The Daily Sweat: Boise State and San Diego State headline a Friday football feast
San Diego State is not favored to get to 11-1.
The Aztecs enter their regular-season finale against Boise State on Friday as a 3-point underdog at BetMGM. The Broncos are having a down season by their standards but can get to 8-4 with a win. San Diego State is the only team in the Mountain West in the College Football Playoff rankings and is also at home.
So what gives? This feels like one of the lines where Vegas knows more than the public. We don’t have to look too far in the rear view to understand why. Both Clemson and Utah were favored a week ago at home and they won outright over teams ranked much higher. While Boise State is on the road, this is a line where oddsmakers are begging you to take San Diego State. And so far, it’s working. The Aztecs are getting most of the money.
Boise State is on a four-game win streak after dropping to 3-4 with a loss to Air Force. That streak includes a 40-14 road win over a Fresno State team that handed San Diego State its only loss of the season. If you believe in the transitive property, it’s easy to see why Boise State is the favorite.
Boise State is 7-4 against the spread so far this season and its games have gone over just three times. San Diego State is 5-5-1 against the spread and 5-6 against the total. Remember, the total is always low for San Diego State games. Friday’s total is 44.5 points. Oh, the game also kicks off at 9 a.m. PT. We could have some ugly football to start.
Texas favored over Kansas State
Texas is on its longest losing streak since 1956 and will drop to 4-8 with a loss. Yet the Longhorns are 2.5-point favorites at home on Friday against Kansas State.
The Wildcats are 7-4, though they could be without QB Skylar Thompson on Friday. Thompson was carted off the field with an ankle injury late in Kansas State’s loss to Baylor last week. The injury isn’t as serious as the team feared, but if Thompson can’t go, Will Howard will start in his place. Kansas State is a much better team with Thompson on the field.
Iowa is now a 1.5-point favorite at Nebraska after the Huskers opened as 2.5-point favorites. The line has shifted in part because Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez will miss the game because of a shoulder injury. Nebraska is 5-19 in one-score games under coach Scott Frost and it won’t be surprising to see that record go to 5-20 on Friday. This could be a close game even if Iowa is trying to get to 10-2 while Nebraska just wants to minimize the damage in a losing season.
Cincinnati is a 2-touchdown favorite
Cincinnati is favored by 14 points at East Carolina as the Bearcats try to stay in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings. East Carolina has made a nice leap under Mike Houston in 2021 and could give the Bearcats a game. But Cincinnati proved last week against SMU that it’s the best team in the AAC. The question here should simply be if Cincinnati covers.
The Bearcats are 6-5 against the spread so far this season and are 5-6 against the total. ECU is 7-3-1 against the spread this season.
Who cashed tickets Thursday?
Betting underdogs was profitable on Thursday in the NFL. The Lions covered against the Bears and the Raiders won outright against the Cowboys, thanks to an overtime field goal.
The Bills bucked the movement Thursday night, however, with a 31-6 win over the Saints as 7-point favorites. Both Bills-Saints and Bears-Lions hit the under.
Ole Miss bettors were also happy. The Rebels beat Mississippi State 31-21 as an underdog to get to 10-2 in the regular season for the first time in program history.