College Football Pick: Boise State Minus First-Half Points At Hawaii

Boise St. Broncos player

Friday, November 11, 2016 2:24 PM GMT

The No. 22 Boise State Broncos head to Hawaii's Aloha Bowl on Saturday, and our handicapper sees a result similar to last season's 55-0 drubbing of the Rainbow Warriors. But the first-half play might be the wise angle in college football betting.

Boise Still Aiming For MWC Title Game

Boise State looks to continue its climb in the rankings Saturday and keep its Mountain West Championship Game hopes alive -- that's in jeopardy due to the Broncos' only loss a few weeks ago at the hands of Wyoming. I previewed that game and discussed that the wind would affect the Boise State passing attack, leading to a correct 'under' call on college football odds. What I didn't see was that the weather would throw off the Broncos so much that they would lose the game as a 14.5-point road favorite. Luckily for them, they won't see conditions like that this week as they take on the Hawaii in Honolulu. SBR's best sportsbooks don't think the Broncos will have much trouble, placing the Broncos as 17.5-point favorites at 5Dimes. The total has opened at 64 and has settled in at 63.5 at sites such as BookMaker.

One of the reasons that total has likely dropped is the offensive struggle the public saw with Hawaii last week against San Diego State. Hawaii lost 55-0 and was dominated throughout. Starting quarterback Dru Brown was only able to pass for 135 yards and had three interceptions in 35 attempts. The team's leading rusher, Steven Lakalaka, only had 40 yards on 14 attempts. The Aztecs asserted their will on Hawaii on both sides of the ball.

Last Year's Matchup Not Close

Last year's meeting between these two teams did not go well for Hawaii as the Rainbow Warriors didn't find any blue in their rainbow playing on the smurf turf in Boise. They lost that game 55-0 while allowing the Broncos to put up 554 total yards and only putting up 170 yards of their own. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien completed 76 percent of his passes and threw for three touchdowns, while star running back Jeremy McNichols broke 100 yards and scored two TDs of his own. Those players are still around and among the best in the conference. The Hawaii offense was completely ineffective with the leading passers putting up 66 and 34 yards, respectively.

With a 4 p.m. ET start time, I don't see the time difference being much of an issue for the Broncos in this game. They've also scored an average of 40 points per game on the road. The Broncos are in need of some serious style points as well, as their 8-1 SU vs. 2-7 ATS record puts into perspective their poor performance against public perception. They look to be in a different class than Hawaii on both sides of the ball, so I have no issue with laying the heavy chalk on the road.

But looking at the numbers I like the first half for the line, as the Broncos are 10.5-point favorites at Heritage. That seems more plausible and avoids the opportunity for a back-door cover. If you want to lay the juice, and have more than one book as an option, you can even find this line at -9.5.

2016 College Football Record: 26-27-2, -3.80 Units

NCAAF Free Pick: Boise State -9.5 First Half

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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