Fresno State Bulldogs vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Date and Time: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA
Opening College Football Odds: San Diego State -11.5
Fresno State vs. San Diego State TV Coverage: CBS Sports Network
This might be one of the more meaningful games of the entire weekend in college football. The Aztecs already have one conference loss, and if they get stuck with a second here, Fresno State would need to lose three of its last four games to fall out of first place in the MWC West.
That said, San Diego State has zip to worry about the rest of the way if this game is won. The Bulldogs still play against Hawaii and Wyoming on the road and Boise State at home, and the likelihood of them getting through those last three games of the season unscathed are slim.
Still, Fresno State deserves a ton of credit this year for coming out of nowhere and being relevant in the Mountain West. The team was clocked by Alabama and Washington in consecutive weeks but covered both spreads, and now, it has one of the best ATS marks in the land at 5-0-1 and could become the favorite to win the conference with an upset in San Diego.
The Aztecs shouldn't go quietly, though. Yes, they were beaten by Boise State by a resounding final score of 31-14, but they were also in a 14-0 hole without their defense giving up a single point. You can't let a team return a punt and a fumble for a touchdown before it allows its first sustained drive.
San Diego State was never built to play from behind, and we saw that play out on Saturday. Rashaad Penny's Heisman campaign fell apart when he rushed for just 53 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown, and we learned once again why Christian Chapman can't be counted upon to throw the football. He went 12-for-27 for 240 yards and a touchdown, though those numbers are a bit skewed thanks to an 89-yard hookup for a touchdown with Fred Trevillion late in the third quarter.
Let's not forget that this SDSU defense isn't bad. The unit only let the Boise State offense score 17 points last week, and that would have marked the seventh straight game to start the season keeping teams in the 20s if not for the two non-offensive BSU scores.
Against a respectable schedule to date, the Aztecs rank No. 17 in the land in total defense and No. 41 in scoring defense, and we know darn well those scoring numbers should be way better than 21.0 points per game suggests.
Fresno State vs. San Diego State Free Picks
The betting action has been all one-way traffic at all of the best college football sports early in the week. The Aztecs opened at -11.5 and are way down to -7.5.
Still, we think this is an overreaction. San Diego State isn't as strong this year as it was last season, but it's still got the best team in the MWC.
Fresno State is one of the tougher teams in the land to handicap, knowing that its two losses were against teams that were in the CFP last season. But on the flip side, the Bulldogs haven't played against the meat of their schedule yet either. This feels like a game where they're snapped back into place in a hurry.
College Football ATS Pick: San Diego State -7.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: San Diego State 37, Fresno State 20