These teams met a week ago with Fresno State winning at home 28-17, but it’s hard to put anything into that Game. They knew they’d be playing a week later in the MWC title Game so it’s a wonder how much each team showed. But even with the win for the Bulldogs, they’ll still have to travel to the blue turf of Boise State, much to the dismay of their head coach. Because of that, the Broncos were heavy -8.5 point favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This spread looks a bit juiced considering what happened last week, but the blue turf factor can’t be overlooked. Boise was on a seven-Game winning streak yet stumbled in the road loss, scoring only 17 points after scoring at least 41 in the previous Four. The Fresno State defense could once again be the deciding factor in this one. The Bulldogs have been great defensively all season, allowing more than 21 points just once in Conference play and this comes a year after finishing with just one total win. It’s been quite the turnaround for coach Jeff Tedford and he’d like to close it with another win over Boise.
The Broncos will need a much better effort offensively after running for only 3.5 yards per carry last week. For the second straight week, Alexander Mattison was bottled up in the ground Game and if that happens again, FSU will be in business because the Bulldogs allow less than 200 passing yards per Game. Brett Rypien is one of the better quarterbacks in the conference, but against any of the better defenses in the conference, he’s struggled. Even then, Rypien has just 14 touchdowns this season. Boise has won all of its Conference Games at home by double digits, but this is a different test.
On the other side, the Bulldogs will try and repeat what they did last week, although it won’t be easy. Marcus McMaryion had one of his best Games of the season throwing for 332 yards and a couple touchdowns and it’s hard to see him repeating that production on the road in this spot. If not, the Bulldogs will need a little more from Jordan Mims on the ground because running for 99 yards isn’t going to cut it on the blue turf.
This one should be lower scoring like the previous matchup, but the spread still seems kind of high given how Fresno State’s defense has played all season. Boise State has a balanced attack, but as seen last week, it lacks some explosiveness.
The Bulldogs are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six road Games and 10-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, but 3-12 ATS in their last 15 home Games, showing how much the books are overrating them on the blue turf. The underdog has covered in the last Four meetings between these schools, although Boise State is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings at home. Of course, Jeff Tedford wasn’t Fresno’s coach for any of those previous meetings.
Our Pick – UNDER 49