College Football Odds & Picks for Wyoming vs. UConn: Why The Under Is The Play
Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Sean Chambers (center) and Wyoming teammates.
- Wyoming looks to make it 4-0 against UConn on Saturday.
- The Cowboys are favored by over 30 as the Huskies are 0-4 and have given up at least 38 points in every game.
- Stuckey previews this matchup and offers up his best bet.
Wyoming vs. UConn Odds
|Wyoming Odds||-31 (-110)|
|UConn Odds||+31 (-110)|
|Moneyline||-6500 / +2200|
|Over/Under||53.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Undefeated Wyoming will travel to East Hartford, Connecticut, to take on winless UConn in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Saturday.
The Cowboys originally had plans to play Clemson before the Tigers canceled the contract, which led to this replacement game against UConn. It’s quite a drop-off in opponent quality for Wyoming going from one of the best programs in the country to arguably the worst.
Despite starting 3-0, Wyoming has had an odd start to the season. It needed a last-minute touchdown in its opener to sneak by Montana State, 19-16. It then blew a 42-16 second-half lead on the road against Northern Illinois before once again needing a touchdown in the final minutes to retake the lead and hold on for a wild 50-43 victory.
The Pokes finally didn’t need any last minute heroics last week in a resounding 45-12 home rout of Ball State in part due to a pair of interceptions they returned for touchdowns.
Meanwhile, UConn has started out 0-4 and had been outscored, 136-0, over the first 10 quarters against the three FBS opponents it’s faced before finally getting on the board in the second half of last week’s blowout loss against Army. The Huskies also dropped a home contest against Holy Cross by a final score of 38-28.
Does Wyoming deserve to lay 30 points here? Is there any value in the over/under? Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.
Wyoming vs. UConn Betting Preview
Wyoming features a traditional run-heavy offense that moves at a methodical pace. Dual-threat quarterback Sean Chambers has stayed healthy so far in 2011 after already suffering three previous season-ending injuries in his career.
Under new offensive coordinator Tim Polasek, he has taken a few more deep shots this season than in the past, primarily to talented freshman Isaiah Neyor.
It’s just not a very potent passing attack, as evidenced by the fact the Cowboys completed under 50% of their pass attempts in each of the three previous seasons. However, you can expect Chambers’ career average of just over 11 pass attempts per game to increase with a bit more balance in the offense under Polasek.
But as usual under head coach Craig Bohl, the offense goes as he and star running back Xazavian Valladay go on the ground.
They both benefit from a very seasoned offensive line that has five multi-year starters, led by star center Keegan Cryder — a four-year starter on the preseason Rimington Trophy list.
The Pokes have arguably the best offensive line in the Mountain West. Their starters stand at an average of 6-foot-5 while weighing 315 pounds, and they also go eight deep with 145 combined starts coming into this year.
When Wyoming has the ball, it will lean on its run game, but the defense is the star of the show in Laramie.
Led by linebacker Chad Muma, this defense is stingy at all three levels, especially after seeing the return of a few key players who either had injuries or opted out last year. That includes four previous starters along the defensive line in Solomon Byrd, Garrett Crall, Teagan Liufau and Ravontae Holt.
The linebacker group returns intact, led by First-Team All-Mountain West player Muma, after having to replace two players that departed for the NFL after the 2019 season.
Meanwhile, the secondary is also rock solid with every starter back in the mix, led by cornerback C.J. Coldon and safety Esaias Gandy.
Bottom line, this is one of the nation’s most experienced defenses that also now has adequate depth after dealing with a plethora of injuries and opt-outs last year.
The special teams also look promising with a pair of freshmen in punter Ralph Fawaz and Lou Groza Award Watch List honoree John Hoyland.
After not playing at all last season, UConn has had quite the tumultuous start since its first game back, as it’s already onto its second head coach and third quarterback.
With Steven Krajewski and Jack Zergiotis not finding much success under center, the Huskies turned to true freshman Tyler Phommachanh, who got the start against Army and remains atop the depth chart this week.
He’s still a very raw passer, but the dual-threat signal-caller can create with his legs. He’ll go through plenty of growing pains this season, but the Connecticut native appears to be the quarterback of the future for the Huskies.
UConn features one of the youngest rosters in the nation.
The depth chart is constantly changing for interim head coach Lou Spanos, who announced this week that freshman Nate Carter would replace senior Kevin Mensah as the starting running back.
That brings the total number of projected freshman starters on offense to seven for this Saturday’s matchup with Wyoming. That includes a true freshman quarterback, freshman running back and a wide receiver group comprised of all freshmen due to various injuries.
The defense is a little more experienced, especially up front, but the secondary is extremely raw, especially at safety.
Wyoming vs. UConn Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wyoming and UConn match up statistically:
Wyoming Offense vs. UConn Defense
UConn Offense vs. Wyoming Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Wyoming vs. UConn Betting Pick
I can’t really see many paths for UConn to score here.
After 10 scoreless quarters against FBS opponents, it did drop 21 in the second half against Army’s backups once the game was already way out of hand. And one of those touchdowns came on a kick return with another coming on a fourth-down scramble at the end of the game after a pass interference call on fourth down a few plays prior.
The only chance at really moving the ball with any consistency will have to come from Phommachanh scrambles or designed runs, but now Wyoming has tape on him and some of the new looks UConn utilized for the first time last weekend after bringing in Noel Mazzone as an offensive analyst in mid-September.
The strength of this UConn team is its defensive front seven, which has actually held up quite well against traditional rushing attacks so far this season. There’s actually some bulk and experience to work with. That should help the Huskies against Wyoming’s rush-heavy attack.
I like the under here. UConn does unfortunately play on the faster side (which I don’t get), but Wyoming does not, and the Pokes should control the clock throughout.
I think UConn’s run defense can at least compete to not let this get too out of hand like the game against Army; the Huskies were just completely unprepared for the triple-option attack. However, they did hold their own against the rush when they played Fresno State and Purdue.
Wyoming will eventually build a big lead, but I don’t expect it to throw or show much, especially in the second half, against an inferior opponent with conference play starting next week.
Just take a look at this quote from Bohl after last week’s blowout win of Ball State:
“We did dial some things back offensively, We had several things on our play sheet that we chose not to do and same thing on defense.”
Expect Wyoming to just bleed clock in the second half and its deep defense to potentially pitch a shutout against this freshmen-laden UConn offense.
That should make the second-half under worth a look as well.