Don't fret 20-point spreads this week

Originally Published: September 4, 2003
By By Rich Podolsky | Special to ESPN Insider
Friday night's Oregon State at Fresno State game posed a dilemma: Kick the weekend's action off with an interesting matchup that we're just not sure about, or hold off until Saturday and the marquee games.

At first glance, Fresno State ought to be too good to be getting 8½ points at home. They played admirably at Tennessee and nearly upset Wisconsin last year at this time. Pat Hill is too good a coach not to know how important this one is. Why? Because the Bulldogs go to Oklahoma next week, which puts this week's game in the sandwich.

But Fresno starting QB Paul Pinegar is reported to be out again this week (pectoral injury) when there was hope he'd return. Also out is MLB Marc Daily (sprained MCL). The look-ahead, plus the disappointing injury news, is reason enough to go against, then you look at what appears to be a loaded, yet inconsistent, Oregon State team, and you might make an exception and give the points on the road.