The Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0) travel to California this weekend to battle the Fresno State Bulldogs (0-1). Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Bulldog Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Fresno State opened as a 3-point home underdog earlier this week. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as the Bulldogs are currently listed at +3. The total for the game is sitting at 48.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Fresno State vs Minnesota
Minnesota won their home opener in Week 1 after a 4th quarter comeback victory over South Dakota State. The Golden Gophers trailed 21-20 at the end of the 3rd quarter but found a way to score eight unanswered points over the final 15 minutes to escape with a win. QB Tanner Morgan was fairly efficient, going 13/18 for 176 yards and a touchdown. Rodney Smith and Mohamed Ibrahim led the way on the ground, combining for 128 yards and a touchdown. The big star offensively for Minnesota was definitely WR Rashod Bateman, as the sophomore hauled in five passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, the offense scored three touchdowns on just over 300 yards of total offense.
The Golden Gophers were very solid defensively against the Jackrabbits aside from a bit of a lapse in the 3rd quarter. Minnesota was especially tough against the pass, holding South Dakota State to less than 200 yards passing and just one touchdown.
Fresno State hung tough for four quarters against USC in Week 1, eventually falling 31-23 despite playing a quality road game. The Bulldogs scored ten unanswered points in the 4th quarter but still came up just short after allowing the Trojans to score two touchdowns at the start of the second half. QB Jorge Reyna completed less than 50% of his passes but still passed for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He also led Fresno State in rushing, racking up 88 yards in 20 attempts. Derrion Grim and Chris Coleman both had strong games, combining for 150 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Overall, the offense gained more than 400 total yards despite finding the end zone just twice.
The Bulldogs had an up and down game defensively against USC, doing a solid job against the pass but getting torched on the ground. Despite giving up just one touchdown through the air, Fresno State allowed Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr to combine for almost 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Fresno State +3
I’m actually pretty excited to be getting any points with Fresno State at home here in Week 2, as I think the Bulldogs should win this game straight up. Minnesota won their home opener against an average at best South Dakota State team in Week 1 but face a much tougher task this weekend. I was very impressed with how Fresno State performed against the Trojans, especially since they were playing on the road in a tough environment. Minnesota shut down the Jackrabbits passing game but still gave up a few big plays on the ground, which bodes well for the Bulldogs rushing attack. They also have much more depth at wide receiver than South Dakota State, another good sign for a well-balanced Fresno State offense. If Jorge Reyna can find a way to improve his completion percentage, I think the Golden Gophers will have a tough time matching their solid defensive performance in Week 1.
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It is also important to note how well the Bulldogs have played at home over the past several seasons, as they are undefeated at Bulldog Stadium since 2017. Fresno State is also a perfect 4-0 ATS over their last four non-conference games and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games. Ultimately, this game should stay close for four quarters and could go either way down the stretch – even though I think the Bulldogs win straight up, getting three points is definitely icing on the cake. I’ll take Fresno State to win at home here in Week 2 and avoid falling to 0-2.