UNLV vs. Idaho State Odds, Picks: Betting Guide for Week 0 College Football Game

UNLV vs. Idaho State Odds, Picks: Betting Guide for Week 0 College Football Game article feature image

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Arroyo (UNLV)

UNLV vs. Idaho State Odds

Saturday, Aug. 27
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
-110o / -110u
Idaho State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

UNLV plays host to the Big Sky's Idaho State at Allegiant Stadium to kick off the 2023 season.

Marcus Arroyo enters his third year with the Rebels in desperate need of some positive results. The program has a 2-16 record in the last two seasons.

UNLV enters this season with optimism, as this is expected to be its most talented roster in years.

The Rebels will have the opportunity to showcase that improvement against Idaho State, which finished near the bottom of the Big Sky last year. The Bengals are in full rebuild mode and will have their hands full against their  Mountain West opponent.

UNLV was upset in its season opener last year against a Big Sky opponent in Eastern Washington. The Rebels are expected to make a statement in this game to highlight the fact that this season will be different.

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UNLV Rebels

Despite UNLV only winning two games last season, it remained scrappy down the stretch. The Rebels were underdogs in every game and finished the season 8-4 against the spread.

Rest assured, this is a different program now, as the Rebels will no longer be a doormat for their opponents. Arroyo returns 73% of his offensive production from last season, while bringing in over 30 players from the transfer portal.

Among those additions is former Tennessee quarterback Harrison Bailey. Bailey is a former five-star recruit out of high school who spent two years at Tennessee before heading to Las Vegas.

He will be in a battle for the quarterback spot with incumbent starter Doug Brumfield.

Brumfield, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, started just three games for UNLV last year before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. Brumfield is a true dual-threat quarterback, who despite only playing three games, was the team's second-leading rusher last season.

Much of that is because Charles Williams was a workhorse at running back. With his departure, it will be 6-foot-3, 230-pound Louisville transfer Aidan Robbins carrying the load.

Whoever gets the call to start under center will have some talented weapons to work with on the outside. The Rebels return 2020 Mountain West Freshman of the Year Kyle Williams, along with Michigan State transfer Ricky White at wide receiver.

UNLV must show some improvement defensively, especially against the run. The Rebels ranked 121st in Success Rate against the run, allowing 4.5 yards per carry. They will have a chance to showcase that improvement against Idaho State, which utilizes a run-first offense.

Idaho State Bengals

Last season was a year to forget for the Idaho State football program. The group finished with a 1-7 record and was outscored by an average of 21 points per game.

The Bengals bring in Charlie Ragle as head coach and appear to be starting from scratch this season.

Last year's woes began when starting quarterback Tyler Vander Waal went down with a knee injury in the third game of the season. He earned his starting spot back in camp this offseason and hopes to improve an offense that was near the bottom of the FCS last season.

The group averaged a measly 4.5 yards per play and only 15 points per game — both ranking outside the top 110 in FCS.

For Vander Waal to be successful, he will need to find some help at the skill positions. The Bengals return only one contributor in the backfield in Raiden Hunter, who averaged 3.8 yards per carry on 66 attempts.

They will also need to replace their top two pass catchers from last season.

Things were just as bad on the defensive end of the ball, as the Tigers allowed 34 points per game. They ranked outside the top 100, allowing 4.9 yards per carry and 7.8 yards per pass attempt.

With the top five tacklers moving on from the program, the future looks bleak for this season.

UNLV vs. Idaho State Betting Pick

UNLV couldn’t have hand-picked a better Week 0 opponent than Idaho State.

The Bengals were beaten up on both sides of the ball last season. First-year head coach Ragle will try to deal with all the turnover after losing his top playmakers on both sides of the ball.

With a full rebuild mode taking place, it will take some time before Idaho State becomes competitive again.

Arroyo hasn’t given any indication to who the starting quarterback will between Brumfield and Bailey. I believe both will get solid playing time, and each will thrive against a defense that couldn’t hold up against FCS competition.

UNLV won’t take this game lightly after dropping its contest to Eastern Washington, 35-33, in double OT last season.

Unfortunately for Idaho State, the Rebels will get their revenge on the Big Sky in a big-time victory Saturday afternoon.

Pick: UNLV -20.5 (Play to -23.5)

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