Fresno State vs. Wyoming: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (10/16/21)

Fresno State vs. Wyoming Betting Odds 

An intriguing Mountain West matchup will take place this Saturday, as the 4-2 Fresno State Bulldogs travel to Laramie to play the 4-1 Wyoming Cowboys.

Both teams were considered pre-season threats in the conference, although it’s clear the Bulldogs have been the superior team so far. Jake Haener has been one of the best quarterbacks in college football this season, recently leading Fresno State to a win against UCLA as 11-point underdogs. Although, the Bulldogs suffered a disappointing loss to Hawaii last week, this time as 11-point favorites.

Meanwhile, Wyoming has been somewhat disappointing despite its record. The Cowboys are just 1-4 against the spread (ATS) this season, most recently dropping a game against Air Force.

Fresno State is a 3.5-point road favorite in this Week 7 matchup, but is it worth laying the points with Haener?

Fresno State Bulldogs Odds

For the Bulldogs, everything centers around Haener.

He’s one of just three college quarterbacks to have thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, and he’s done so with an 18:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The Bulldogs love to throw the football, doing so at the eighth-highest rate in the nation. But more specifically, they love to throw the football down the field.

Among qualified quarterbacks, Haener has the fifth-most attempts of 20+ yards downfield. He also has the 11th-highest PFF grade on those throws, making 14 Big Time Throws to just one Turnover Worthy Plays on those attempts.

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Thanks to Haener, Fresno State is one of the better offensive teams in the FBS, ranking 22nd in Offensive Success Rate and scoring the 13th most points per game (39.0).

However, the defense has been almost more successful. The Bulldog defense ranks 14th in Defensive Success Rate and grading out as PFF’s 12th-best defensive team.

It’s a true, three-down defense as well. They rank 23rd in Standard Downs Success Rate and eighth in Passing Downs Success Rate. Good luck moving the football on them.

Wyoming Cowboys Odds

Wyoming has been, all-in-all, a disappointing team.

After scoring 50 points against Northern Illinois, the Cowboys scored just 14 points on 257 total yards last week. Sean Chambers is completing less than 55% of his passes and is averaging under 180 yards per game.

With Chambers under center, this unit lacks explosiveness. Wyoming ranks 127th in the country in Big Plays.

The Cowboys can still run the ball, doing so with the 39th best Rushing Success Rate in the nation. But the offensive line ranks outside the top-50 in Line Yards, and a lot of that unit’s success comes on the back of Xazavian Vallady.

The defense has taken a huge step back, but not in the secondary. Cornerback C.J. Coldon leads a unit that ranks sixth in PFF’s coverage grades.

That’ll be good against Haener and Co., who throw the ball at the ninth highest rate in the nation (56.7%).

Prediction and Pick

My pick: Fresno State ML (-165 at DraftKings)

I generally avoid ML bets, but I really don’t want to get hooked against Wyoming at home. Strange things happen in Laramie.

However, I truly believe Fresno State wins this game, one way or another. The Bulldogs are simply the more talented team, and the team has all the tools to take down the underwhelming Cowboys.

Plus, I’d much rather back the better quarterback in any matchup, and Haener is miles ahead of Chambers in that department.

I’ll take Fresno State at anything better than -175.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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