren and Gerold Bright have combined for 654 yards. Warren rushed for over 100 yards in his first two games, and he has 335 yards in four games after missing the game against LSU. Aggies’ receiving leader Siaosi Mariner exited with an injury in the loss to LSU, and he is questionable for this one. The senior WR has 350 receiving yards. The Aggies offense should fare much better now that they have the toughest portion of their schedule out of the way. They lost to a ranked Wake Forest team earlier this season.

The Utah State defense struggled against LSU, but overall they are a solid unit. They are having trouble against the pass which ranks down at 114th in the country, but their rush defense is holding opponents to 140 yards per game. The Aggies are scoring an average of 32 points, ranking them 50th overall. They are allowing an average of 25.6 points, placing them 58th in the FBS. Utah State is 2-0 on their home field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I expect a convincing Utah State victory in this one. Utah State has the difficult portion of their schedule out of the way, and this team should thrive going forward in conference play. The Aggies feature a dangerous passing offense that ranks 22nd in the FBS with 289 passing yards per game. I expect QB Jordan Love to exploit a poor Nevada defense that is placed down at 120th in the country against the pass.

Furthermore, the Utah State defense should be able to contain a mediocre Wolfpack offense. The Aggies feature an outstanding defense that had conceded 24 or fewer points in three straight games prior to their 42-6 loss to LSU in their latest action. Nevada has been held below 20 points in three out of their last five games, and Utah State will neutralize their offense.

Prediction: Utah State Aggies

Full-Game Total Pick

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I anticipate a low scoring clash. Utah State’s defense should play a key role in the total. The Aggies limited San Diego State to 17 points, and Colorado State to only 24 points in their two MWC games this season. The Wolfpack offense cannot be relied upon up against this defense, plus the under is 8-3 in the Wolfpack’ last 11 conference games.

In addition, while I expect significant offense against Nevada, Utah State has scored 34 or fewer points in three consecutive games. The Aggies should have success in the air, but it could be tough on the ground vs. a Wolfpack squad that is effective against the run. The under is 5-1 in the Aggies’ last six games following an ATS loss, and 4-0 in their last four conference games.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Nevada team total which can be found on PointsBet is a good play. The Wolfpack haven’t been able to solve the tough defensive units this season. They only scored six points against Oregon, 19 points against Weber State who doesn’t even play in the FBS, and three points against Hawaii. The Aggies should post one of their best defensive performances of the season.

Prediction: Nevada Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I am staying with Utah State on the halftime line. Utah State is a strong first-half team. They are averaging 17.8 points in the first half which ranks them 37th in the FBS compared to only 12.2 from Nevada. Also, the Wolfpack first-half defense is especially struggling, allowing an average of 22.8 points, pegging them 122nd in the country.

Prediction: Utah State
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.