Heading into Week 4 of the season action, the UNLV Rebels and Arkansas St. Red Wolves are both hitting stride coming off encouraging wins to both push them to 2-1 marks. This matchup pits two highly productive offenses against each other in what could be an offensive shootout on Saturday afternoon.
Rebels hitting stride
Following a disappointing loss in the season opener against USC, UNLV has shifted another gear in the last two weeks behind their explosive offense scoring a combined 98 points in the past two contests. This saw them take it up a notch to another level this past Saturday against Prairie View A&M tallying 52 points on 448 total offensive yards with much of that production being racked up in the ground game with 318 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Quarterback Armani Rogers led the charge with 122 rushing yards on 17 carries with five touchdowns. He was also effective in the passing game completing 11-of-21 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Running back Lexington Thomas also chipped in with 124 rushing yards on 30 carries with a touchdown. This high level of production has helped push UNLV to the third-best rushing attack in the nation with 346.7 yards per game. Rogers has led the charge as dual-threat quarterback currently posting 307 rushing yards and five touchdowns through the first three contests of the 2018 campaign.
This an area that the Rebels will look to further exploit given the Red Wolves’ struggles against the run this year ranking 101st giving up 189.0 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns. The presence of a mobile quarterback like Rogers could create plenty of havoc in the run game for Arkansas St.
Red Wolves finding their groove
The Red Wolves have seen things begin to take form in the first three weeks of the season. Their blowout loss to the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas St. has seen their offense come into its own. Much of this has been behind their passing game that is led by quarterback Justice Hansen stepping up as a highly reliable option under center this year. This was certainly the case against the Southern Missouri Hawks with Hansen completing 26-of-36 passes for a season-high 423 yards with six touchdowns to an interception in the blowout 48-21 win last Saturday.
Hansen had spread the wealth around throwing one touchdown passes to six different receiving options while five players had 50 or more receiving yards in the game. It was a complete and balanced outing that saw them also tally 179 rushing yards on 39 carries in the contest. Hansen has been able to help push the Red Wolves to the 24th-ranked passing game and 32nd overall with 302.0 yards per contest. This has helped the Red Wolves possess one of the nation’s most productive offenses behind their aerial attack. The ugly offensive outing aside against Alabama, Hansen has shown that he heads a formidable offense for Arkansas St. that can put up plenty of points on the board with any other offense in the nation.
Although UNLV hasn’t been dominating against the pass, the Rebels are giving up just 214.3 yards in the air through the first three weeks with eight sacks. They are also 49th in the country with just 6.3 yards per attempt given up in the early goings of the season.
- Red Wolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Red Wolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- Rebels are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Rebels are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Rebels are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rebels have hit their offensive stride in the last two games with their running game leading the charge. It should see them gather the upper hand that will shift things in their favor and dictate the flow of the game that feature plenty of points on the board. This should see UNLV’s run game being featured heavily behind Rogers’ legs.
Prediction: UNLV +8.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a matchup that features two explosive offensive units that have shown early in the season that they can put plenty of points on the board. It should feature plenty of offensive fireworks on Saturday between two potent teams. Keep in mind, the over is 10-2 in Rebels’ last 12 non-conference games. Simply put, there will be plenty of trips to the end zone.