The Utah State Aggies (1-3, 0-1) visit the No. 19 BYU Cougars (3-1) on Thursday night in Provo. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. EST and the game can be watched on ESPN. BYU is a strong home favorite and the game has a point total set at . Below, we’ll look at Utah State at BYU odds, betting preview, and whether or not there’s a play to be made in this one.
Utah State At BYU Odds
- College Football Week 5 odds for every game.
Utah State At BYU Odds Movement
There isn’t much to write home about in terms of odds movement in this matchup. BYU opened as a 24-point home favorite and they remain a 24-point favorite. How lines move right after opening is pretty indicative of how “sharp” bettors presume them to be and whether or not we’ll see them continue to move throughout the week. In this case, the spread didn’t budge. Barring a midweek inactive or surprise injury, don’t expect this number to move much if at all.
The point total also didn’t do a lot of moving, but does vary from book to book. Depending where you look, you can find 60, 60.5, or 61.
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Reinforcing The Troops
BYU’s faced a lot of injuries so far this season, particularly on defense. In their 41-20 loss to Oregon two weeks ago, the Cougars were down three defensive starters (two on the defensive line) and a pair of top receivers. Finally, BYU gets fifth-year receiver Gunner Romney back after he missed the first four games with an injury. Top receiver Chase Roberts left last week’s win over Wyoming with an injury, but coach Kalani Sitake expects him on the field for Utah State.
Despite piecing together a starting lineup each week from whoever BYU had available, the Cougars are 3-1 with a big win over Baylor.
Utah State is far from the toughest test on the slate for BYU, but this game very much is critical moving forward. With most of their starters returning this week, Thursday night provides a good get-right game to get everything in order. The Thursday time slot also provides a bonus couple of days of rest before the Cougars hit the road for Las Vegas and a neutral-site game against Notre Dame.
With that said…
A Costly Lookahead Spot?
We all know the dangers of lookahead spots for teams. Nearly every week, we see big underdogs win games outright because the opposing team wasn’t focused on the game at hand. After Miami’s 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State, players said the team wasn’t focused and didn’t take MTSU seriously enough. With conference play on tap the next week, they fell victim to the lookahead spot.
Could this be the case for BYU on Thursday night? The potential for it makes a 24-point spread seem juicy to fall on Utah State.
Last season, BYU was caught in this situation. Coming off a big win over top-25 Utah State and the week before a road date with top-10 Baylor, BYU was bitten by visiting Boise State.
Here’s Why That Probably Won’t Happen
Utah State is missing one critical factor that goes into pulling off a lookahead spot: Clean play.
The Aggies have the sixth-most penalty yardage per game through four full weeks and Logan Bonner has thrown more interceptions (eight) than TDs (six) this season. One of the key factors into pulling off letdown upsets is that the team at hand doesn’t beat themselves. In a shocking 35-7 loss to FCS Weber State, Bonner and backup QB Cooper Legas combined for four interceptions and zero TDs thrown.
Utah State is dead last in the nation in EPA margin per game (-20.51). Outside of a 24-0 second quarter in Week 0 vs. UConn, Utah State is being outscored 144-38 on the season.
Be wary when betting a mistake- and turnover-prone team.
Utah State At BYU Forecast
In a vacuum, spotting a team in a lookahead spot 24 points is a really exciting bet. Returning a few pieces and a “get-right” spot makes it even more exciting. However, when you factor in Utah State’s putrid performance in 2022 so far, that’s just not a proposition I’m willing to bet on.
There’s a reason this line’s seen zero action to move it. The best action on this game is to file away the trap feel and look for a live opportunity to bet it should Utah State look halfway competent early. But ultimately, I’m not betting this line.
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