College football is less than 24 hours from kicking off, and there are five Mountain West teams playing on Thursday night, plus six more on Saturday with one final game on Sunday. What we will do here each Wednesday or Thursday is to predict all the Mountain West games against the spread.
This is just for fun, well unless anyone is making a trip to the Nevada state line to place a wager. All odds are provided via Odds Shark.
Now onto the games.
Utah State at Utah (-2.5): This is a game that both teams are considering a must-win. Utah is trying to prove the 2012 game was a fluke, and Utah State is proving the opposite. The Aggies have a new head coach in Matt Wells and typically going on the road to face a Pac-12 team would be a near sure loss. This Utah State team has Chuckie Keeton who will be the best player on the field and keep Utah State. Utah is less than a field goal at home, which is not a good sign for them.
Pick: Utah State will cover, and get the upset.
UNLV at Minnesota (-13.5): This is way too many points, just look at last years triple-overtime game where Minnesota won by just three. Yes, UNLV is just AWFUL on the road over the past three to five years, but being an underdog by nearly two touchdowns to a Minnesota team that went 6-7 last year is a bit much.
Pick: Rebels will cover, but I am not going to pick the upset.
Rutgers at Fresno State (-10.5): Even though Rutgers is going cross country this is huge line in favor of Fresno State. The line actually moved two points from when it opened, and it seems that Vegas and those taking Fresno State have a ton of faith in them and not so much. New York City's adoptive college football team (insert laugh track here for effect) should be able to hang with Fresno State, but not be close enough to get the wi.
Pick: Gotta take Rutgers to cover.
USC at Hawaii (+24): This game is getting more interesting since USC will be playing two quarterbacks, their top two running backs are not making the trip and on the Hawaii side they are likely going to miss the services of wide receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann due to a concussion. Traveling to Hawaii, even for a West coast team, is not an easy trip and while last year's game was a debacle for Hawaii, this year's USC team does not have a great quarterback.
PIck: This is my upset pick of the week, take Hawaii to cover. Yes, I am probably crazy, but come on gotta take a risk every now and then.
Wyoming at Nebraska (-30): This opening line started at 21.5 points favoring Nebraska, but there has been a TON of action for Nebraska. Yes, the Cornhuskers are ranked in the top-25 and just may have a dark horse Heisman trophy candidate in quarterTaylor Martinez, yet 30 points is a ton. The last few years that Wyoming has played these tough teams they have been able to hang around for a half. This is just way too high of a spread especially considering that Wyoming has a pretty good offense.
Pick: Cowboy Up! Take Wyoming to cover
Texas-San Antonio at New Mexico (-3): Where is the love for FOOTBAW BOB in his second year in the Land of Enchantment. UTSA is coached by former Miami Hurricanes leading man Larry Coker, but this program is still in its early stages of being a real program. The Lobos are not the best team but they should run at will against the Roadrunners.
Pick: FOOTBAW BOB to cover and get the win.
Nevada at UCLA (-21): This is another line that jumped a touchdown in favor of the non-Mountain West team. Nevada has the fire power on offense to keep up with UCLA despite losing Chris Ault. The Pistol is still in place as is quarterback Cody Fajardo and wide receiver Brandon Wimberly running the show. The Wolf Pack could maybe even pull of an upset.
Pick: Taking Nevada to cover, but not crazy enough to give them the win.
Boise State at Washington (-3.5): This is a rematch from the Las Vegas Bowl that was played just a few months ago. The big item is that Washington is back playing at home in Husky Stadium which was renovated and unusable for all of last season. This is one of the bigger games of the week and it can boost Boise State's chances of getting a BCS bid with this win.
Pick: With some uncertainty at Washington amongst some players, going with Boise State to cover and win.
Colorado vs. Colorado State (-3) (Denver): This rivalry game has been pretty close over the past five or so years, but Colorado State might be on the upward swing more than Colorado. The Buffaloes have new head coach Mike McIntyre who came from San Jose State, and they are very thin at quarterback spot. Colorado State should be running the ball well with a trio of solid running backs, but there is concern with uncertainty at quarterback.
Pick: Neither team is particularly great, but going with Colorado State to cover and pull out a close win.