This College Football handicapper shares his prediction for whether or not the Fresno State Bulldogs, who are suffering through a bad season so far, can cover the betting spread against the Boise State Broncos.
The Fresno State Bulldogs Can Win Because…
They are going up against a team that is shaky in the passing game and is missing one of its best offensive players. Receiver Matt Miller has been a highly productive receiver for Boise State over the past few years. Miller does not have great speed, but he is one of those receivers who always manages to get open because of the precise way in which he runs his routes, and the clean nature of his cuts, fakes, and other movements on the field. Miller understands the game really well and knows how to help his quarterback when a play breaks down and his teammate is scrambling out of the pocket, looking for a target on the run.
Miller is out of this game, and quite possibly the season, due to an injury. Without Miller, Boise State is going to have a much more difficult time passing the ball. This means Fresno State can load up the tackle box and dare the Broncos to throw. The Bulldogs can focus on stuffing Boise State’s running game. If Fresno State can put Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick in a lot of third-and-long situations, the Bulldogs could get a few interceptions, since Hedrick doesn’t handle pressure that well. Fresno State’s pass rush can make a difference in this game, and Boise State just might be weak enough without Miller that its passing offense won’t be able to play the way it needs to play. Boise State is tough at home, but it might not be good in this specific home game without Miller.
The Boise State Broncos Can Win Because…
They are playing a Fresno State team that looks nothing like the one that won the Mountain West last season. Fresno State beat Boise State by one score last season in a high-scoring game in Fresno. This year, Fresno State is not playing at home against Boise State, but the bigger concern for the Bulldogs is that they’re just not very good. Fresno State might have lost to UNLV last week, and you might think to yourself that UNLV was a bowl team in 2013, thereby leading you to conclude that that’s not a bad loss for the Bulldogs. However, that’s not true. UNLV entered last Friday’s game against Fresno State with a 1-5 record. The Rebels are rebuilding and do not have a good team this year. Yet, that bad team was still able to beat Fresno State. The Bulldogs had countless chances to win but failed to pounce. Fresno State also missed an extra point, giving UNLV a better chance of coming back late in the game. This is a terrible team Boise State can still pound into the dust with running back Jay Ajayi, who has rushed for over 700 yards so far this season.
If Boise State plays a perfect game, it will cover the betting spread, but that’s not likely with Matt Miller out. Boise State’s passing game will struggle enough for Fresno to cover, but not win outright. We are willing to play our college football pick on Boise winning by 10.
Free College Football Pick: Fresno State +17.5 at BetOnline