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Mountain West rivals Nevada and Fresno State will face off on Saturday night on ESPN2. The game is set to kickoff at 10:30 P.M ET. In their last seven meetings with Nevada, the Bulldogs have gone 5-2 SU as well as 5-2 ATS.
Nevada, now 6-4, had had some big wins this year, highlighted by a home win against Purdue and a road win against No. 24 San Diego State two weeks ago. Heading into their game against Fresno, they have had an extra week of rest.
As for the Bulldogs, their record isn't great (4-6) but they have given some legit teams a run for their money. To start the season, they lost back-to-back one-score games to USC (7-4) and Minnesota (9-1). In Mountain West play, the Bulldogs have gone 2-4.
Pack Looking For Third Straight WAlthough they have wins against Purdue and nationally-ranked San Diego State, and are already bowl eligible with a 6-4 record, the Nevada Wolf Pack are the lowest-ranked winning team in the latest Team Rankings poll. They sit at No. 119 out of 130 teams, below teams like Rutgers (2-8) and conference rival UNLV (2-8).
Nevada's four losses have been bad; all have been by multiple scores and the closest margin of defeat was 26 points (36-10 vs. Utah State). Altogether, they have been outscored 198-22 in their four defeats.
Nevada has allowed 32.4 points per game this year but they have improved over their last two games, allowing 23 points combined to New Mexico and San Diego State. They also improved from a yards-allowed standpoint, holding their opponents to almost 100 yards less than their season average (402.9) during their last two games (327.5).
Offensively, the Wolf Pack are a pass-first team that's struggled to run the ball. They averaged 1.9 yards per carry against New Mexico and 1 yard per carry against SDSU, totaling just 93 rushing yards total in two games. Overall, they have the worst offense in the Mountain West, scoring an average of 19.1 points per game.
Fresno State is a Very Good 4-win TeamFresno State doesn't have the record Nevada has but you can definitely argue they're a better team. They're in every game they play, including to teams like Minnesota and USC, who have been ranked this season. Fresno State needs to win their final two games to gain bowl eligibility.
Fresno State is averaging 31.6 points per game, balancing a healthy run game with an efficient passing attack. They split their offense nearly 50/50 between the run and pass.
Quarterback Jorge Reyna is the key to everything they do. He's completing better than 63 percent of his passes, while also averaging 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. In their most recent win, a 41-38 victory over the conference's best offense (Hawaii), Reyna rushed for 96 yards on just 11 carries.
Defensively, they give up a lot of points and yards, ranking seventh and sixth in the conference, respectively. Only twice this season have they held teams to fewer than 20 points in a single game. For all their struggles, though, they do create havoc and force turnovers. The Bulldogs rank first in the Mountain West in takeaways per game (2.1) and are tied for 10th in the entire nation.
- 18-7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 conference games.
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win.
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Wolfpack are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season, a 17-13 triumph over No. 24 San Diego State. How did they do it? Defense, game management at quarterback, and good coaching. The Wolf Pack got a brilliant play call in the fourth quarter to put them up for good. They're now riding a two-game winning streak and it's crazy to think they're 14-point dogs here. The Bulldogs' defense is a turnstile and that's key because Nevada's offense needs every edge they can get. They'll be able to keep it close and possibly win outright. The Bulldogs are the public pick, getting 65 percent of action; don't follow them, fade them.
Prediction: Nevada +14
Full-Game Total Pick
This is one of the best bets of the weekend. The equation is perfect for an UNDER. Good defense and poor offense from Nevada going up against a poor defense and good offense from Fresno State. Their meeting last year racked up just 24 points total and you shouldn't be surprised if something similar happens again on Saturday night. The Wolf Pack hasn't had an over in their last four games and the UNDER has hit five of the last six times these two teams have played.
Prediction: Under 51.5