Vegas Betting Preview: San Diego State vs UNLV Prediction and Pick

On Saturday night, we have some Mountain West Conference action as the 19th ranked San Diego State Aztecs hit the road to take on the UNLV Rebels. The Aztecs are undefeated on the season and look to climb up the Top 25 ladder. UNLV is hoping to remain undefeated in conference play as they try to slay the mighty Aztecs. Kickoff inside Sam Boyd Stadium is at 10:45 PM ET.

San Diego State Aztecs vs UNLV Rebels Preview and Betting Lines

In the last 10 head-to-head meetings, San Diego State has posted an 8-2 record. Additionally, the Aztecs have won the last 3 games by a combined score of 112 to 38.

San Diego State (5-0, 1,0 MWC) is coming off a solid victory at home over the Huskies of Northern Illinois. This is the same NIU team that took down Nebraska in Lincoln prior to playing SDSU. San Diego’s biggest win of the season came when they beat Stanford a few weeks ago. Since then, they also went to Air Force to win a hard fought battle and survived a massive thunderstorm. The Aztecs look like the team to beat in the Mountain West and they are poised to be the Cinderella of this year’s Major Bowls.

UNLV (2-2, 1-0 MWC) is coming off a blowout win over San Jose State. The Rebels showed resiliency after their loss to Ohio State the week before. UNLV is an erratic team that has potential to put points on the board, but they give up as many yards as they produce. And, we can’t forget how UNLV lost their opening game of the season to Howard.

The spread opened with SDSU favored by 10 points, and has gone up slightly to 10.5 points. The Over/Under currently sits at 56.5 total points after opening up at 57 total points.

Free Vegas Spread Pick and Game Preview: San Diego State -10.5

If San Diego State wants to run the table, they will need to win conference games on the road like this one. And so far, it looks like they will. The Aztecs feature a talented running back in Rashaad Penny that has 823 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. Even more impressive is his ability to run between the tackles or break long runs to the outside. Penny is the engine to this offense that’s averaging 30 points per game and 369 total yards per game. It should also be no surprise that the Aztecs average over 207 rushing yards per game.

That bodes well for SDSU this week as the Rebels give up 191 yards per game on the ground. Even more stunning is the fact that UNLV gives up nearly 300 passing yards per game. So, I expect SDSU’s quarterback Christian Chapman to have a big game this week. His numbers on the season are respectable as he’s tallied 796 yards and 7 passing touchdowns. In other words, the offense hasn’t needed Chapman to win games with his arm.

For the Rebels, they will need to score a lot of points on offense. Their main weapon on offense is their running game that averages 305 rushing yards per game. Leading rusher Lexington Thomas has 571 rushing yards on the season. Quarterback Armani Rogers has 261 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, proving that he is a dual threat QB.

SDSU will need to focus on stopping the run to win this game. Rogers isn’t the most intimidating passer that the Aztecs will face. In fact, he has a meager touchdown to interception ratio at 4-to-3. If SDSU can force the Rebels to rely on the passing game, then they are in trouble. I expect the rugged Aztec defense to shut down UNLV’s run and make Rogers’ night a miserable one. Look for several sacks and a few picks.

As for the Rebels defense, I don’t see them stopping Penny. Once he gets going, this game will be over for UNLV. Penny will batter this UNLV defense and Chapman will make plenty of plays to lead the Aztecs to a big victory. I expect this game to be a blowout in favor of SDSU 38-20.

SDSU is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Las Vegas. Additionally, the Aztecs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 conference games and 5-1 ATS following an ATS loss. UNLV is 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games against San Diego, 4-10 ATS after playing a conference game and 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games during the month of October.

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