San Jose State vs. San Diego State Betting Odds & Picks: Friday’s Value Lies With Early Unders
Kent Horner/Getty Images. Pictured: The San Diego State Aztecs.
- The San Jose State Spartans will travel to San Diego on Friday to battle the San Diego State Aztecs in a Mountain West matchup under the lights.
- Both teams exemplify the "bend-don't-break" defensive philosophy, ranking high in Finishing Drives, so Collin Wilson doesn't see a lot of point being scored early.
- Check out Wilson's full betting breakdown with updated odds and betting picks below.
San Jose State vs. San Diego State Odds
|San Jose State Odds||+10 [BET NOW]|
|San Diego State Odds||-10 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+280/-360 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||49.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday, 9 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
San Jose State Spartans
The progression of the Spartans under head coach Brent Brennan was noticeable last season as they picked up five wins. San Jose State had three losses in 2019 that were within one possession, signaling SJSU as a buy-low team this season. The strength of the offense has come via the stability of the passing game. Transfer-quarterback Nick Starkel leads an air assault that ranks first in expected points.
Another one! @NickStarkel hits sophomore Isaiah Hamilton with a 43-yard strike and the Spartans are on top 14-0.
— San José State Football (@SanJoseStateFB) November 1, 2020
The offensive line deserves plenty of credit for its top rank in Adjusted Sack Rate on passing downs. However, while Starkel has been protected in passing downs, rushing attempts have been subpar against New Mexico and Air Force. The Spartans rank second-to-last in Rushing Success Rate and Explosiveness.
The defensive side of the ball has experienced massive improvement in tackling, with a Pro Football Focus grade of third in FBS play. The Spartans rush defense was on full display in a low-scoring game against Air Force. San Jose State has allowed opponents to score only 1.8 points per trip inside the 40-yard line.
San Diego State Aztecs
New head coach Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix were featured in this week’s Havoc Ratings. Outside of creating chaos through two weeks of play, the San Diego State defense ranks top-10 in Passing Success Rate, Finishing Drives, and PFF coverage grade. Admittedly, it may be fair to critique the Aztecs’ strength of schedule (games against UNLV and Utah State), but the early results are positive on defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, coordinator Jeff Hecklinski is ushering in a new era in Aztec scoring. San Diego State has scored at least 34 points through two games — an astonishing number considering the Aztecs have not achieved that scoring total since 2017.
As shown above, San Diego State is gaining chunk yards after contact. Led by Greg Bell, the Aztec running back stable averages more than four yards per attempt after contact. Hecklinski has called 65% rushing plays with a pace of 78th in FBS, leaving the conclusion that the high scoring comes from explosive runs. The team’s second-place rank in Stuff Rate and third-place rank in Line Yards was on full display against Utah State.
Greg Bell stretches out for the @AztecFB TD!
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) November 1, 2020
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Mountain West did away with both the Mountain and the West divisions for 2020, as this would have been a knockout game for the West. With the new dynamic, one of these teams will be the first 3-0 team in the conference, while the loser will move to a wide group of teams with one loss. Considering San Diego State does not have Boise State on its regular-season schedule, this is the last call to grab a Mountain West future on the Aztecs.
Our Action Network Projection for the game is San Diego State -10.5, giving little value to the current number. The head-to-head matchup above shows why the total opened low and has remained under seven touchdowns. While both the Spartans and Aztecs have found offensive success, it’s the defensive profiles that insist this should be low-scoring.
Both defenses rank top-10 in Finishing Drives, while San Jose State is one of the best tackling teams in the nation. The Spartans must contain Aztec rushing attempts that gain extra yardage after contact.
The Aztecs defense is also the best in the nation in defending expected points through the air. In combination with a first-place rank in defensive Havoc and third-place rank in opponent passing Success Rate, San Diego State has the proper traits to shut down the Spartans passing attack.
Both teams have been slow-starters through the first quarter of respective games, and that should continue Friday night.
Pick: First-Quarter Under; First-Half Under 24 or better