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NCAAF Week 3 Utah at San Diego State Betting Preview

Utes a Big Favorite Despite Strong Start for the Aztecs

Some prognosticators might say it looks like the wrong team is favored in the Week 3 Utah at San Diego State matchup. The Utes are -8 point favorites as oddsmakers are banking on the bounce back, as Utah had a 10-game series win streak snapped in a 26-17 loss to BYU last week. Kyle Whittingham’s team looked bad, and the defeat knocked them out of the top 25.

San Diego State meanwhile is a +8 point underdog at home despite starting the season 2-0. The New Mexico State win in week one was nothing to write home about as -31.5 favorites, but the Aztecs dominated Arizona on the road last week 38-14 as +1 point underdogs.

Is Utah Back in the Groove?

The Utes looked solid enough in their season opening 40-17 win over Weber State considering they played only five games last season, but what happened at BYU? Was it playing in front of fans for the first time since 2019 that got to Utah? This shouldn’t have been an issue, because the Utes are an experienced bunch that returned 10 offensive starters and 8 on the defensive side of the ball.

Maybe the loss to the Cougars was the wake up call Utah needed because they have the talent to contend in the Pac 12. Charlie Brewer is a 4-year player from Baylor that has taken over the QB reins, so far tossing for 3 TD but 2 INT. What Whittingham needs to do is go heavy on the run, because he has two different players that have had a 100+ yard game in the first two games of the season.

You know what the Aztecs’ plan is going to be in the Week 3 Utah at San Diego State matchup and that is to run the ball themselves. SDSU has ran for 248 and 271 yards on the ground through the first two weeks, and Utah State just so happened to allow 224 rush yards that led to their demise against BYU.

Aztecs Getting Too Many Points?

One big advantage for Utah coming into Saturday night’s game is that they’ve gotten a road game with fans in attendance out of the way. It’s tough to go into Lavell Edwards Stadium and beat BYU even if you’re used to it, but playing in front of 63,000 plus screaming maniacs when you’ve had a year off makes everybody feel like a Freshman. San Diego State has a whole different home atmosphere, with a little over 10,000 fans attending the season opener.

Of course San Diego State is no pushover on Saturday night, as they’ll pound the ball with RB Greg Bell relentlessly. Bell went for 161 and a score against New Mexico State and followed that up with 125 last week – averaging 7 yards/carry through two weeks.

Utah has a couple good backs of their own as Tavion Thomas carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards in the season opener and Micah Bernard had 12 carries for 146 yards against BYU. The SDSU defense is ready for the challenge though, as they’ve held their first two opponents to 48 and 51 yards which is just 2.15 yards/carry. Through two games San Diego State has the 7th best rush defense in the country.

Week 3 Utah at San Diego State

The scary part about this game is that oddsmakers are just begging and pleading for us to take the 2-0 Aztecs getting +8 points against a Utah team that just fell out of the rankings with a loss to BYU last week. That line has even moved from a Utes -7 open, and 7 seems like it would have had value for SDSU. As easy as this would be to take the Aztecs and sit back and watch a 3-point grind-it-out rushing battle, the line says Utah.
Utah 31 – San Diego State 21

Free Pick: Utah -8

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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