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College Football Pick
Conveniently, the last time these two teams played each other was in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl last season. That game finished 28-26 in favor of Boise State, led by quarterback Joe Southwick, who had one of his best games of the season. With the line currently set at -3.5 to Washington at home and a 52-point over/under, most are projecting this game to be similar to last year's matchup.
The difference is that Washington is a much better team at home. The Huskies were able to beat the likes of San Diego State, Stanford and Oregon State at Husky Stadium in 2012. Whereas they lost to in-state rivals Washington State on the road.
Even though Washington outgained Boise State last December, it was quarterback Keith Price's two interceptions, which ultimately cost them the game. The Huskies garnered almost 100 more rushing yards than the Broncos, led by Bishop Sankey with 205 yards for himself. Sankey returns and could have another solid game as the Broncos only return four starters to their defense, although three starters return on the defensive line, so that should help in stopping Sankey.
If the Huskies were to win this game, it would probably be because of Keith Price. Now in his senior season, Price has to show better consistency and that starts in the first week. With top receivers Kasen Williams (77 receptions) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (69 receptions) back, there's no reason why Price can't improve. BSU's defense will be a good test early in the season, but they are also relatively young.
It's the same story for the Broncos on the other side of the ball with only four returning starters. D.J. Harper (1,137 yards, 15 TDs) is gone from the backfield, but Jay Ajayi is no slouch and can pick up where Harper left off. Southwick improved steadily through last season, not throwing an interception in his last four games. His favorite receiver Matt Miller (66 receptions) is back so that should help along with three seniors on the offensive line.
As mentioned earlier, the Huskies defense stepped up against any competition when playing at home and they return the majority of that unit. It's going to be up to them to stop Southwick, after he completed 68.4 percent of his passes in last year's bowl game.
Washington gets the advantage being at home, and is 5-0 ATS in its last five home games. Boise State is a solid 5-2 ATS in its last seven non-conference games and 23-8 ATS in its last 31 road games. In last year's matchup, the Huskies were able to cover as 4-point underdogs. The over has hit eight times in the Broncos last 10 road games, but the total has gone under in six of the Huskies last seven home games.
This game is still on the table for us as a potential Key Release, so we'll refrain from making a prediction. Also note that if you're interested in our score prediction model, it's the ideal tool for those that like to pick their own games. We use it ourselves part of our process, now you can to. Just $99 thru the Super Bowl
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