Wyoming vs. BYU Odds, Picks & Predictions: Can Cowboys Control Tempo?
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Titus Swen #2 of the Wyoming Cowboys.
- BYU hosts Wyoming in a late-night, Mountain West contest.
- Can the Cougars rebound from a loss last week or will Wyoming come away with the road win?
- Doug Ziefel previes the game and shares a best bet below.
Wyoming vs. BYU Odds
We have Mountain West football after dark as the Wyoming Cowboys hit the road to take on the BYU Cougars.
Each program has had interesting starts to their seasons and has shown both their strengths and weaknesses.
Wyoming came into this season a completely different team from last season, and after its first game, the outlook of its season looked very different, as well. However, the Cowboys have bounced back with three straight victories and are primed to redeem themselves against another top opponent.
As for the Cougars, they started their 2022 campaign off hot. They rolled USF in their opener and then took down the No. 9-ranked Baylor Bears in double overtime.
They were then trounced by Oregon last week, as they could not stop the run or get their own run game going.
Can they right the ship? Or will the Cowboys continue their resurgence? Let's dig in to find out.
Last week, the Cougars were ravaged on the ground, as they allowed the Ducks to rush for 212 yards and rack up 4.8 yards per carry.
Those numbers have to widen the eyes of the Cowboys, as they are still one of the most run-heavy teams in the nation. Wyoming runs the ball over 59% of the time, which is good for the 34th-highest rate in the country.
That means we're going to be seeing a lot of Titus Swen. The lead back for Wyoming has gotten off to a tremendous start in his junior season. Swen is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and just broke the century mark on the ground against his toughest opposition yet.
While we can't take Oregon's performance and say it will translate to this matchup, the Cougars have not been as great against the rush as their numbers may portray.
Yes, they are ranked 29th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, but they have faced a very high volume of rushing attacks.
BYU's opposition has run the ball against it over 59% of the time. Through all that, the Cougars have allowed their opponents to average 4.1 yards per carry, which only ranks 66th in the country.
What is most concerning about the Cougars' metrics for this matchup is their ranking of 131st in Defensive Finishing Drives. That number shows that this defense can be worn down over the course of long methodical drives, which is what we'll see from Wyoming (102nd in tempo).
The run game is like a punch to the body in boxing. You can't take too many of them before you crumble, and that style of attack may provide an opening for Wyoming.
When you look at BYU, the Cougars are a stark contrast to how Wyoming runs its offense.
The Cougars are an explosive team, led by quarterback Jaren Hall. Hall has had a dynamic start to the season, as he's averaging 7.4 yards per pass and has completed nearly 69% of his passes. Both of those numbers rank inside the top 50 in the country.
However, he's been doing it without his two biggest weapons on the outside.
Wide receiver Gunner Romney has missed three straight games with an ankle injury and is not expected to suit up for this matchup.
Also, fellow wide receiver Puka Nacua has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, but he is officially listed as questionable.
If Hall gets Nacua back, that would be a big boost to this passing attack, but he should be able to have success regardless.
Wyoming ranks 98th in coverage, per PFF, and it's outside the top 70 in opponent completion percentage and yards per pass allowed.
What gives BYU the ability to cover this spread is its explosiveness, and Wyoming has given up more than its fair share of explosive plays thus far. The Cowboys rank 129th in Offensive Explosiveness Allowed and are 106th in pass EPA per play allowed.
Wyoming vs. BYU Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wyoming and BYU match up statistically:
Wyoming Offense vs. BYU Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
BYU Offense vs. Wyoming Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||60||117|
|Seconds per Play||28.4 (102)||25.3 (44)|
|Rush Rate||59.3% (34)||45.4% (107)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Wyoming vs. BYU Betting Pick
We have not seen much market movement on the side or total for this matchup, and that is because the line is about right.
Our Action Network power ratings have the Cougars as 22.7-point favorites for this matchup.
The contrast in offensive styles weighs heavily on the scoreboard here. If Wyoming can establish its rushing attack and put together multiple methodical drives, it will not only put up points, but also keep BYU's offense off the field.
While the Cougars' explosive passing attack concerns me, I'm willing to back Wyoming, as the Cowboys should control the tempo and limit scoring opportunities.