UNLV vs San Jose State Odds, Pick, Prediction | College Football Betting Preview (Saturday, Nov. 25)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: UNLV defensive back Ricky Johnson.
UNLV vs San Jose State Odds
One of the best stories in college football has been the breakout season in Las Vegas.
UNLV hit the jackpot when Bobby Petrino quit as the offensive coordinator to take the Texas A&M job, as the Rebels' Brennan Marion has been a superstar play-caller.
UNLV's preseason win total closed at 5.5, yet the Rebels are 9-2 and bowl-eligible for the first time since 2013. They also have a chance to play for the Mountain West Championship for the first time in program history and can post their first 10-win season since 1984 with a win on Saturday.
However, San Jose State might have something to say about that, as the Spartans have ripped off five straight wins.
After a brutal schedule to start the year, San Jose State can also find themselves in the conference title game with a win and some tiebreaker help.
Read on for UNLV vs San Jose State Odds, Pick, Prediction and our College Football Betting Preview for Saturday, Nov. 25.
Chevan Cordeiro is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the country and has been playing excellent ball down the stretch.
During the first six games, Cordeiro threw six touchdowns with three interceptions, leading the Spartans to a 1-5 record. But over the last five games, he has tossed 11 touchdowns and just one pick, resulting in a 5-0 record.
Running back Kairee Robinson has been a monster, and the offense now runs through him. He is averaging over 95 yards per game with 16 touchdowns this season. He has rumbled for 6.8 yards per carry, and he's found the end zone in every game he's played.
The defense had to replace a ton of elite talent in the offseason, especially in the front seven, which showed early in the year. This unit has improved as the season progressed but still has some issues.
Most of the issues have been at the point of attack in stopping the rush. The Spartans’ defense is 110th nationally in Rush Success Rate allowed. They have been better as of late, but this will be a big test against UNLV's explosive rush offense.
Their pass defense has been much more robust. San Jose State sits in the top 30 against the pass and ranks 18th in Pro Football Focus' coverage grades, led by cornerback Jay'Vion Cole and star linebacker Bryun Parham.
Marion, the UNLV offense coordinator, is the inventor of the "Go-Go Offense" that marries old-school triple-option principles with new-school spread concepts.
In his first year as a college offensive coordinator, he's become an instant star with a Rebels team that ranks 19th nationally in Explosiveness while averaging over 35 points per game.
Quarterback Doug Brumfield was hurt in Week 3, but the Rebels only got better when they turned to redshirt freshman Jayden Maiava. He has run this offense perfectly, averaging 218 passing yards per game and 21.4 rushing yards per game.
Ricky White is one of the best receivers in the Group of Five, averaging 108.8 yards per game with seven touchdowns. He ranks sixth in the nation in receiving and is a lethal deep threat.
But this offense runs through its backfield. The Rebels average over 41 rushing attempts per game, most divided between Vincent Davis, Jai’Den Thomas, and Donavyn Lester. Davis has been the lead back and averages more than 5.3 yards per attempt, but Thomas and Lester have each rushed for nine touchdowns.
Defensively, UNLV has been much better against the run than the pass. The Rebels are incredibly explosive on offense but have given up too many big plays themselves.
But luck has been on Vegas’ side, as it leads the conference in turnovers, which has helped it get off the field in crucial spots.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how San Jose State and UNLV match up statistically:
San Jose State Offense vs. UNLV Defense
UNLV Offense vs. San Jose State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+
|Seconds per Play
This game is going to be incredible. These are two teams playing excellent football, with the winner likely moving to the conference championship.
UNLV clinches its spot with a win. San Jose State keeps hope alive with a victory and will need to win the tiebreaker scenario from some computer model I don’t understand.
The Rebels have been the most profitable team in the country, sitting 10-1 against the spread this season.
I struggled to handicap this game because I'm high on both teams. San Jose State is rolling, but the Rebels have dominated.
That said, I wouldn't back San Jose State on the spread here. I think this is one of those games that the Spartans either win outright or UNLV covers. So, if you want to bet on San Jose State, I would take the moneyline.
As somebody with a San Jose State +1500 Mountain West Championship future from the preseason, I hope I'm wrong here, but I'm siding with the Rebels and laying the field goal.
It is just too hard to bet against the Rebels. San Jose State has been much better than it was early in the season, but I still have concerns about the defense.
San Jose State’s biggest weakness is defending the run, as it ranks 110th in Rush Success Rate allowed. The Spartans have been terrible at slowing down inside zone runs and sit 82nd in the country in PFF's tackling grades.
UNLV runs a ton of inside zone while breaking plenty of tackles, so this Go-Go Offense that ranks 12th nationally in Rush Explosiveness should hit a ton of big plays on a leaky Spartans defense.
The Rebels have been strong against the run all season and opportunistic about forcing turnovers when they need it most.
If this defense can force Cordeiro to return to his turnover tendencies, I think UNLV wins this one on their way to hosting the Mountain West title game in Vegas next weekend.
Pick: UNLV -3 or Better
ESPN BET has officially launched launching their new sportsbook. Register with Action’s ESPN BET promo code TANBONUS for a welcome offer!