The Utah State Aggies have a shot at their first title in the conference when they visit the 19th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs for Saturday's 2021 Mountain West Championship Game. The Aggies (9-3) joined the MWC in 2013 a year after winning the Western Athletic Conference. They reached the Mountain West final in their first year but lost to Fresno State. They have won six of their past seven games and have one of the nation's top passing offenses. The Aztecs (11-1) have won three Mountain West titles, most recently in 2016, and they have one of the nation's best defenses. They rallied to beat Boise State 27-16 last Friday to earn their spot.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET a Dignity Health Stadium in Carson, Calif. The Aztecs are the six-point favorites in Caesars Sportsbook's latest Utah State vs. San Diego State odds, and the over-under for total points scored is 49.5. Before locking in any San Diego State vs. Utah State picks or college football predictions, you need to see what the red-hot SportsLine Projection Model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,700 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Championship Week 2021 on a 42-28 run on all top-rated college football side picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has locked in on Utah State vs. San Diego State and just released its coveted picks and CFB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several CFB odds and betting trends for San Diego State vs. Utah State:
- Utah State vs. San Diego State spread: Aztecs -6
- Utah State vs. San Diego State over-under: 49.5 points
- Utah State vs. San Diego State money line: Aggies +190, Aztecs -230
- USU: It is 4-1 ATS in its past five vs. ranked teams
- SDSU: It is 7-6-1 ATS in its last 14 MWC games
Why the Aztecs can cover
SDSU has scored at least 38 points in winning three of the last four meetings, with the loss a 23-17 setback in 2019. The defense has been one of the nation's best, ranking second against the run (78.7 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (17.3 points). Aggies QB Logan Bonner could be in for a long night, as end Cameron Thomas has 10.5 sacks and leads the nation with 31 QB hits. Jonah Tavai has 6.5 sacks, and SDSU has 20 takeaways. Patrick McMorris and Trenton Thompson both have three picks and Andrew Aleki has returned two for TDs.
The Aztecs rallied to score 24 consecutive points to beat Boise State 27-16 last Friday. Backup QB Jordon Brookshire relieved banged-up starter Lucas Johnson and threw for 192 yards and rushed for 46 in the win, but the situation is unclear. SDSU typically relies more on the run, averaging almost 178 per game on the ground (50th in FBS), so senior Greg Bell should see plenty of work. He has 949 rushing yards and eight TDs, and three other running backs average at least 4.3 yards per carry. The Aztecs are 7-4 ATS in home games over the past two seasons.
Why the Aggies can cover
Utah State has covered the spread in eight of its 12 games, and Bonner leads a prolific passing offense. The Aggies average 305 passing yards per game, the 15th-highest in the nation, and Bonner has thrown for 3,242 yards. The Arkansas State transfer's 32 TD passes rank 10th in the nation, and he is 14th in averaging 14.2 yards per completion. Receivers Deven Thompkins (17.7 yards per catch) and Derek Wright (17.9) both are threats to make a huge play, and the SDSU defense's weakness is against the pass (236 yards per game, 80th).
Thompkins has team highs with 87 receptions and 1,543 yards, while Wright has just 39 receptions but has scored 10 times. Utah State averages 24 first downs per game (second in MWC) and converts 45 percent of its third downs (first). RBs Calvin Tyler (723 yards, five TDs) and Elelyon Noa (546, four) can also wear down the Aztecs. Utah State allows 397 yards and 26 points per game but has 19 takeaways. Linebacker Justin Rice is the leader of the unit, putting up 101 tackles and picking off three passes. The Aggies are 5-1 ATS on the road.
How to make Utah State vs. San Diego State picks
The model is projecting the game to go under on the total, suggesting the teams will combine for 44 points. It has also has generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the model's San Diego State vs. Utah State pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Saturday's Mountain West Championship Game? And which side of the spread is hitting well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the Utah State vs. San Diego State spread to back Saturday, all from the advanced model on a 42-28 run on its top-rated college football picks, and find out.