What’s funny about this week’s Best Bet column is that you can actually bet this week’s best bet in the city in which the game is being played. That’s some Inception-level stuff, is it not? We’ll get that Rocky Mountain High on our Rocky Mountain Way out to this game in Reno, Nevada between the Wyoming “How ‘Bout ‘Dem” Cowboys against the Nevada “Don’t Turn Your Back on the” Wolf Pack. Crank up the Joe Walsh and read along.
Wyoming vs. Nevada College Football Preview
Date/Time: Saturday October 22, 10:30 p.m. ET
College Football Betting Odds from 5Dimes
College Football Betting Favorite: Wyoming -6
We head to the Biggest Little City in the World for this week’s matchup between the well-rested Cowboys and the slumping Wolf Pack. Craig Bohl is doing a whale of a job here with Wyoming, as they are 4-2 straight up on the season. They are only 3-3 against the spread, but that’s due to bad luck and bad lines more than anything. There was no reason for Wyoming to lay six on the road in Ypsilanti, Michigan, but they were. The Wolf Pack has burned a bankroll or two this season with a 1-6 number against the spread. They are 3-4 straight up, but they’ve beaten an FCS teams and two really bad FBS teams.
Craig Bohl built an extremely successful FCS program at North Dakota State, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s turning things around in Laramie. The story for the season has been Brian Hill, who has run for 721 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. Hill ran for 1,631 yards last season, but only six touchdowns. He’s already eclipsed that amount this season in a big way. Dual-threat quarterback Josh Allen has a 10/6 TD/INT ratio and three more touchdowns on the ground. Allen only threw six passes before he broke his collarbone and missed the first of the season. Wyoming comes in off of a huge homecoming win over Air Force, so they have momentum.
The Cowboys defense is still a work in progress. They’ve given up 29.7 points and 431 yards per game on the season. That’s actually an upgrade to last year’s team by a pretty large margin, but there’s still some more room for growth. Wyoming has played well the last four weeks after giving up 52 points to Nebraska on the road in Week 2. The Cowboys returned their top four tacklers form last season and have had success even without Carl Granderson, who suffered a torn ACL. Wyoming won two games last season and this matchup was one of them, as they held Nevada to just 118 yards.
Nevada Wolf Pack:
The Wolf Pack are in a tough state right now. Tyler Stewart has been effective in the passing game, completing 62.7 percent of his tosses with a 9/3 TD/INT ratio, but he doesn’t have that dual-threat nature that Nevada has had over the last several years. Stewart is effectively a pocket passer that has tried to run 50 times with little success. James Butler has run successfully, with 5.2 yards per carry and Jaxson Kincade has 4.8 yards per carry, but Nevada hasn’t had much offensive success over the last four weeks. They haven’t finished off drives and have scored 14, 17, 27, and 10 over their last four matchups.
Defensively, Nevada has only allowed 25.4 points per game, but that’s hardly indicative of how the defense has played. The Wolf Pack has allowed over six yards per play and over 250 yards per game on the ground this season. Their saving grace is that they haven’t played a team with a really balanced offense. To give up that many yards and points against Cal Poly, Notre Dame, Buffalo, Purdue, Hawaii, Fresno State, and San Jose State takes a lot of effort. Nevada surrendered 272 yards on the ground last season when these two teams met.
Burke’s Best Bet for Week 8: Wyoming Cowboys -6
It’s tough to lay numbers on the road with a work in progress like Wyoming, but this is a spot where it’s warranted. The Cowboys have lost two games this season. They lost in Lincoln, Nebraska and Ypsilanti, Michigan. This is a much shorter trek than those two locales and there’s a reason that this line is growing. Nevada has not been a trustworthy team all season long, despite playing a much weaker schedule. Wyoming may be in a bit of a sandwich spot coming off the Air Force win and with a visit from Boise State next week, but that’s where a quality coach like Craig Bohl comes in handy.
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