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New Mexico St. at NEW MEXICO (-5)

By Tony Weston, Featured Handicapper


COMPLIMENTARY WINNER

My complimentary winner for Saturday is on the New Mexico State Aggies on the road in their in-state rivalry at the New Mexico Lobos. I think this is a mysteriously low price, and a good indicator the dog is a live play in this game.

New Mexico comes into this one 1-1, while New Mexico State is winless after three games, but I have more respect from what I've seen out of the Aggies.

The Lobos opened the season sneaking past Sam Houston State with a 39-31 victory, and then got pummeled by No. 7 Notre Dame, 66-14.

But the Aggies have played three formidable opponents and will come into this one a bit more battle-tested and ready for a rival. New Mexico State lost 58=7 at Washington State, 62-10 at Alabama and in its home opener last week against San Diego State, 31-10.

New Mexico State has plenty back on offense, and will finally have a chance to execute against an opponent it can compete against. The last time these two met in Albuquerque, the Aggies won, 30-28, two years ago.

I will UPDATE this analysis with more tidbits and notes on Tuesday, when loading my free pick for baseball, but wanted you to get a jump with this advanced play.

Take the road pup.

2* NEW MEXICO STATE



Georgia State (+3) at TEXAS STATE

By Chris Jordan, Featured Handicapper


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My free play is for Saturday, on Georgia State plus the points against Texas State. And as I always insist, with football underdogs in this range, we're buying half points. So as long as this game is in between +2.5 and +4 points, I want you purchasing the half point up.

Both teams are in after losses last week, but Georgia State has been the better team, and will be able hang its hat on the season-opening win over Tennessee every week, reminding itself how well it can play.

Georgia State has one of the better rushing games in the country, ranking 38th with 209 yards per game. Led by Tra Bennett, I expect the Panthers' offense to respond after last week's 57-10 loss to Western Michigan.

Barnett ran for 127 yards and Dan Ellington threw for 126 yards and one touchdown for Georgia State, which ran just 66 offensive plays. The Panthers opened the season with 352 yards on 77 plays in their 38-30 win over Tennessee, and 566 yards on 76 plays in a 27-14 win over Furman.

That offense will have a field day against Texas State's defense, which ranks 116th in the league after giving up an average of 470 yards after its first three games.
 
The Bobcats have been just as lethargic on offense in their first three games, averaging just 12.7 points per game after losses to Texas A&M, Wyoming and SMU. They rank 121st overall, having gained just 301.3 yards per game after running an average of 68.7 plays per game.

The wrong team is favored in this one, so I'll play the road team.

3* GEORGIA STATE



Ucla at WASHINGTON ST (-18')

By Jack Brayman, Featured Handicapper

Each week, at some point early on, you will get a free college football winner from me.

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The frustration has to be intensifying in Westwood, as the UCLA Bruins are now 0-3, and have shown no signs of improvement on the offensive side of the ball. After opening the season with a loss at Cincinnati, and then being somewhat embarrassed by a Mountain West school at home, with San Diego State winning in the Rose Bowl, it was Oklahoma coming into Pasadena and humiliating Chip Kelly's team.

Now the Bruins have to travel to Pullman, Washington, where the offensively sound Washington State Cougars await. Wazzu ranks sixth in the nation with its offense, bolstered by the country's best passing game that averges 476 yards per game.

The Bruins rank 108th in the country with their passing defense and 115th overall, allowing 467 yards per game.

Led by quarterback Anthony Gordon, the Cougars have demoralized their first three opponents, beating New Mexico State, Northern Colorado and Houston by an average margin of 33.3 points per win.

I don't know if Kelly has figured out how he wants to utilize his offense, be it through all-purpose player Demetric Felton or quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but as of now nothing is working. UCLA ranks 129th in the country and has been as inept as one could imagine.

Washington State's defense is 51st in the country, allowing just 346.3 yards per game, including the 20th-best pass defense that allows only 162.7 yards per game and that has registered six sacks in its first three games. It wouldn't surprise me if the Cougars match that total in this game alone.

Too much firepower on offense, too much defense for UCLA's flame-less offense, and the homefield edge for the Pac 12 opener.

This one is too easy.

Lay the chalk with Washington State.

4* WASHINGTON STATE