by Mark Mayer | It must be a favorites world when UNLV can close -2 against Iowa State and cover! So what if it took a field goal in overtime after blowing a 21-0 lead. Nobody said it would be easy.
The Rebels continue to be one of the surprise teams in college football after doubling down on last weeks stunning win at Arizona State to improve to 3-1 on the season both straight up and against the spread. As for Arizona State, the Sun Devils absorbed a second straight loss at home. This time it came from unbeaten Georgia, which made it first trip out west since 1960 a successful one with a 27-10 victory.
In all, favorites went 24-18 ATS in Saturdays action to nudge ahead of the underdogs for the season, 86-84-4. Obviously, no trends here. Our advice is taking every game individually until there is a decided run on either favorites or underdogs covering numbers consistently. Favorites once held a nine-game advantage early on, but the dogs bit into that and began Saturdays play with their largest advantage (4) at 66-62-4 following covers by Louisville, Colorado and Baylor in prime time weeknight games.
As in every college football weekend, there were a number of surprises. On a large scale Oregon, which rarely loses at Autzen Stadium, fell as a 10½-point favorite to Boise State 37-32. The Ducks scored the final 19 points in the game, but came up short.
On the smallest of scales Utah State, which had lost 13 of its last 14 home games, pounded visiting Idaho 42-17 as a 4-point favorite. The wildest result was at Toledo, where Fresno State eked out a 55-54 win in double overtime. The host Rockets, however, covered as a 6-point dog.
Elite teams still unbeaten against the spread include USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Penn State, and Texas. The big uglies (those to bet against) include Idaho, Army, Kent State, Washington State and Rutgers. The marquee matchup next week is in Athens, where Top 10 teams Georgia and Alabama square off in the SEC. Locally, UNLV hosts Nevada with the Rebels favored to go 4-1!