Two of the Big Sky Conference’s preseason favorites lost in perplexing fashion again and two other contenders won but suffered bad beats during the second week of league play.
Sacramento State established itself as an early upstart, drilling No. 22 Eastern Washington 48-27 to hand EWU it’s first league loss and drop the Eagles out of this week’s Top 25. The win served as Sac State’s first over a ranked FCS opponent since 2012 and denied an EWU cover with a +2.5 line.
No. 12 UC Davis, who shared the Big Sky title last season with Eastern, lost for the third straight game. The Aggies fell 38-36 at North Dakota, failing to cover the -4.5 line that UCD entered the game as favorites because.
Idaho returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown with 66 seconds left for the worst beat of the season. Weber State entered the game as a -7 favorite. That special teams TD ensured the final would be Weber State 41, Idaho 35.
And No. 6 Montana State jolted out to a 28-7 fourth-quarter lead only to need overtime for a 34-28 win over Cal Poly. Big Sky Gambler picked the line when it was MSU -6. We earned a push when Travis Jonsen scored a 9-yard touchdown to seal Montana State’s fifth straight win.
Other than that, we were right on the money. Montana easily covered -8.5 by going on a 59-3 run in a 59-20 victory over Idaho State.
Portland State easily covered -9.5 with a 52-31 win over hapless Southern Utah. And Northern Arizona used a 31-point second half to easily cover -12.5 with a 41-23 win over Northern Colorado.
Week 6 Record: 3-3-1
Overall Record: 26-28-2
(All lines provided by 5dimes)
Lock of the Week: Portland State -1.5 (Season: 4-2)
Best Investment: Cal Poly +370
Over Under Lock: North Dakota/Idaho State: Over 53 (Season 2-4)
Saturday October 12
North Dakota at Idaho State (-1.5) O/U 53 1:05 PM
This is a huge game for both teams. To quote PFT & Big Cat, this is a loser leaves town game. Idaho State looks to rebound from a disappointing three-quarter meltdown in Missoula in which the Bengals blew a 17-point lead. The Fighting Hawks are coming off a big home win against UC Davis, UND’s second over a ranked opponent this season.
North Dakota has had huge wins at home this season against Sam Houston State and Davis. But this road test might prove to be too much. Look for Idaho State to have a day through the air against UND’s blitzing defense. I like the Bengals to cover at home. Give me Idaho State -1.5. This is my Over Lock of the Week.
Pick: Idaho State -1.5
Sacramento State at Montana State (-1.5) O/U 57.5 2:00 PM
This is the game of the week in the Big Sky Conference. Sacramento State has been disrespected all year. They are undefeated against the spread and should be ranked in the Top 15. They have the league’s top scoring defense and first-year head coach Troy Taylor has revived the offense this year.
This is the toughest test for the ‘Cats this season, without a doubt and head coach Jeff Choate said so on Monday. The Bobcat’s defense returns to full health this week and should have health at running back finally. I have been burned twice this season betting against the ‘Cats at home. Not this week. The Cats should cover at home, but this game is going to be close. Montana State -1.5.
Pick: Montana State -1.5
Northern Colorado @ Eastern Washington (-19.5) O/U 59.5 2:05 PM
Eastern is far from the National Championship runner-up the Eagles were last year. Quarterback Eric Barriere appeared to be benched last week and then seemed to of refused to go back in.
Northern Colorado carried a lead into half last week, but ultimately returned to form and lost to a talented Northern Arizona team. Eastern has a must win/cover situation in front of them. If they don’t cover, I don’t see the Eagles righting the ship this season. Luckily for the Eagles, Northern Colorado is likely the worst team in the league. The Bears haven’t beat Eastern Washington in 38 years. I think the Eagles will cover.
Pick: Eastern Washington -19.5
Idaho at Portland State (-1.5) O/U 63.5 2:05 PM
What Idaho team will show up? Nobody knows. But I have a feeling that Idaho playing in a glorified high school football field won’t help their motivation. Don’t let Portland State’s showing in Pocatello fool you (a 51-24 loss). The Viks are better than that. I think this defense gets back on track against a limited Idaho offense.
Dating back to last season, Idaho has been outscored 314-122 on the road. That’s all I needed to see. I’ll take Portland State -1.5. This is my lock of the week.
Pick: Portland State -1.5
Cal Poly at UC Davis (-13.5) O/U 63 5:05 PM
Cal Poly played Montana State tough last week but lost in overtime. Cal Poly will play everyone in the Big Sky tough when the Mustangs limit turnovers. UC Davis is reeling from three straight losses and needs to get healthy to get back on track. This spread is large, but ultimately, I think the time consuming-drives of Cal Poly’s triple option here help them cover. I’m going with Cal Poly to cover +13.5 on the road.
Pick: Cal Poly +13.5
Southern Utah at Weber State (-23.5) O/U 58 6:00 PM
Southern Utah is bad. Really bad. Since their last Big Sky title in 2017, the Thunderbirds have lost 15 of their last 17 games. Weber State is very unhappy with its defensive performance last week in Moscow against the Vandals. Weber’s offense has emerged in past weeks, and I think the defense will get back on track at home against the Thunderbirds. I really, really hate these large spreads but look for Weber State to win big in Ogden. I’ll take Weber State -23.5.
Pick: Weber State -23.5
Big Sky Conference Schedule
|North Dakota @ Idaho State||-1.5||O/U 53||1:05 pm|
|Pick: Idaho State-1.5|
|Sacramento State @ Montana State||-1.5||O/U 57.5||2:00 pm|
|Montana State -1.5|
|Northern Colorado @ Eastern Washington||-19.5||O/U 59.5||2:05 pm|
|Pick: Eastern Washington -19.5|
|Idaho @ Portland State||-1.5||O/U 63.5||2:05 pm|
|Pick: Portland State -1.5|
|Cal Poly @ UC Davis||-13.5||O/U 63||5:00 pm|
|Pick: Cal Poly +13.5|
|Southern Utah @ Weber State||-23.5||O/U 58||6:00 pm|
|Pick: Weber State -23.5|