In a rivalry that many college football fans outside of the Mountain West may know little about, the UNLV Rebels (0-7) and Nevada Wolf Pack (5-2) will battle for the right to paint the Freemont Cannon.
The Cannon, one of the “biggest” trophies in sports at 545 pounds, is currently painted blue after a 37-19 Nevada win in 2020.
Both teams enter this game after last-second losses a week ago and will look to get on track here with an in-state rivalry game on tap. Will the Cannon stay with the Pack, or will the Rebels pull off the upset?
Find out the answer by reading out picks and predictions for the UNLV Rebels vs. the Nevada Wolf Pack on Friday, October 29.
UNLV vs Nevada odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The line opened -20 for Nevada and has been bet up to -20.5 across most books at the time of this writing. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.
UNLV vs Nevada picks
Picks made on 10/26/2021 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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UNLV vs Nevada game info
• Location: Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV
• Date: Friday, October 29, 2021
• Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: CBSSN
UNLV vs Nevada betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
UNLV: Doug Brumfield QB (Questionable), Jayvaun Wilson WR (Questionable), Kyle Williams WR (Questionable), Tyleek Collins WR (Questionable), Giovanni Fauolo TE (Out).
Nevada: Elijah Cooks WR (Out), Tyson Williams DB (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Rebels are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five road games. Find more NCAA betting trends for UNLV vs. Nevada.
UNLV vs Nevada predictions
UNLV +20.5 (-112)
The Rebels are still searching for their first win in the Marcus Arroyo era, sitting at 0-13 a year and a half into the coach’s tenure. Although the wins haven’t been there, progress has been evident — the last four losses have come by only one score. That may not sound like progress at first, but consider that the Rebels lost all six of their games a year ago by multiple scores.
UNLV has been a covering machine in 2021, sitting at 5-2 ATS. That being said, they have a tough match-up with one of the conference elites in Nevada, who also sit at 5-2 ATS on the season.
UNLV’s offense revolves around running back Charles Williams, who has 714 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the season. He may find success against a beatable Nevada rushing defense allowing 149 yards per game. All four times the Wolf Pack have been tested by a decent ground game, they’ve folded, surrendering 153 yards to Cal, 269 to Kansas State, 188 against Hawaii, and 205 to Fresno State last week. They surrendered over 5.6 yards per carry in each of those contests.
UNLV should be able to establish the ground game and keep a hobbled quarterback room (freshman Cameron Friel is expected to make another start) from forcing plays through the air.
Last week, Nevada lost a 34-32 heartbreaker to Fresno State in which they had a chance to tie with 0:02 left but couldn’t convert the two-point try. It’s fair to question the Wolf Pack’s motivation to cover this large spread after such a tough loss.
UNLV will be fired up for this rivalry game and have kept every Mountain West conference game within one score. We'll take the Rebels to cover this inflated spread.
Over 58.5 (-105)
Nevada has been in some high-scoring contests of late, going 5-1 to the Over in its last 6 games. The offense features a dangerous passing attack led by Carson Strong, who ranks fifth in the country with 2,466 passing yards and eight with 20 touchdowns. Receiver Romeo Doubs is fresh off a monster 19 catch, 203 yard, one touchdown performance and is one of the top wideouts in the conference. Both should find more success here against a UNLV secondary allowing 289 passing yards per game.
Three of Nevada’s last four games gave gone for at least 66 combined points. The lone exception occurred against Hawaii, where the Rainbow Warriors turned the ball over five times and couldn’t get out of their own way.
As alluded to earlier, UNLV will look to take advantage of a Nevada defensive front that has given up rushing yards in bunches anytime they’ve been challenged. The Wolf Pack’s last two opponents, Hawaii and Fresno State, combined for 59 rushes, 393 yards, and four scores on the ground.
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