San Diego State Aztecs Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
I'm not sure how you could hate Boise State, but you are soulless enough to do so then San Diego State is probably your favorite team right now. They beat the Broncos last year and probably have the best shot at breaking up a potentially excellent season for the blue-turfed team this year. It should come as no surprise. Rocky Long and his team aren't the most exciting program out there, but they are consistent - and consistently strong. And yet again they field a team that won't be a lot of fun to bet against and which isn't likely to beat itself.
2017 in a Nutshell
Long and company won 10 games last year - the third straight year they have reached at least that total. They started the season by piling up six of those wins. Four of those victories were nothing short of expected, but two stood out - a win at an Arizona State team that hadn't yet devolved into the mess that they wound up as and especially a Week 3 win over No. 19 Stanford. Then came the rough portion of the season. The two best teams in the Mountain West aside from the Aztecs were Boise State and Fresno State. San Diego State lost to both consecutively, and it wasn't pretty - the Broncos won by 17 and the Bulldogs by 24, and both games were in San Diego. That was humbling but not crippling - they bounced back to win their final four. That earned them a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl. Given that assignment, losing to Army was probably the polite thing to do - or at least that is the excuse they will hope you believe to explain away an otherwise unacceptable setback. So, it was a solid season, and the Stanford win was excellent, but it wasn't nearly the season it probably should have been.
Key Additions and Departures
Christian Chapman is back at QB for a third year as starter, and his backup is a junior, so experience isn't a concern under center. Few non-option teams ask less of their quarterbacks, though. Rashaad Penny was drafted in the first round, so they are looking for a new top back. If you are worried about that, though, you haven't been paying attention to San Diego State football. Juwan Washington will be the first option, and some freshmen will get a close look. Receiver depth is solid - especially because it's not a crucial position on this offense. The offensive line, which was excellent last year, will be so again. They return all five starters, but at least two of those guys will be pushed from behind. It's a deep and talented group.
Five of the top seven performers from the defensive line last year are back, and a couple of Juco transfers add depth. But the line wasn't great last year, so they have to hope that the experience helps. On the other hand, the linebackers are deep and talented, with three strong starters and plenty of competition behind them for the spots in the 3-3-5 defense. The Aztecs were top two nationally in interceptions for two years but fell from that last year. They lose two backs in the secondary this year but have a chance to be better than last year. Two guys coming off redshirts - freshman Darren Hall and sophomore Trenton Thompson - are worth keeping an eye on.
Defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales went to Arizona State to join the Herm Edwards circus, so linebacker coach Zach Arnett climbed the ladder to the top assistant job. That kicked off several shifts in the coaching ranks but none that raise any real concerns.
Biggest Area of Concern
The defensive line needs to be better than it was last year. It was a big part of the reason that interceptions fell, and that the top two conference teams the team played - and an option team in the bowl - all beat the Aztecs.
San Diego State Aztecs Schedule Analysis
Beating Stanford last year was impressive. If they can beat them again this year - this time on the road to open the season - it would really be something. It's far from impossible. Sacramento State, Arizona State and Eastern Michigan are all much easier nonconference tests. The conference season will mostly be fine, but two games again will define the conference and the season for this team. Conference game one is at Boise State, and game seven is at Fresno State. Playing both on the road isn't ideal, and the Broncos have improved from last year, but this team needs to win at least one - and two would obviously be better.
2018-19 San Diego State Aztecs Betting Odds and Trends
The Aztecs are +50000 to win the national title at Bovada , which obviously and correctly means that they are a serious long shot. They are the third choice to win the Mountain West at +700, behind Fresno State and heavy-favorite Boise State. The season win total sits at 8.5, with the "over" slightly favored.
2018-19 San Diego State Aztecs Predictions and College Football Picks
I like them to win three nonconference games and seven conference ones. That will again be 10 wins, but again not quite enough to go as far as they would like to. The over on the season win total feels fairly comfortable, though.
Doc's Sports is offering a great deal for new clients - you can get $60 worth of free college football picks with no obligation. No credit card is needed, and you will never have to deal with a salesman. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free weekly free college football picks at Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks