UNLV vs. San Jose State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet the Spartans in Friday’s Late College Football Game
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: SJSU helmet
- The UNLV Rebels travel to California on Friday night to take on the San Jose State Spartans in a Friday night Mountain West matchup.
- The Spartans enter as -6.5 favorites, according to updated odds, and that's where we see betting value.
- Read on for Keg's full betting guide and pick for UNLV vs. San Jose State.
UNLV vs. San Jose State Odds
In the preseason, San Jose State had odds of +3000 to win the Mountain West, while you could’ve locked in UNLV at +8000.
We now find ourselves five weeks into the college football season with these two former longshots atop the conference standings and set to square off in CEFCU stadium under the Friday night lights.
Rebels head coach Marcus Arroyo knows the feeling well; he played quarterback at SJSU from 1998-2002 and began his coaching career there in ’03.
There are few things Arroyo knows better than playing football in Spartan Keys, one of those being the coach across from him Friday night.
Spartans head coach Brent Brennan coached with Arroyo at SJSU from 2005-2008, and he was in Arroyo’s wedding.
That will be out the window come Friday when the stakes are high, though. They’ll be playing for more than just the No. 1 spot in the West.
UNLV Coach Marcus Arroyo and SJSU Coach Brent Brennan are betting a La Vic's burrito on this Friday's SJSU vs UNLV game. #SJSUvsUNLV
— SJSU Spartans Football Talk (@SpartansFBTalk) October 2, 2022
The Rebels come into the game 4-1 on the season, while the Spartans boast a 3-1 record. Both of their lone losses have come on the road against Power Five opponents.
2022 already marks an impressive year — just five weeks into the season — for both programs.
UNLV has won four or more games just 11 times dating back to 2000. San Jose State did win the Mountain West in 2020, but it was its first league championship and just its fifth time finishing above .500 in conference play since 2000.
Two friends, who have taken their programs from three or fewer wins in their first two years at the helm to now fighting for the top spot, will enter the stadium on Friday night, and only one can leave as the top dog.
If Arroyo can pull off the upset against his alma mater, it will be the Rebels’ first-ever 3-0 start in the Mountain West.
After two seasons in Las Vegas, Arroyo was 2-16.
Five games into this season, UNLV has already won more than it did in the last two years.
In their previous game against New Mexico, the Rebels appeared to fall into old habits, as they went to half down 17-9.
However, they erased all doubt of being the same old Runnin’ Rebels, as they came back to beat the Lobos, 31-20. The Rebels’ comeback was mounted by a stretch of 24 unanswered points, which they paired with a defensive masterclass, holding the Lobos to just three points in the second half.
The Rebels, who rank third in the Mountain West in rushing offense, aren’t just limited to the running attack.
Quarterback Doug Brumfield has emerged as one of the best in the conference. Brumfield leads the Mountain West in passing yards with 1,223 on the season while ranking third in completion percentage at 70.5%.
Unfortunately, this week, Brumfield will be without two of his top three receivers again, as Kyle Williams and Jeff Weimer are both out with injuries.
Senika McKie and Kalvin Souders both stepped up against New Mexico, but I’m not sure they see the same success against a Spartans defense that ranks sixth in Passing Down Explosiveness Allowed.
On defense, the front seven is the Rebels’ best asset.
Against the Lobos, UNLV gave up just 2-of-11 third-down conversion attempts. The Rebels rank seventh nationally, giving up just 3.5 third-down conversions a game on average, and are 28th in FBS in rushing yards per game (104.2).
San Jose State runs the ball on just 46.9% of its plays, which might end up being even lower this week since it faces a defense giving up 252.4 passing yards per contest.
If the Rebels want to stop Chevan Cordeiro and company, they’ll need some significant improvements in the secondary this week.
San Jose State is led by your reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, Cordeiro. The former Hawaii quarterback put up 338 total yards and two touchdowns last week in the Spartans’ 33-16 win.
He also set records the week prior against Western Michigan, as San Jose State earned its largest win (47-7) against an FBS opponent since 2012.
Cordeiro has thrown for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns in four games without tossing an interception.
He’s also tacked on another four rushing touchdowns and has 180 yards rushing.
His ability as a true dual-threat quarterback could cause problems for the Rebels, who gave up two rushing touchdowns to New Mexico’s Miles Kendrick last week.
The Spartans’ defense has showed up when it mattered most, allowing teams to score in the red zone on just 63.6% of trips this season — good for first in the Mountain West and sixth in the nation.
San Jose State also ranks eighth among FBS teams in passing yards allowed, but has struggled to stop the run, giving up 152 yards on the ground per contest (80th).
Even worse, the Spartans may be without one of their best playmakers, Noah Wright, who had to leave the game on a stretcher against Wyoming. He did, however, fly home with the team.
His status for Friday is currently unknown, but I won’t be counting on him to play.
Wright was one of two players responsible for the safety against Wyoming, the Spartans’ first since 2018.
UNLV vs. San Jose State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UNLV and San Jose State match up statistically:
UNLV Offense vs. San Jose State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
San Jose State Offense vs. UNLV Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||12||113|
|Seconds per Play||27.1 (82)||27.6 (91)|
|Rush Rate||54.6% (61)||46.9% (105)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
UNLV vs. San Jose State Betting Pick
The Spartans and Rebels are two of the top three teams in the Mountain West in scoring and passing offense.
They are also led by the conference’s top two quarterbacks in passing yards.
It reads like a shootout, and it very well might be.
But I believe this game will be decided in the trenches.
San Jose State ranks sixth in the Mountain West and 69th in the nation when it comes to opponents’ third-down conversions. Meanwhile, UNLV is third and 18th, respectively.
Both teams also rank inside the top 10 in turnover margin — UNLV is tied for second, while the Spartans are eighth.
There is no doubt both quarterbacks can sling the ball, but which offensive line can give them the best opportunity to do so? UNLV has given up 15 sacks in five games, while SJSU has given up 13 in just four.
San Jose State has faced the tougher competition this season and has performed just as good — if not better — than the Rebels, who will now be on the road without two of their best receivers.
Back the Spartans to get the cover at home. Arroyo has UNLV on the right path, but he buys the burritos Friday night.