Nevada vs San Jose State Betting Odds, Picks: Will Wolf Pack Show Up?

Nevada vs San Jose State Betting Odds, Picks: Will Wolf Pack Show Up? article feature image

Jonathan Devich/Getty Images. Pictured: Nevada running back Toa Taua.

  • San Jose State hosts Nevada on Saturday night.
  • The Spartans are massive favorites, but can the Wolf Pack keep this one within the number?
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Nevada vs San Jose State Odds

Saturday, Oct. 29
10:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Nevada Odds
-110o / -110u
San Jose State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Nevada has been one of the most successful programs in the Mountain West recently, going 32-18 over the last four years. However, the first year of the Ken Wilson era has not gone well.

The Wolf Pack are 2-6 overall and 0-4 in the Mountain West. Last week's 23-7 loss to San Diego State was the team's fifth straight. Things won't get any easier when Nevada heads to San Jose State this week.

The Spartans are 4-2 overall (2-1 Mountain West) and tied for first place in the West Division.

San Jose State will be playing with heavy hearts, as this marks the team's first game since the passing of freshman Camdan McWright. Last week's game at New Mexico State was postponed.

It beat Fresno State last time out, 17-10, on Oct. 10.

Nevada leads the all-time series, 23-10-2, and has particularly controlled the series since 2003. Nevada has won 16 of the last 19 meetings, including a 27-24 victory last season in Reno.

But San Jose State is a huge favorite this year. Can it cover the big number?

Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada fans had grown used to seeing the aerial attacks led by quarterback Carson Strong and wide receiver Romeo Doubs over the last few seasons. Strong and Doubs both moved on, and offense has been a struggle ever since.

Nevada scored a combined 79 points in its second and third games this season against Texas State and Incarnate Word. During its five-game losing streak, it has scored only 57 points and failed to reach 20 in four of the five games.

The Wolf Pack average 19.9 points per game and rank 112th in the FBS in scoring offense. They also rank 121st in Rushing Success Rate, 113th in Line Yards, 117th in Passing Success Rate, 119th in Havoc Allowed and 101st in Finishing Drives.

Nevada has played two quarterbacks this season in Nate Cox and Shane Illingworth. Cox has taken the bulk of the snaps this season, but Illingworth finished the game last week, going 21-33 for 181 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Wilson isn't naming a starter this week, but Illingworth took first-team reps in practice this week. Whoever is under center needs to be more productive, as Nevada has just three passing touchdowns in eight games.

Nevada also averages just 3.2 yards per carry as a team, but 15 of its offensive touchdowns have come on the ground. Running Toa Taua leads the team with 496 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He also leads the team in receiving with 27 receptions for 258 yards and a touchdown.

Taua has averaged 108.5 rushing yards per game in his career against San Jose State.

Defensively, Nevada can be attacked on the ground, as it ranks 121st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

However, the Pack boast an elite pass defense. They rank 25th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 36th in coverage grade, per PFF. Safety Bentlee Sanders leads the way for this unit. He is tied for the FBS lead with five interceptions and tied for second with three forced fumbles.

Sanders has been involved in half of Nevada's turnovers this season. As a team, it ranks ninth in the FBS with 16 takeaways and 10th with 10 interceptions.

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Hawaii transfer Chevan Cordeiro is playing some of the best ball of his career in leading SJSU to a 4-2 start. He has seven touchdown passes against one interception in 207 attempts and has also added six touchdowns on the ground.

Cordeiro's top three receivers all began their careers at Nevada, so there may be a little added motivation this week.

Elijah Cooks is the big-play threat who leads the Mountain West with 542 receiving yards on 29 receptions to go along with three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Justin Lockhart has 17 receptions for 298 yards, while Charles Ross has hauled in 14 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.

The Spartans rank 89th in Passing Success Rate and 50th in Rushing Success Rate. Running back Kairee Robinson leads the team with 343 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per carry. However, San Jose State runs the ball only 30 times per game and ranks 110th in rush rate.

Where San Jose State can really hang its hat is on its defense. The Spartans rank fourth in scoring defense, surrendering only 14.5 points per game. It also ranks 16th in total defense, ninth in passing yards allowed per game and 15th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

Defensive lineman Viliami Fehoko leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. In his last game against Fresno State, he had three tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Nevada vs San Jose State Matchup Analysis

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

Nevada Offense vs San Jose State Defense
Rush Success12115
Line Yards11343
Pass Success11762
Pass Blocking**9083
Finishing Drives10112
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

San Jose State Offense vs Nevada Defense
Rush Success50121
Line Yards6895
Pass Success8925
Pass Blocking**83111
Finishing Drives7458
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12068
PFF Coverage3674
SP+ Special Teams19113
Seconds per Play25.5 (45)27.4 (90)
Rush Rate52.3% (74)46.1% (110)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Nevada vs San Jose State Betting Pick

Nevada has dominated this series for the last two years. While I expect San Jose State to win outright, the number looks too big for it to cover.

The total sits at just 44, so a 24.5-point spread makes the points even more valuable.

If Nevada scores, it will be difficult for San Jose State to cover this spread. For example, even if the Spartans win handily — say, 31-7 or 38-14 —Nevada would still cover the spread.

Additionally, the Wolf Pack's defense matches up well with what San Jose State wants to do offensively. Nevada's defense can be susceptible against the run, but SJSU runs it just 46% of the time.

Nevada's pass defense can keep this one from getting out of hand, particularly if Illingworth provides a bit more to the offense than Cox.

Pick: Nevada +24.5

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