Ohio vs. San Diego State Odds & Predictions for College Football Week 0 Matchup

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A Midwest minnow travels a long way just to get pummeled, pick up a nifty check, enjoy a couple of beach days and a few fish tacos, then heads home to begin its season.

No, that isn’t Ohio’s theme, not with Kurtis Rourke at quarterback, and not with the home team having established zero advantage inside its two-year-old edifice.

They’ve met once, but it was a non-game as then-coach Rocky Long publicly called it a glorified SDSU spring practice. The Aztecs were 2.5-point dogs and got belted, 27-0, by the Bobcats in the 2018 Frisco Bowl.

For many, it represented one of the easiest, no-sweat bowl-game wagering poaches of all time. We see this position not producing a single bead of sweat, either.

Let’s take a look at Ohio vs. San Diego State odds and predictions.

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Read: College Football Week 0 odds

Ohio vs. San Diego State Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline

Here are live odds from around the betting market for Ohio vs. San Diego State.

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Ohio Bobcats (10-4, 10-4 ATS in ’22)

Nine months after surgery, reports out of Ohio indicate Kurtis Rourke will start Saturday.
Nine months after surgery, reports out of Ohio indicate Kurtis Rourke will start Saturday. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

In November, the 6-foot-5 Rourke, an Oakville, Ontario native known as the Maple Missile, tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee.

His loss might have affected the Bobcats in a 17-7 defeat to Toledo in the MAC title game, but reserve QB CJ Harris fared well in a 30-27 overtime triumph over Wyoming in the Arizona Bowl.

In fact, Ohio has defeated its past six foes from the Mountain West and Western Athletic conferences, western leagues on par with the MAC.

Nine months after surgery, reports out of Ohio indicate Rourke will start Saturday. He has thrown for 5,444 career yards and has an 8.7 yards-per-attempt ratio, 39 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

Rourke and Harris (who ran for three TDs against Bowling Green last season) are the experienced signal-callers, and Sieh Bangura and Sam Wiglusz are the Cats’ ground and air danger men.

Bangura, out of DeMatha High in Maryland, ran for triple-digit yardage in three of his final five games of 2022, averaging 117 yards. He tallied 13 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Wiglusz, who began his career at Ohio State, recorded three 100-yard receiving games last year and tallied 11 TDs.

The Aztecs have long made their name on defense, but the Bobcats have a linebacker unit that rates higher than SDSU’s; in his annual, a bible of the game, Phil Steele ranks those Ohio ’backers 44th and the Aztecs’ 53rd.

One analyst raves about SDSU edge rushers Cody Moon and Cooper McDonald. When Ohio’s tackles and tailbacks manage those beasts, Rourke should shine.

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San Diego State Aztecs (7-6, 5-8 ATS in ’22)

Steele ranks Rourke 12th in the nation. The college pigskin guru does not list SDSU QB Jalen Mayden on his national list of 68. 

Understandable, since the Aztecs’ coaching staff had no clue what they were doing and what was on its roster one year ago.

Well-traveled Braxton Burmeister was a bust, Kyle Crum got injured and, wait, who’s over there at the Aztec (rover-disruptor) position in the secondary? Mayden, who arrived at SDSU from Mississippi State as a QB.

Fourth-year Aztecs coach Brady Hoke, in his second go-round at SDSU, and staff made messy decisions, but he did right the ship by bringing in former Aztecs QB Ryan Lindley from Mississippi State halfway through the campaign.

Lindley saw Mayden and Jeff Hecklinski got sacked as offensive coordinator, a position Lindley now occupies. A woeful offense needed altering, just don’t count on everything being fixed in 10 months.

Unless Lindley is a maestro.

Mayden (6-3, 230) doesn’t run often. He did have time to throw for 2,000 yards, but nearly had as many picks (10) as TDs (12).

Depleted at wideout, Mayden’s top target is tight end Mark Redman (6-6, 250). At tailback, the Aztecs’ leading rusher produced the lowest output (390 yards) since 2000.

Don’t be surprised to see the Aztecs misfire repeatedly on offense. Steele rates Ohio’s offensive linemen and running backs higher than SDSU’s, so the Bobcats might focus their attack on Bangura — banging through the line, burning clock.

It probably says something that the premier Aztecs player is senior punter-kicker Jack Browning; Steele ranks the SDSU special teams at No. 5 in the nation.

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Ohio vs. San Diego State Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick

In ’22, the Aztecs were favored four times at home. In all four games, they failed to cover the spread, losing once and nearly losing another one.

For whatever reason, Steele gave SDSU a 3.5-point home advantage. But it’s a home-field disadvantage and should be zero, until further notice. The Bobcats’ +120 moneyline is attractive.

(In his second season in Ohio, coach Tim Albin fashioned a squad that recorded a top-10 national 10-4 ATS figure. Out of the weekend, a 3.5-point spread got shaved to 2.5.)

We’re sticking with the total. Eleven of SDSU’s final 13 games last year failed to touch this total. It tends to set a slow tone that spirals games, and an FS1 national television audience might be lulled into REM sleep by the second quarter.

Ohio lost kicker Nathanial Vakos to Wisconsin, but that won’t matter. Watch SDSU settle for field goals. With two touchdowns, the Bobcats might seal it.

Under all the way. And let’s follow a careful tack, for the first couple of weekends, and make this a half-unit play.

Our Pick: Under 49 (-110)

Also read: Discover the best sportsbook app for you | How to bet on CFB

About the Author
Rob Miech

Rob Miech

Writer
Rob Miech is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today who covers soccer and specializes in features content. He has written about college hoops for the Las Vegas Sun, CBS SportsLine and the Pasadena Star-News. Miech is the author of four books, including Sports Betting for Winners.

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