Week 3 is here for Mountain West football and it is time to look at the odds for this week’s games. There are a few teams off with Boise State and Air Force getting a week off. There are also a pair of games against FCS opponents that do not have lines.
Games get going Friday night in an under the radar matchup with Utah State hosting Arkansas State.
Friday, September 16
Arkansas State at Utah State (-8.5) 9 p.m. ET
Arkansas State is a bit down compared to the past few years where they have won multiple conference titles in a row, but they are 0-2 on the year with acceptable loses to Auburn and Toledo. The Aggies might be without starting running back Devante Mays as he was hurt in the loss to USC.
Prediction: Utah State will win but not cover this game.
Saturday, September 17
New Mexico at Rutgers (-5) 12 p.m. ET
This game is an odd matchup and it’s the first ever contest between the two. It is hard to evaluate Rutgers as they beat Howard but loss to Washington. The Lobos stumbled against New Mexico State making New Mexico equally maddening.
The Lobos are going to be without LB Dakota Cox and RB Teriyon Gibson as they are taking part in the comcussion protocol.
Prediction: Lobos lose as they are without two of their key players.
Fresno State at Toledo (-20.5) 3 p.m ET
Toledo has a chance to win the MAC and they are 2-0 on the year with wins over Maine and Arkansas State. The Rockets are looking like they are not missing a beat with a new head coach and a new quarterback. Fresno State seems to very slowly rounding the bend to improving but this will be a good test of competition as its not Nebraska nor an FCS team.
Prediction: Too many points so lets go with Fresno State to cover, but not win.
UNLV at Central Michigan (-10.5) 3 p.m. ET
Technically, the Chippewas should not have beaten Oklahoma State, but they showed they were good enough to hang around with a good team until the final whistle. The Rebels played reasonably well against UCLA but that second quarter did them in. There is a gap between these two teams but it may not be as large as people think. The Rebels need to show everyone they can compete on the road and this is a good chance to face on an opponent where the Rebels will not be overmatched at every single position.
Prediction: The Rebels are so very close to getting over the hump, so lets take them to cover but not win.
San Diego State at Northern Illinois (+10.5) 3:30 p.m ET
This is not the same Northern Illinois that has been atop the MAC for most of this century, but they are still a good team that will be in contention for the division but not the favorite.
San Diego State needs to avoid a hangover after their big win over Cal last week, and the Aztecs have the better offense and defense so they should take care of business.
Prediction: Aztecs will win outright and cover.
Buffalo at Nevada (-11.5) 9 p.m ET
This is a very interesting line as Nevada has not looked great this year by winning Cal Poly in overtime and then struggling quite a bit against Notre Dame. Then there is the news that the Wolf Pack will stick with Tyler Stewart but will still play three quarterbacks and Buffalo will go with two signal callers. So, we could have a #Quinterback scenario.
Prediction: This line is just too big, Nevada will win but not cover.
Utah at San Jose State (+ 13) 10:30 p.m ET
This line seems small compared to what we have seen for the Spartans this season as they were blown out by Tulsa, and Utah is better than that American team. The Utes are coming off an emotional win over rival BYU, but the Spartans will need to play an exceptional game to get the win.
Prediction: I would probably take Utah plus any number against San Jose State.
Hawaii at Arizona (No line) 10:45 p.m ET
Not sure why there is no line on this game but early computer simulations have the Wildcats winning by 25 points in this game. The Warriors have issues as do the Wildcats but the travel is catching up to Hawaii and they barely beat UT-Martin out of the FCS ranks. The run game could have some success for the Warriors but not enough.
Prediction: Arizona minus whatever, sorry Hawaii.