San Jose State vs. Fresno State Updated Odds, Pick, Preview: Total Has Value on Thursday

San Jose State vs. Fresno State Updated Odds, Pick, Preview: Total Has Value on Thursday article feature image

Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The San Jose State Spartans.

  • Updated odds for San Jose State vs. Fresno State list the Bulldogs as a 7-point favorite, down 2.5 points from the opening line earlier in the week.
  • Doug Ziefel is targeting the total, however, as the defenses should both have matchup advantages in this game.
  • Get our full Fresno State vs. San Jose State preview and pick below.

Updated SJSU vs. Fresno State Odds

Thursday, Nov. 25
3:30 p.m. ET
San Jose State Odds
-110o / -110u
Fresno State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

There may not be a better pairing than Thanksgiving and football — besides turkey and cranberry sauce. Who am I kidding? Nobody likes cranberry, but everybody likes Mountain West Conference football.

Fresno State takes the short 150-mile ride up north to take on the San Jose State Spartans. This is a critical game for San Jose State, as a victory would make it bowl eligible — though Fresno State has put together a fine season through solid play on both sides of the ball and is certainly a tall task.

The Spartans come stumbling into this matchup as they have dropped two straight, whereas the story is quite different for the Bulldogs. After getting routed by Boise State, Fresno State got right against lowly New Mexico.

Will the Bulldogs continue to roll? Or can the Spartans rally for one last win to extend their season?

Fresno State Bulldogs

Bulldogs Thriving Behind Jake Haener

Fresno has put together a phenomenal season, and its success all starts with quarterback Jake Haener. Haener has put together quite the senior season, as he ranks ninth nationally in passing yards and 11th in passing touchdowns.

His defining performance came against UCLA. Haener led the Bulldogs to a massive upset over the Bruins, who were receiving a lot of praise at the time.  He threw for 455 yards and two touchdown passes, as he out-dueled UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in a 40-37 shootout.

Haener's grit showed with the game on the line. You can relive the final play here:


Fresno State QB Jake Haener — in some noticeable pain — leads his team 6 plays, 75 yards in 40 seconds for the go-ahead touchdown.


— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) September 19, 2021

Behind Haener, the Bulldogs have become the 12th-most pass-happy team in the country. Fortunately, he has been consistent, but the Bulldogs do live and die by his performance alone.

In this matchup, the Spartans defense will certainly have some edges that could stifle Haener and the offense. The San Jose secondary sits 23rd in coverage rating and 34th in yards per pass allowed.

The defensive line should be able to get after Haener, as it ranks 40th in pass rush and 48th in Sack Rate.

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San Jose State Spartans

Can Spartans Offense Finally Put it Together?

Statistically, the San Jose offense has struggled to maintain offensive success this season. It ranks 112th in points per game and 114th in yards per game.

Though, a good chunk of the season was played without starting quarterback Nick Starkel. Since returning from injury, Starkel has not exactly been great. In the Spartans' last game, posted a 24.8 QBR while throwing for 138 yards and one interception.

The ground game has not been too productive, either, this season. Even with the addition of mobile backup Nick Nash, the rushing numbers are not pretty. The Spartans rank 109th in Rushing Ruccess and 97th in rushing yards per game.

This is a bad matchup for the scuffling Spartans' offense.

The Bulldogs' secondary has been one of the best in the country this season, ranking eighth in Passing Success Allowed, fifth in opponent completion percentage, and ninth in coverage rating.

One last very impressive rating for this unit is its rank of fifth in Defensive Havoc.

Fresno State vs. San Jose State Matchup Analysis

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

Fresno State Offense vs. San Jose State Defense
Rush Success10255
Line Yards11370
Pass Success1162
Pass Blocking**9440
Big Play5615
Finishing Drives7350
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

San Jose State Offense vs. Fresno State Defense
Rush Success10939
Line Yards9023
Pass Success1038
Pass Blocking**3143
Big Play3457
Finishing Drives10558
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2127
Middle 83440
SP+ Special Teams8917
Plays per Minute4552
Rush Rate45.9% (120)47.7% (114)

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

San Jose State vs. Fresno State Betting Pick

The Spartans are in a do-or-die spot as they need a win to become bowl eligible. While I expect their best efforts, it may not be enough to compete with the Bulldogs.

Fresno's defense should shut down the Spartans offense. Add that to San Jose State's defensive advantages, and you have yourself a recipe for an under.

Pick: Under 52.5 (Play to 51)

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