The BYU Cougars travel to California this weekend to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs in AAC action. Kickoff will be at 10:45 PM EST on Saturday, November 4th from Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, California. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Fresno State enters this game as 15 point home favorites. Early betting has shifted the line fairly substantially, as the Bulldogs originally opened at -11. The over/under for the game is 53 points. Click here for a full list of Week 10 betting odds and links to game previews.
BYU vs Fresno State Betting Line & Game Preview
The Cougars finally snapped their seven game losing streak last weekend with a convincing 41-20 home victory over San Jose State. QB Tanner Mangum threw for almost 300 yards while also adding 3 touchdowns. RB KJ Hall filled in admirably for suspended starter Ula Tolutau, rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown. It is still unclear whether or not Tolutau will be back this weekend against Fresno State. The Cougars have struggled offensively all season long, so their 41 point outburst to close out October should help build some confidence. Still, BYU is averaging just 15.3 points per game, which is easily in the bottom 5% of teams nationwide. The Cougars are currently 123rd out of 129 FBS teams in terms of scoring offense and are a lowly 125th overall in total offense (301.8 yards per game). BYU has been slightly better defensively, however that still isn’t really much of an accomplishment. They are currently tied for 74th overall in scoring defense, as they are giving up an average of 27.1 points per game.
Fresno State suffered an embarrassing home loss at the hands of UNLV last weekend, falling by a final score of 26-16. The defeat put an end to their four game winning streak, as well as ruined their perfect record against Mountain West opponents. QB Marcus McMaryion looked mediocre for a second straight game, throwing for just 152 yards and no touchdowns. McMaryion has been unable to find the end zone in back to back games, which is certainly cause for concern. Still, the Bulldogs are averaging over 30 points per game which is currently in the top half of FBS teams. They have looked especially strong on the ground, averaging over 168 rushing yards per game (59th). On the other side of the ball, Fresno State is allowing just 18.6 points per game (18th overall) on 308.3 total yards per game (15th overall). Their strong play defensively was definitely been the biggest reason for their impressive winning streak from late September until the last week of October.
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Fresno State -15
I’m not going to overreact to the lacklustre performance Fresno State had last weekend at home against UNLV. I’m also not really buying into BYU suddenly turning things around offensively after scoring 41 points in their last game. The Cougars are not a good football team and now have to face an angry Fresno State group that has looked great defensively all year long. I’m fully expecting the Bulldogs to win this one at home by 15+.
BYU is just 1-9 ATS over their past 10 games and 0-5 ATS in their past five games against opponents with a winning record. Fresno State is 9-1 ATS over their past 10 home games and an impressive 13-3-1 ATS in their past 17 games overall. The Bulldogs should also come out extra motivated this week after an embarrassing loss at home last Saturday.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
I also think that it is very important to remember that with the exception of their game against UNLV, Fresno State has covered the spread in every game so far this season. The 41 points BYU put up against San Jose State is a bit of a mirage, as they scored less than 17 points in six out of their last seven games prior to that. I’m not expecting the Cougars to get anything going away from home against an elite defense. I think Fresno State should cover the spread in this one rather easily.