The BYU Cougars host the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday, October 14th in a non-conference showdown. These teams last met in 2001 with the Cougars beating the Bulldogs 41-38 on the road. The road team has won the only two prior meetings.Mississippi St vs BYU Vegas Betting Preview & Spread
BYU (3-3) is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 31-14 road victory over Michigan State. Trailing 7-3 at halftime, the Cougars outscored the Spartans 28-7 after intermission to run away with it.
Mississippi State (2-3) is coming off its worst loss of the season, a 14-38 beat down at home at the hands of Auburn. The Bulldogs were never really in this game as they trailed 35-0 at halftime.
Kickoff inside LaVell Edwards Stadium is scheduled for 10:15 EST Friday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. The NCAA football lines for Week 7 show BYU as a 7.5-point favorite over Mississippi State with a total set of 58 points.Free Pick & Point Total Prediction: UNDER 58
If I had to recommend a play on the side I’d take Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are coming off a blowout loss to Auburn, while the Cougars are coming off a blowout win at Michigan State. There could be some value with the Bulldogs after those results, especially with this being a letdown spot for BYU.
However, I think the better bet is on the total. The oddsmakers have set this number higher than it should be at 58 points. That means they are expecting more than eight touchdowns in this game, and I’m just not seeing it.
Mississippi State has played five games this season, and four of them have seen 52 or fewer combined points. The only exception was a 47-35 win over lowly UMass, which doesn’t play defense. They combined for 42 against South Alabama, 41 against South Carolina, 43 against LSU and 52 against Auburn.
Mississippi State has played five games this season, and four of them have seen 52 or fewer combined points. BYU has played six games this season, and four of those have seen 45 or fewer combined points.
BYU has played six games this season, and four of those have seen 45 or fewer combined points. The exceptions were West Virginia and Toledo, which are two teams known for their offenses. They combined for 34 with Arizona, 39 with Utah, 31 with UCLA and 45 with Michigan State.
The season averages for both teams also show there is value with the UNDER. Mississippi State puts up 25.6 points per game and gives up 26.2, which equates to 51.8 points per game on average. BYU puts up 28.2 points and gives up 25.8 points per game, which equates to an average of 54.0 points per game.
Both teams love to run the football as they both run it more than they pass it. Mississippi State averages 197 rushing yards per game on 38 carries. BYU averages 209 rushing yards per game on 39 carries. That’s going to keep the clock moving as each team prefers to move the ball on the ground.
That also makes this a great matchup for the defenses. The Bulldogs only give up 134 rushing yards per game and 3.7 per carry against teams that average 159 rushing yards per game and 4.2 per carry. The Cougars allow 126 rushing yards per game and 3.6 per carry against teams that average 178 yards per game and 4.4 per carry.
BYU is 30-8 to the UNDER in its last 38 games versus good rushing teams who average 4.75 or more yards per carry. Mississippi State is 29-13 to the UNDER in its last 42 after two more more consecutive ATS losses. Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (BYU) – in a game involving two poor passing teams (5.6-6.4 yards/attempt) are 44-14 (75.9%) since 1992.
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Move over Donny and Marie, Penn and Teller.
One of the most popular tickets in Nevada this week has been Utah-BYU.
This weekend’s rivalry game in Provo has drawn plenty of interest from bettors. According to William Hill, Nevada’s largest sports book operator, more money has been wagered on the Utes and Cougars than any other college game. The contest has garnered 14 percent of the total money wagered on point spreads for this week’s 44 games.
Of today's 44 College 🏈games (featuring two FBS teams), these ten have attracted the most Point Spread $'s at our 108 NV Books & app. pic.twitter.com/ntCfUGzorw
The Cougars opened as 1.5-point favorites but the line since has shifted to favor Utah — and the vast majority of bettors like the Utes to cover. Utah has been the choice on 94 percent of the bets (good for 97 percent of the money wagered) made on the game at William Hill’s sports books.
William Hill operates more than 100 books in Nevada, including Binion’s Gambling Hall & Casino and the Wendover Nugget across the border from Utah.
One of the fiercest rivalries in college football will be on display this weekend when the BYU Cougars host the Utah Utes. Kickoff is set for 10:15 EST on Saturday, September 9, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The game can be seen on ESPN2.
BYU is currently listed as a 1.5-point favorite over their in-state rivals. That’s a drastic shift after Utah originally opened as 3.5-point favorites. Click here for a full list of Week 2 betting odds and links to game previews.Utah vs BYUVegas Odds & Game Preview
BYU is already two games into its season, playing two completely different types of games. First, the Cougars took care of Portland State, a tough FCS team, winning 20-6. BYU then played a “neutral site” game in New Orleans against LSU, getting shut out by the Tigers 27-0.
Both games went as most would have expected for BYU, who continues to play football as an independent. Perhaps by design, the Cougars scheduled their biggest rivalry game the week after their most difficult game. By comparison, playing Utah shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as playing LSU. Of course, the Cougars may be lacking in confidence after getting shutout.
Utah, on the other hand, has played just one game this year, a 21-point victory over North Dakota. The Utes started the game slowly but eventually hit their stride and came away with a convincing victory against an inferior FCS team.
With the always-challenging Pac-12 schedule set to get underway in a couple weeks, a road trip to BYU should be good preparation for Utah. Of course, playing the Cougars is always the biggest game on the schedule for Kyle Whittingham’s team.Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Utah +1.5
It’s tough to place bets on rivalry games, especially one with the nickname “Holy War.” But with BYU becoming favorites, I’ll comfortably pick Utah to win as road underdogs. The Utes have taken six in a row in this rivalry, as well as 11 of the last 14. That’s a considerable amount of domination and makes the Utes difficult to pick against.
Utah is also a more established program that I trust more in big games when emotions are sure to run high. Whittingham has been at Utah for over a decade and he’s led Utah to at least nine wins and a top-25 ranking in each of the last three years. Meanwhile, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake is only in his second season at the helm. He’s still trying to create a winning culture.
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On the field, BYU doesn’t have the personnel to attack Utah’s weaknesses. The Utes have a strong front-7, holding North Dakota to two yards per rush in their opener. Utah’s secondary may be vulnerable, but the Cougars may not be able to exploit that. Quarterback Tanner Mangum understandably struggled against LSU. But he wasn’t all that sharp against Portland State either. The Cougars are also trying to figure out their go-to receivers after losing their top three pass catchers from last season.
Offensively, the Utes made the surprising move to go with sophomore Tyler Huntley over senior Troy Smith. Huntley has a nice collection of receivers at his disposal and settled in nicely during the opener. Utah can always decide to go back to Smith against BYU in the event Huntley struggles on the big stage. That’s a nice luxury to have in a big game.
All things considered, there’s little about BYU that stands out. The team lacks the kind of game breakers that are often necessary to win rivalry games like this, especially rivalries that have been one sided of late. The Utes should win the battle in the trenches on defense and challenge BYU with its playmakers on offense. I firmly expect the Utes to continue their domination of this rivalry.
Utah and BYU Battle For State Bragging Rights – in Vegas
One of the things that the college bowl season affords us is the opportunity to see intriguing matchups, including those between geographic rivals who did not have a chance to meet up during the regular season. Such is the case in the Las Vegas Bowl, in which the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars will have an opportunity to renew their rivalry. These schools have not met in either of the last two regular seasons, and part of it is that BYU has gone independent, while Utah is, of course, a member of the Pac 12. This game gets underway at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday, and even after the opening kickoff, BetAnySports customers will have a chance to challenge the college football betting odds in real time through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.Las Vegas Bowl – BetAnySports COLLEGE FOOTBALL BETTING LINE:
In the college football betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Utah is the slight favorite:
Kyle Winningham, the coach at Utah, went to school at BYU, and he has a record of 7-2 ATS against his alma mater. He has also done a stellar job in bowl games, with an 8-1-straight up record. Some have speculated that he could be a candidate for the BYU job, which is being vacated by Bronco Mendenhall, who is moving onto the University of Virginia. However, in a switch from the norm, Mendenhall did not take off yet but will stick around, along with six of his assistants who are making the jump with him, to handle this ballgame. With 99 wins at BYU, Mendenhall would certainly love to exit by getting the century mark.
BYU has lost its last four meetings with Utah, and three of them were close games. Do they have what it takes to get over the hump in this one? Well, at the start of the season it looked like they were going to have a rather hard-hitting running game, but quarterback Taysom Hill, who was being touted as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate, injured his knee and was out for the year. He was one of the best dual threats at the position in the country. In stepped Tanner Mangum, the 24–year-old freshman who had just come off a mission in Chile and who performed some late-game heroics in his first two appearances (wins over Nebraska and Boise State). Mangum had a pretty good season, throwing for 21 touchdowns and 3062 yards. As for the ground attack, it kind of flattened out over the last four games of the season, and gained 74 yards or less in three of those four.
BetAnySports patrons who follow college football betting are well aware that Utah loves to play the “smash mouth” style. They suffered a big blow with the injury loss of Devontae Booker (1261 yards), but Joe Williams stepped in and gained 308 yards over the last two games of the regular season. Still, this team won’t have a lot of running back depth. And is the arm of 6-foot-7 quarterback Travis Wilson trustworthy? He only had 218 passing yards in the last two games, and never exceeded 300 in any individual contest.
Utah led the nation in sacks last season, and their pass rush was hardly dormant this season, with 33 sacks. But BYU got more pressure on the passer, registering 37 sacks, and the Cougars hope to take advantage of a couple of Utah receivers who, at the very least, will not be 100%. Britain Covey, who was a freshman All-America, is doubtful with an ankle injury and Kenneth Scott, the second-leading receiver, is questionable with an injured foot.
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If you are a fan of old school, smash mouth, low-scoring, defensive football, then the matchup between BYU and Utah on Saturday night will be the game for you.
Utah failed its first real test of the season, and its first test as a member of the new Pac-12, by losing to USC last week. The Utes only victory this season came against Montana State on September 1. It has been a year of transition for the Utes and that transition has not gone smoothly thus far.
BYU has had a sluggish start to the season. It started with a 14-13 victory over Mississippi in Week 1, but the success was short-lived as they were beaten, 17-16, in an ugly game at Texas last week. The offense is still trying to find its rhythm, but the defense has held its own against quality competition.
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah
When: Saturday, September 17 at 9:15 p.m. EST
Listen: ESPN Radio 700 (Utah); KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM (BYU); Sirius Channel 143 (BYU)
Utah can't afford a second consecutive loss if it hopes to contend in the Pac-12. This is not a conference game, but another loss would ruin the confidence for this team at it heads into the heart of conference play in two weeks.
BYU is playing its third straight game against a BCS school, and it has a chance to get out of this part of the schedule with a 2-1 record. That would be a major coup for this team as it moves into the softer part of its schedule.
Running back Tauni Vakapuna (ankle), offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (ankle) and defensive end Lei Talamaivao (foot) are all questionable for this week's game.
Quarterback Sam Brenner is out indefinitely after suffering an elbow injury last week vs. USC.
Linebackers Jordan Pendleton (ankle) and Brandon Ogletree (concussion) are probable heading into the game against Utah.
Wide receiver Jordan Smith (tailbone) is questionable for this week's game after sitting out last week vs. Texas.
Offensive lineman Ryker Mathews is out for the season after undergoing foot surgery last week.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
The Utes started the season just outside the top 25, and, after two lackluster performances, they did not receive one vote for the rankings this week. But hope is not lost because BYU is a solid team and a road victory always stands out in the eyes of the voters.
BYU has caught the eyes of the voters because the team actually received some votes in the AP and Coaches Poll this week. The Cougars have to win this week to keep that momentum going, and one or two upsets this weekend could put them at No. 24 or 25.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said during his weekly press conference that BYU's defense has been critical to the success of that team so far this year.
They've been playing good defense, particularly against the run. They are stout up front, their linebackers are active and make a lot of plays for them. Through two games, they have been very stingy.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said that he sees a lot of similarities between his team and Utah heading into this game.
If you were to make an analogy right now, both defenses are playing fairly solid and both offenses are working into their own identity. Not having analyzed them enough yet it appears there could be some similarities.
Quarterback Jordan Wynn has regressed this season compared to where he was at last season. He is only averaging 4.91 yards per attempt and is completing just 55 percent of his passes through two games this season. The offense has been sluggish thus far, and Wynn's performance is a big reason why.
Running back JJ Di Luigi has looked like a shell of his former self so far this season. After averaging 5.2 yards per carry in 2010, he is down to 3.8 yards per game this season. He ran for eight touchdowns last season, but has zero so far this season. This offense needs to run the ball to be effective and efficient, and so far this year they have not been able to do it.
Jordan Wynn vs. BYU's Secondary
The Utes have struggled to score points this season, and the biggest reason for that is because Wynn has struggled to find a rhythm with his receivers. He will have to average more than the five yards per attempt that he is averaging so far this season for his team to win.
BYU's secondary has yet to create a turnover, but it has kept opposing quarterbacks at bay in its first two games. If it plays like it did against Texas last week, BYU will find itself with a 2-1 record in three games against BCS teams.
Funny things tend to happen in rivalry games, but, so far this season, BYU has been the better team and they will prove that this week in front of a raucous (but hopefully cordial) home crowd.
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