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Friday Night Lights: Utah State vs. San Jose State

Utah State is coming off a disheartening 17-14 loss at USC, while the Spartans are recovering from a 43-24 loss at Minnesota.  Utah State was actually even with the Trojans in terms of total yards, but a missed field goal proved to be the difference at the Coliseum. Minnesota dominated the line of scrimmage against an undermanned San Jose State front seven as the Golden Gophers ran for 353 yards at 5.3 yards per carry.  The oddsmakers have installed San Jose State as 9.5-point underdogs at home against the Aggies, and Pro Edge’s professional handicappers like the home underdog in this spot.

San Jose State (+9.5) (-110) over Utah State

San Jose State Offense:

  • The Spartans are averaging 20.3 points per game this season on 75 rushing yards (3.2 yards per carry), 293 passing yards (7.9 yards per pass attempt) and 368 total yards (6.1 yards per play);
  • Overall, San Jose State is 0.7 yards per pass attempt and 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively, while also being 0.4 yards per rush play worse than average on the ground.

San Jose State Defense:

  • The Spartans are allowing 25.7 points per game on 212 rushing yards (4.3 yards per carry), 157 passing yards (5.9 yards per pass attempt) and 369 total yards (4.9 yards per play);
  • Overall, San Jose State is 0.2 yards per rush play, 0.6 yards per pass attempt and 0.3 yards per play better than average defensively in 2013.

From a fundamental standpoint, San Jose State has a 0.1 yards per play advantage defensively over the Aggies’ offense, which is only 0.2 yards per play better than average. Interestingly, both teams are evenly matched when the Spartans have the ball as they are 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively, while Utah State is 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively.

The technical analysis is a wash as Utah State is 14-2 ATS over the last two seasons, including 9-1 ATS as favorites, 7-0 ATS versus non-conference opponents and 12-3 ATS following a loss by three points or less.  Similarly, San Jose State is 13-3 ATS over the last two seasons, including 12-3 ATS as underdogs (L/3 years), 11-2 ATS versus non-conference opponents and 13-4 ATS after the first month of the regular season. Professional bettors have already moved aggressively on San Jose State as the Spartans have been bet down to 8.5-point underdogs. Pro Edge Sports Picks agrees with the early move and recommend a wager on San Jose State.