Utah State vs. San Diego State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Bets for the Mountain West Championship
Sam Wasson/Getty Images and Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Derek Wright (8) of Utah State and Jesse Matthews (45) of San Diego State.
- The Mountain West Championship takes place on Saturday afternoon with San Diego State taking on Utah State.
- The Aztecs boast a stellar defense and the best punter in the nation, giving them an edge, according to updated odds.
- Check out our staff's best bets for the game below.
Utah State vs. San Diego State Odds
|Utah State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|San Diego State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Mountain West Championship
Utah State vs. San Diego State
No. 19 San Diego State (11-1) takes on Utah State (9-3) for the Mountain West championship game in Carson, Calif. Calling this a home game is a little bit of a misnomer, given that the “hosting” Aztecs current homefield is a trafficless two-hour bus ride from campus. Hosting this game may not have the pronounced benefit it otherwise could have.
San Diego State clinched the West Division last week by knocking off Boise State, 27-16. The Aztecs were able to overcome a 16-3 deficit by holding the Broncos scoreless through the final 38:38 of the game. Senior quarterback Jordon Brookshire stepped in to give SDSU a boost and the win.
Senior quarterback Lucas Johnson leads a run-first Aztecs offense with 1,091 passing yards this season, but you can expect to see some of Brookshire in this matchup. Greg Ball has powered the backfield with 949 yards and eight touchdowns.
Looking for another SDSU difference maker? Keep an eye on San Diego State Matt Araiza, who has been one of the best punters in FBS all season.
Utah State’s 35-10 win last weekend over New Mexico, along with a little help elsewhere, solidified the Aggies’ Mountain Division monopoly. A win last week over New Mexico gave Utah State a 6-2 record in conference play, which put them in a tie with Air Force. The Aggies advanced, having won their head-to-head matchup with the Falcons this season.
San Diego State and Utah State didn’t play during the regular season, but the Aztecs have a commanding 13-2 all-time advantage. Last year, they won on Halloween, 38-7.
Utah State junior quarterback Logan Bronner has an impressive 3,236 yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. His favorite target is Deven Thompkins, who has 87 catches for 1,543 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
San Diego State’s bread and butter this season has been strong play defensively and on special teams, while Utah State looks to push the pace offensively with Bonner. This is an intriguing matchup with a conference championship on the line.
Utah State vs. San Diego State Spread
Utah State +6
San Diego State -6
Utah State had one of the most impressive turnarounds in the country this season after going 1-5 in a shortened 2020 campaign. The Aggies had 50-1 odds to win the Mountain West this season with a regular-season win total of 2.5.
Blake Anderson took over as head coach and brought an onslaught of transfers with him. The group finished 9-3 this season behind an offense that averaged 32 points per game. Bonner followed Anderson from Arkansas State and led an Aggies offense that relied on its passing attack, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt.
San Diego State finished 11-1 with its sole loss coming against Fresno State. The Aztecs have thrived behind its dominant defense and the best punter in the nation in Araiza, who is averaging 51.5 yards per punt.
SDSU allowed just 17 points per game this season while playing the 105th-easiest strength of schedule, according to PFF. The Aztecs struggled against some of the other pass-heavy offenses in the Mountain West like Fresno State and Nevada, though, allowing more than 300 passing yards to both and an average of 26 points.
San Diego State should be able to move the ball on the ground against a Utah State defense that allowed 4.5 yards per carry this season. The Aztecs did allow 240 passing yards per game, though, so the Aggies should be able to find some success there with some explosive plays.
Utah State has covered five of its last six games and in four of six as an underdog this season. San Diego State covered only two of its seven games as a favorite this season and once in its last five games.
I’m backing Anderson and the Cinderella season that he’s put together at Utah State and taking the points in the Mountain West Championship.
Staff Pick: San Diego State -6
Utah State vs. San Diego State Over/Under
Saturday will mark the first time these teams have played this season in an unlikely pairing for a conference championship game.
San Diego State shocked college football with an 11-1 season. Utah State is an even bigger surprise after the Aggies had three losses against Boise State, Wyoming and BYU but still managed to find themselves atop the Mountain division. The total currently sits at 50, and both the Aztecs and Aggies were 5-7 to the over in the regular season.
In the first year, the Aggies have excelled under Anderson, ranking second in the Mountain West behind only Fresno State in offense. The defense, though, has had some issues, allowing an average of 393 yards and 26.5 points per game. This week, the biggest concern will be stopping the run since San Diego State rushes the ball more than 60% of the time. The Aggies have allowed 4.6 yards per carry this season.
San Diego State got this fair because of a stingy defense and strong running game. Cameron Thomas is its defensive star, leading the country with 18 quarterback hits while pacing the Aztecs in tackles for loss, sacks and quarterback hurries.
The Aztecs have the edge on special teams and defense. They have held opponents to 314.3 yards per game (11th in the country) and 17.3 points per game (ninth).
Both the Aggies and Aztecs have had strong defensive years this season. While historically, the total has gone under in 12 of the last 17 games combined between the two.
Our college football staff expects that to continue this weekend, with nine of the 12 taking the under in this matchup.