Who’s ready for some Thursday night college football? NCAA Week 5 gets underway with a matchup between Utah State and BYU at 8 p.m. ET.
The Cougars have gotten off to a strong start this season. They did lose a road game at Oregon, but BYU has an impressive win over Baylor under its belt. Overall, they’re sitting at 3-1 for the season, and they’re ranked as the No. 19 team in the AP Poll.
Things haven’t been nearly as pretty for Utah State. They’ve won just one of their first four games, including a 55-point demolition at the hands of Alabama. There’s obviously no shame in losing to the Crimson Tide, but they couldn’t even manage a single point.
Can BYU take care of business at home? Let’s dive into the Utah State vs. BYU predictions and best bets for Thursday, Sept. 29.
Utah State vs. BYU Odds
|Utah State||+24 (-105)||+1200||O 60.5 (-110)|
|@ BYU||-24 (-115)||-2400||U 60.5 (-110)|
Odds via BetFred Sportsbook as of 11 a.m. ET on Sep. 27
- Date: Thursday, Sept. 29
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium (Provo, UT)
- TV: ESPN
Utah State vs. BYU Predictions Trends
- Utah State is 1-3 this season (0-3 against the spread).
- BYU is 3-1 this season (2-2 against the spread).
- Utah State was 9-4 against the spread last season.
- BYU was 5-8 against the spread last season.
- Utah State is 5-1 against the spread in their last six matchups vs. BYU.
- Utah State is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games vs. teams with winning records.
- Utah State is 0-8 against the spread in their last eight games vs. teams who average at least 30 points per game.
- BYU is 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games as a moneyline favorite of at least -300.
- As of Tuesday, DraftKings reports that 69% of the spread bets and 68% of the handle are on BYU.
- As for the total, 58% of the bets and 79% of the handle are on the under.
Can Utah State Get Any Stops?
Utah State is not a particularly good football team, and that’s especially true on the defensive side of the ball. It’s a big reason why they’ve struggled to cover the spread against good offensive teams over the past few seasons.
They’ve allowed an average of 411 yards per game through their first four contests, despite playing some pedestrian squads. Alabama obviously torched them – they racked up 559 yards of total offense – but allowing more than 400 yards to Weber State is more concerning. Utah State was listed as 6.5-point home favorites in that contest, but Weber State outgained them by nearly 120 yards. That’s inexcusable.
Turnovers have been another major issue for the Aggies. They’ve averaged 3.0 turnovers per game this season, with quarterback Logan Bonner racking up eight picks in four contests. It goes without saying that when your defense is struggling, you don’t want to put them in an even worse spot by turning it over.
Add it all up, and the Aggies have allowed 36.0 points per game this season. That ranks 117th out of 131 FBS schools. BYU can put some points on the board, so this doesn’t seem like a good spot for Utah State.
Jaren Hall: The Best QB You’ve Never Heard Of
BYU is not known as a college football powerhouse, but they’ve produced some solid NFL players. Steve Young famously attended BYU, as did current Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.
The Cougars could have another NFL quarterback on campus in Jaren Hall. He’s technically a fifth-year Junior, and this is his second season as the team’s full-time starter. He averaged 9.3 adjusted yards per attempt with 20 touchdowns and five picks last year, and he’s off to another good start in 2022. He’s racked up 9.0 adjusted yards per attempt with nine touchdowns and one interception, which has put him on the NFL Draft radar.
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) September 27, 2022
He’s coming off arguably his best performance of the year last week vs. Wyoming. He completed 26 of 32 passes for 337 yards and four touchdowns, and he’s also thrown 115 consecutive passes without a pick. It’s his third streak of at least 100 passes without an interception during his career.
Hall will have another chance to improve his draft standing Thursday on ESPN. Expect him to take advantage.
Utah State vs. BYU Predictions
I’m almost always inclined to take underdogs when picking games. It’s ingrained in my DNA. The general public has a tendency to overrate good teams and underrate bad ones, so there’s often value in grabbing the points.
This does not seem like one of those spots.
Utah State has some major problems on defense, and the fact that they can’t stop turning the ball over doesn’t help. Bonner leads the league in interceptions, and they’re also losing nearly one fumble per game as well.
The one thing the Aggies’ defense has done well is generating turnovers, but that doesn’t seem likely against the Cougars. Hall knows how to protect the football, and they’re averaging just 0.5 turnovers per game on the year.
Covering 24 points is a lot, but BYU has been tested in recent weeks by teams like Baylor, Oregon, and Wyoming. They do have a matchup vs. Notre Dame in South Bend the following week, so hopefully, they aren’t looking ahead to that spot. As long as they’re focused, I like their chances of taking care of business at home.
Pick: BYU -24.0 | -115 at BetFred Sportsbook