Pick – Analysis
Fresno State, the defending Mountain West Conference Champions, will travel to Boise State on Friday Night to take on the Broncos in a Game that can be seen on ESPN at 8pm est. Sportsbook.ag opened this Game Boise State -16 and as we are writing this article on Monday morning, the Game has moved to -17 across the board.
A year ago, Fresno State beat Boise St 41-40 in a wild Game. Now, we acknowledge the presence of Derek Carr in that Game but have to ask if Carr is worth 17 points? Both teams returned a similar number of starters on both sides of the ball this year and while Fresno lost Carr, Boise breaks in a new coach. Are the changes that have taken place equivalent to 17 points in the line?
Many of the reasons for the high line an be found in Fresno’s first 3 Games. They were absolutely hammered by USC, Utah and Nebraska to start the year. They have since gone 3-1, albeit against much weaker opposition. But it should also be pointed out that Boise State also failed miserably when they stepped up in class, losing to Ole Miss 35-13 to start the year. They have gone 4-1 since then but as with Fresno, not exactly against the stiffest of competition and they did lose to Air Force.
If we roll it all together and look at each teams year to date yards per point numbers, we see very similar numbers for each team. In fact, almost identical. Both have numbers of roughly 15 on offense and 13 on defense. That’s slightly below average offensively and way below average defensively. This is very significant here because Fresno has played the slightly more difficult Schedule.
Our Score Prediction model has Boise on top by 15. However, if we run the model using only the last 4 Games for each team, the margin falls to 11. For Fresno, that means removing USC, Utah and Nebraska, so you can see the impact those 3 Games have on this weeks number.
This is a huge Conference Game. Both teams are 1-1 in Conference play and Fresno is still the defending champs. Boise is likely the better team and they have the home field, revenge, etc. all working in their favor. However, not so sure that edge translates to 17 points. There seems to be plenty of room for a Fresno cover here. Fresno State +17