Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
Friday's Tip Sheet
Editor’s Note: Brian Edwards is poised for a big weekend full of winners, so don’t miss out on his plays for Saturday!
Colorado State at Boise State
-- As of Thursday afternoon, most sports books had Boise State (4-2 straight up, 3-3 against the spread) installed as a 23.5-point home favorite with a total of 62.5 or 63. William Hill was offering the Rams on the money line for a 12/1 return (risk $100 to win $1,200).
-- Boise State has only played at home twice this season, going 1-1 both SU and ATS. Bryan Harsin’s club smashed UConn by a 62-7 count as a 34-point home ‘chalk’ back in Week 2, but it dropped a 19-13 decision to San Diego State on Oct. 6 as a 13.5-point favorite.
-- BSU bounced back from the loss to the Aztecs last week to slip past Nevada, 31-27, as a 14.5-point road favorite. The 58 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 59.5-point total. Senior QB Brett Rypien threw for 299 yards and a pair of TDs, but he was intercepted three times. Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, the Broncos got a huge momentum-shifting play out of senior CB Tyler Horton, who intercepted Ty Gangi and returned the pick 99 yards for a TD. John Hightower had an 88-yard TD run for BSU and turned seven touches into 179 all-purpose yards.
-- Rypien, a second-team All-MWC selection last year and a first-team All-MWC choice in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns, has completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,858 yards with a 14/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His favorite target is Sean Modster, a senior WR who has 34 receptions for 480 yards and two TDs. A.J. Richardson has 27 catches for 430 yards, while Hightower has caught 21 balls for 306 yards and three TDs. Hightower has also rushed for 163 yards and two scores on merely eight attempts for a 20.4 yards-per-carry average. Junior RB Alexander Mattison has run for 416 yards and six TDs, but he’s only averaging 3.9 YPC.
-- BSU is ranked 19th in the nation in total offense, 10th in passing yards and 31st in scoring with its 36.2 points-per-game average. The Broncos are ranked 23rd in the country in total defense, 37th in pass defense, 30th at defending the run and 38th in scoring ‘D’ (21.8 PPG).
-- BSU’s other loss came at Oklahoma State (44-21) as a 1.5-point road favorite on Sept. 15. The Broncos’ two other wins came at Troy (56-20) and at Wyoming (34-14).
-- Since joining the Mountain West Conference, BSU has gone 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS when facing Colorado State. However, the Broncos needed to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and rally from 14 points down with less than four minutes remaining to capture a 59-52 victory in Ft. Collins last year. Gamblers backing BSU got an incredibly fortunate cover as a 6.5-point road ‘chalk.’ Rypien threw for 331 yards with a 4/1 TD-INT ratio, while Mattison rushed 23 times for 242 yards and three TDs.
-- Colorado State (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) is 1-1 both SU and ATS on the road. Since starting 1-4 both SU and ATS, Mike Bobo’s squad has won back-to-back contests both SU and ATS at San Jose State (42-30) and vs. New Mexico (20-18).
-- CSU edged the Lobos as a one-point home favorite thanks to Wyatt Bryan’s 26-yard walk-off field goal as time expired. The Rams played turnover-free football, had a 24-15 edge in first downs and 423-299 advantage in total offense. K.J. Carta-Samuels connected on 24-of-42 passes for 311 yards and one TD without an interception. Preston Williams, the former 5-star recruit to Tennessee who sat out last season after transferring, had nine receptions for 93 yards and one TD. Izzy Matthews rushed for 92 yards on 26 totes.
-- Colorado State owns a 6-2 spread record in eight games as a road underdog during Bobo’s four-year tenure. Meanwhile, Boise State is an abysmal 9-19 ATS in 28 games as a home favorite on Harsin’s watch.
-- Carta-Samuels has completed 61.0 percent of his throws for 1,934 yards with a 16/6 TD-INT ratio. Williams has played lights out, hauling in 52 receptions for 671 yards and seven TDs. Olabisi Johnson has caught 36 balls for 533 yards and four TDs. Matthews has 425 rushing yards for two TDs with a 3.9 YPC average. The senior RB also has 18 grabs for 116 yards and one TD.
-- CSU could be without four starters Friday night on the blue carpet. Johnson (ankle) is listed as ‘questionable’ along with senior center Colby Meeks and junior DT Richard King. Senior OG Tyler Bjorklund is ‘doubtful’ due to an ankle issue.
-- The ‘under’ is 5-2 overall for the Rams, 1-1 in their two road assignments. They’ve watched their games average combined scores of 59.7 PPG.
-- Totals have been an overall was for BSU both overall (3-3) and at home (1-1). The Broncos have seen their games average combined scores of 58.0 PPG.
-- Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Air Force at UNLV
-- As of Thursday afternoon, most spots had Air Force (2-4 SU, 4-2 ATS) listed as a 10-point road favorite with a total of 57. The Rebels were +330 on the money line (risk $100 to win $330).
-- Air Force is winless in three road games, but it has produced a 2-1 spread record. The Falcons covered the spread as eight-point underdogs at FAU in a 33-27 loss, failed to cover in a 42-32 loss at Utah State as 9.5-point ‘dogs and took the cash in last week’s 21-17 setback at San Diego St. as 11-point puppies.
-- Troy Calhoun’s club ended a three-game losing streak two weeks ago by blasting Navy 35-7 as a 2.5-point home underdog. The Falcons shut down Navy’s vaunted ground attack by limiting it to 129 rushing yards on 41 attempts (3.1 YPC). They enjoyed a 17-9 advantage in first down and a 399-178 edge in total offense. Sophomore QB Donald Hammond rushed for 60 yards and three TDs on 19 carries, in addition to throwing for 142 yards and one TD without an interception.
-- Air Force came up short against the 5-1 Aztecs last week. The 38 combined points went below the 42.5-point tally to provide the Falcons with a third straight ‘under.’ Hammond left the game with an injury and is ‘questionable’ at UNLV. Junior RB Cole Fagan rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries.
-- Air Force has compiled a 12-16 spread record in 28 games as a road favorite during Calhoun’s 12-year tenure.
-- Air Force is 28th in the country in total defense, eighth at defending the run and 37th in scoring ‘D’ (21.8 PPG).
-- UNLV (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) will be without star QB Armani Rogers for at third consecutive game Friday night at Sam Boyd Stadium. Tony Sanchez’s team has lost 50-14 at home to New Mexico and 59-28 at Utah State since the sophomore QB went down with a toe injury that’s expected to keep him out for another 3-4 weeks. Rogers rushed for 780 yards and eight TDs as a true freshman in 2017. In UNLV’s first four games this year, he had run for 488 yards and six TDs while averaging 6.9 YPC. He had completed just 41.5 percent of his throws for 369 yards, but he had a decent 6/4 TD-INT ratio.
-- Third-year sophomore QB Max Gilliam, who was an original 2016 Cal-Berkeley signed, has started the past two games. He has completed only 45.8 percent of his passes for 373 yards with a 5/2 TD-INT ratio this season.
-- UNLV senior RB Lexington Thomas has been upgraded to ‘probable’ vs. Air Force after sustaining a concussion last week. Thomas is third in career rushing yards (3,040) at UNLV and can become the school’s all-time leader if he can run for 694 more rushing yards this year. He’s run for 556 yards and six TDs with a 5.7 YPC average in 2018.
-- UNLV owns an atrocious 1-5 spread record in six games as a home underdog during Sanchez’s four-year tenure.
-- Air Force is 7-2 SU and 4-5 ATS in the past nine games of this rivalry. The Falcons had to shake off a 27-7 intermission deficit at home vs. UNLV last season to capture a 34-30 come-from-behind victory. The Rebels took the cash, however, as nine-point underdogs. The ‘over’ had hit in four straight games and eight of the past nine in this series, but the 64 combined points inched ‘under’ the 65.5-point tally. Rogers rushed for 148 yards and one TD, while Thomas rushed for 91 yards and one score on 17 attempts.
-- The ‘under’ is 5-1 overall for the Falcons, 2-1 in their road outings. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 50.8 PPG.
-- The ‘over’ is 4-2 overall for the Rebels, 2-1 in their home games. They’ve watched their games average combined scores of 66.8 PPG.
-- CBS Sports College will have the broadcast at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
-- North Texas is 6-1 for the first time in 30 years going into this week’s C-USA showdown vs. UAB at Legion Field in Birmingham. Junior QB Mason Fine, a first-team All-Conference USA choice in 2017, has a stellar 16/1 TD-INT ratio. The Mean Green is a 1.5-point underdog to the Blazers, who are 5-1 both SU and ATS and 3-0 both SU and ATS at home. North Texas is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in three road assignments. The Mean Green have seen the ‘under’ cash at a 7-0 clip.
-- How many times has Navy been a double-digit underdog during Ken Niumatalolo’s 11-year tenure? Only once. That was two seasons ago when the Midshipmen captured a 46-40 win over Houston as a 17-point home underdog. If the line holds at +11.5 like it was as of Thursday afternoon, Niumatololo’s squad will be a double-digit ‘dog once again the Cougars, who take a three-game winning streak to Annapolis.
-- Wyoming has failed to cover the spread in six straight games since getting the cash in its season-opening win at New Mexico State. The Cowboys host Utah St. on Saturday. Speaking of the Aggies, they’re 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS. Furthermore, Utah St. has seen the ‘over’ go 6-0. Utah St. was favored by 15 with the total at 51 as of Thursday.
-- Rutgers is noted in a 1-5 ATS slump going into Saturday’s home game vs. Northwestern as a 20.5-point underdog.
-- Besides Utah State, there are two other teams who remain unscathed for our purposes. Washington State is 6-0 ATS and Appalachian State is 5-0 versus the number.
-- Colorado WR Laviska Shenault has 60 receptions for 780 yards and six TDs, and he’s also run for 87 yards and five TD on 15 carries. However, Shenault is ‘questionable’ at Washington due to a toe injury. The Buffaloes, who are 5-1 after losing 31-20 at USC last week, were 16.5-point road underdogs as of Thursday. RB Travon McMillian, a grad transfer from Virginia Tech, has been upgraded to ‘probable' at UW despite dealing with a leg contusion. McMillian has rushed for 560 yards and four TDs with a 5.5 YPC average.
-- Nation’s Biggest Disappointments:
2 ) FSU
7) Arkansas State
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.