Wyoming vs. Utah State College Football Odds, Picks, Preview: Can Cowboys Secure Bowl Eligibility?

Wyoming vs. Utah State College Football Odds, Picks, Preview: Can Cowboys Secure Bowl Eligibility? article feature image
Credit:

Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Logan Bonner.

  • Wyoming heads to Utah State, one win away from bowl eligibility.
  • The Aggies are 8-2 and have one of the best offenses in the country over the last few weeks.
  • Alex Kolodziej breaks down the betting action in the matchup below.

Wyoming vs. Utah State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 20
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Wyoming Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5
-110
52.5
-110o / -110u
+175
Utah State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5
-110
52.5
-110o / -110u
-210
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

One common angle late in the season is monitoring teams within striking distance of bowl eligibility. That sixth win is key.

Bettors of all shapes and sizes have apparently done their homework in the Mountain West.

The 5-5 Wyoming Cowboys have already garnered heavy interest in the market for Saturday’s contest against red-hot Utah State. They moved off a +6.5 opener early to kick off Week 12 and sit at +5.

Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl’s enjoyed some success in the underdog role at the helm but is just 2-3 against the number this season when catching points.

Can his club keep it close, or does Utah State blow out its fourth straight opponent? Or, is there some value on the total bettors might be overlooking?


Wyoming Cowboys

The Mountain West features some pass-happy ball clubs with experienced gunslingers under center, but Wyoming is not one of those teams.

The offense ranks 14th in Rush Rate, which isn’t surprising for a Bohl-led unit. The Cowboys were top-10 nationally in this category each of the last three years.

Quarterbacks Sean Chambers and Levi Williams have both seen time in 2021, though Chambers has received the majority of reps. However, neither has been much of a threat.

Overall, the Cowboys are 109th in the country in yards per pass attempt (6.3). They haven’t recorded more than 200 yards through the air in a game since Week 3 against Ball State (201).

To make matters worse, the unit recently lost pass-catcher Ayden Eberhardt to a season-ending injury. He’s one of only two receivers on the roster with more than 15 catches on the season.

The defense, meanwhile, has struggled to get after the quarterback.

After ranking 23rd in the entire country in sacks per game (2.8) last season, Wyoming is just 88th this fall (1.8).

However, the unit has been superb at limiting damage, ranking among the top 20 in both big plays and Havoc Allowed.

The last time Wyoming surrendered more than 27 points in a game was all the way back in Week 2 against NIU, a 50-43 win.

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Utah State Aggies

The Aggies might be the best eight-win team nobody is talking about.

Their +24.3 scoring margin over the last three games is good for eighth in the country.

The Aggies have ripped off five straight wins, four consecutive covers and own two “good” losses (BYU, Boise State) on the ledger in head coach Blake Anderson’s first year.

His offense is averaging 31.8 points per game behind quarterback Logan Bonner, who played under Anderson with the Red Wolves.

The offense is firing on all cylinders over the recent heater, totaling 410 yards or more in four of the last five.

But after drawing shootout partners in San Jose State, Hawaii and New Mexico State, Bonner and his supporting cast might struggle to consistently hit big plays through the air against a Wyoming defense allowing just 9.8 yards per completion — the sixth-lowest clip in the country and best mark in the conference.


Wyoming vs. Utah State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wyoming and Utah State match up statistically:

Wyoming Offense vs. Utah State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 39 82
Line Yards 29 40
Pass Success 112 94
Pass Blocking** 130 57
Big Play 116 111
Havoc 47 13
Finishing Drives 89 41
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Utah State Offense vs. Wyoming Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 122 52
Line Yards 119 86
Pass Success 7 31
Pass Blocking** 36 73
Big Play 44 20
Havoc 87 117
Finishing Drives 100 19
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 130 3
Coverage 5 94
Middle 8 26
SP+ Special Teams 127 33
Plays per Minute 93 10
Rush Rate 62.5% (14) 54.1% (69)

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


Wyoming vs. Utah State Betting Pick

Betting Wyoming at open will likely give early bettors some closing line value.

But there’s certainly a cut-off point, and I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be playing a dead number of +5 when +6 and +6.5 were once available.

If the number continues to drop into +4 territory, then we’re implying Wyoming would be somewhere around a 2- or 2.5-point home underdog to a sizzling-hot program; it turns into Utah State or nothing at that point.

Instead, I’ll recommend a play on the under. Bohl’s Cowboys have cashed two out of every three unders over the last five-plus years.

Wyoming has played three totals of 52 or higher this year. Two went under, while the lone over required three fourth-quarter, garbage-time touchdowns, including a 45-yard pick-six.

Over the last five years, teams have combined for exactly 51 or 52 points total more than 5% of the time combined; they’re two of the top-six key totals when betting college football.

We have the hook on the end, so let’s go defenses.

Pick: Under 52.5

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