Friday College Football Odds & Picks for UNLV vs. Fresno State: The Spread Bet to Make for Week 4 (Sept. 24)

Friday College Football Odds & Picks for UNLV vs. Fresno State: The Spread Bet to Make for Week 4 (Sept. 24) article feature image

Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Haener.

  • UNLV and Fresno State go at it in college football action on Friday night.
  • The Bulldogs are coming off a huge upset over UCLA, while the Rebels are trying to get right after falling to Iowa State.
  • Check out Keg's betting preview for UNLV vs. Fresno State, including odds, picks, and predictions.

UNLV vs. Fresno State Odds

UNLV Odds+30
Fresno State Odds-30
TimeFriday, 10 p.m. ET
TVCBS Sports Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Late Friday night will see a matchup between two teams headed in very different directions.

The UNLV Rebels come into the game ranked 125th out of 130 teams in Collin Wilson's power ratings. Meanwhile, Fresno State is coming off an upset of UCLA as an 11-point underdog and is now ranked 22nd in the country.

Since 2009, Fresno State has gone 25-1 when playing as a 20+-point favorite. However, that single loss came against the Rebels when they fell, 26-16, as a 22.5-point favorite in 2017. Fresno State has also covered the spread in 12 of those 26 games.

Fresno also leads the conference series, 5-3, and boasts a 5-3 record ATS in that series. Can the Bulldogs steamroll this struggling UNLV team, or will they get caught still celebrating their big upset?

UNLV vs. Fresno State Betting Preview

Friday, Sept. 24
10 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network

UNLV Rebels

UNLV Offense

Being a head coach in college football is hard for everyone, but I don't know If it's been more difficult for anyone than Marcus Arroyo. He was announced as the head coach in December 2019 and still hasn't gotten his first win.

After an 0-6 season last year an 0-3 start this year, these Rebels are struggling to get anything going. They rank in the bottom 10 of SP+ and offensively are outside the top 100 in third-down efficiency, sacks allowed, passing yards, and first downs.

There is one positive for this Rebels offense. On Monday, it was announced that quarterback Doug Brumfield, who was the team's most efficient QB, has returned to practice from an undisclosed upper-body injury. Arroyo's hopeful he will be able to play Friday night.

UNLV has seen four quarterbacks see the field through only three games. And while it's reassuring it may get its starting quarterback back Friday, it will take a miracle performance from the entire offense that has averaged just 0.76 points per drive outside of garbage time to keep up with the Bulldogs.

UNLV Defense

The Rebels haven't found much success on the defensive side of the ball either, ranking 125th in Havoc while allowing 6.2 yards per play and 35 points per game.

However, there is a weak point they can take advantage of against the Bulldogs this week. Fresno State QB Jake Haener took some hard hits against UCLA last week, and more blitzing might be one of the few paths to success for this Rebels team.

I can't see sitting back against a Bulldog offense that has gotten better every week being a real option for UNLV.

And with a team that hasn't accounted for a single quarterback hurry so far, I expect Arroyo to try anything that could be the first step forward for this team.

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Fresno State Bulldogs

Bulldogs Offense

If you haven't heard about this Fresno State team, I can only assume you crawled out from under a rock and started reading this article. With future NFL talent Jake Haener at the helm, PFF gives it an overall offensive grade of 88.5, and it's currently ranked 25th in the AP Poll.

I know it's only Week 4, but this Fresno State team looks like the real deal after its upset of UCLA.

It currently ranks fourth in passing yards while averaging seven yards per play, and while Haener may be limited due to the beating he took last week against UCLA, I have complete confidence in backup Jaylen Henderson.

Henderson, who has already seen live-action against UConn, and Cal Poly could be a starter in many other programs.

He can take advantage of a Rebels pass defense that ranks 129th out of 130 teams in percentage of available yards allowed per drive should his number be called.

Bulldogs Defense

The Fresno State defense may be more important to this team than the offense, but it isn't getting the credit it deserves.

The Bulldogs limited UCLA, which averages 190 rushing YPG, to only 119. They currently allow an average of only 19.5 points per game and 283.5 yards.

This may not seem incredibly low, but this team has played Oregon and UCLA — two programs that are lightyears ahead of what they will see from UNLV.

I expect this Fresno State defense to shut down the Rebels run game. And given their current situation at quarterback, that may be all they need to do to shut this team down completely.

UNLV vs. Fresno State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UNLV and Fresno State match up statistically:

UNLV Offense vs. Fresno State Defense




Rush Success9148
Line Yards2730
Pass Success13026
Pass Blocking**11436
Big Play12617
Finishing Drives2282
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Fresno State Offense vs. UNLV Defense




Rush Success57126
Line Yards121123
Pass Success15113
Pass Blocking**83105
Big Play37130
Finishing Drives3673
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling1276
PFF Coverage10445
Middle 812221
SP+ Special Teams88117
Plays per Minute12357
Rush Rate63.7% (22)46.4% (111)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

I can see how some people think this will be a letdown spot with Fresno coming off an upset win last week or think this spread is too high, and this may be a trap.

But this Fresno State team excels in every facet of the game that UNLV struggles. It should have no problem against this UNLV pass defense, and the Rebels will have difficulty getting anything going in the run game, which is likely this team's only path to victory against anyone this season.

I have no problem laying the points here with the Bulldogs.

UNLV vs. Fresno State Betting Pick

Fresno State opened as a 30.5-point favorite and is currently widely available between 30.5 and 31.5. I would bet the Bulldogs up to -34.5 (-105).

Pick: Fresno State -31 (Play to -34.5)

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