Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-3.5) at Louisville Cardinals
Both the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3) and the Louisville Cardinals (2-3) will look to make it two covers in a row when they meet at Cardinal Stadium on Friday night (7 p.m., ESPN). Each program began the year 0-4 against the spread.
Georgia Tech lives and dies by the run-pass option with quarterback TaQuon Marshall calling the shots. He completes less than 50 percent of his passes but is the leading rusher on a team that’s amassed over 1600 yards on the ground through five games, the second-best mark in the country. Louisville’s defense hasn’t stopped much of anything this season, as they’re 70th in the nation in points allowed and 80th in rushing yards per game allowed.
The Yellow Jackets’ defense is nothing special either, but the Cardinals’ attack has been held to 24 or fewer points in four of their first five games and ranks 113th in yards per play. By contrast, Georgia Tech’s offense is 21st in yards per play despite being mostly reliant on the run.
Prediction: Georgia Tech wins, 31-27
The play: Georgia Tech -3.5
Utah State Aggies at BYU Cougars (-2.5)
The surprisingly good Utah State Aggies (3-1) look to continue their successful season at LaVell Edwards Stadium when they face the BYU Cougars (3-2) on Friday night (9 p.m., ESPN2).
The Aggies have begun the 2018 campaign a perfect 4-0 against the spread, suffering a one-score defeat to the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing before reeling off three straight wins and covers.
Utah State’s high-octane offense, sixth in the nation in points per game, is led by Jordan Love, who’s already amassed over 1,000 passing yards this season. He has a slew of running backs to turn to, as six different rushers have found the end zone for the Aggies this year, but Gerold Bright and Darwin Thompson get the bulk of the carries. They both have big play ability, as each has recorded at least one 50-yard TD this year.
Bright averages over seven yards per carry, while Thompson averages over nine yards per carry. The Cougars, who are 70th in yards per play allowed, look ill-equipped to handle Utah State’s offense.
Meanwhile, BYU’s offense is far from explosive. They are 113th in points per game and 120th in yards per play. They’ll face a stingy Aggies defense that surrenders the ninth-fewest yards per play in the country.
Also, according to the trends, Utah State is on the right side. They’ve covered in seven of their last 10 games against BYU, while the Cougars have dropped six of their last eight against the spread in their own building. The underdog Aggies might win this one in a romp.
Prediction: Utah State wins, 34-14
The play: Utah State +2.5
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