Boise State may be thought of as a beast of the West, but one team it's had trouble with recently is San Diego State, which has beaten the Broncos twice in a row, and covered each of the last three meetings. BSU battles the Aztecs Saturday night on the Smurf turf.
Aztecs-Broncos Betting Odds
Most college football odds outlets we consulted opened Boise State at right around -15 over San Diego State, with a total of 56; as of Friday morning most shops had dropped the Broncos to -14, and the total to 55.
Bettors who believe the Aztecs might win this game outright could get a price of +447 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.
Aztecs-Broncos: The Situation
Boise State, with 15 starters back from a team that went 8-5 last year, began this season as the betting favorite to win the Mountain West Conference championship. At 4-1 in conference play the Broncos are tied for second place in the Mountain Division, a half-game back of first-place Colorado State. And BSU owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, thanks to a Week 2 victory.
The Broncos opened this season with that 35-13 loss to Ole Miss, although that game was 7-6 through three quarters. Boise State then won three in a row, including that key victory over CSU, then got upset at Air Force 28-14, losing straight-up as a 13-point favorite. But the Broncos have won their last four games in a row, putting up some nice offensive numbers in the process, beating Nevada 51-46, Fresno State 37-27, BYU 55-30 and, last week, New Mexico 60-49.
Boise State trailed the Lobos last week 28-14 after one quarter, and 49-38 midway through the third, then scored the last 22 points of the game. The Broncos piled up 674 yards of offense, but allowed 627 yards, including 505 (!) on the ground. They also gave up a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. Maybe that's why they couldn't cover the spread as 17-point favorites.
On the season BSU has outgained every opponent except Ole Miss, and outrushed seven of nine foes.
In the other corner, even with just 10 starters back from a team that went 8-5 last year, the Aztecs still hoped to contend in the MWC's West Division this season. At 3-2 in conference play SD State is tied for first place with Nevada, although it trails in the head-to-head tiebreaker, after losing to the Wolf Pack a couple weeks ago.
The Aztecs started this season 2-3, with a tough loss at North Carolina and a 28-7 defeat against Oregon State. But San Diego State has won three of its last four games, including a 35-21 victory over Idaho last week, although it came up short in covering as a 20-point favorite against a 1-8 Vandals team.
However, in a game that might come back to haunt the Aztecs, they lost at Nevada two weeks ago 30-14, missing the cover as three-point dogs. SD State led 14-13 into the fourth quarter, but gave up the last 17 points of the game. On the season the Aztecs have outgained six of nine opponents, and outrushed seven of nine foes.
Aztecs-Broncos Betting Trends
San Diego State is a perfect 9-0 on the UNDERS this season, as 'Tecs games have averaged just 44 points.
Boise State is 6-3 on the OVERS, as Broncos games have averaged a healthy 68 points.
Aztecs-Broncos Recent History
San Diego State has won two of the three meetings between these teams the last three seasons, and covered the spread all three games. Two years ago the Aztecs upset the Broncos 21-19 in Boise, winning outright as 16-point road dogs, and last year SD State beat BSU 34-31 in overtime, winning outright as seven-point home dogs.
Neither team ever led last year's game by more than seven points, and the score was tied four times. The Broncos took a 31-28 lead in the overtime on a field goal, but the Aztecs won it five plays later on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
For the game San Diego State outgained Boise State 349-297, and won time-of-possession by a 37/23 margin. That game played OVER its total of 57, but it took the overtime period to do it.
Aztecs-Broncos Free Pick
The forecast for Saturday night in Boise calls for wind chills in the teens, so it might be interesting to see how the boys from sunny San Diego cope. Ultimately, Boise State will probably win this game, but that spread seems a bit inflated. The Broncos can score, but they can give up yardage and points, too. So we like the dog for our college football pick, plus the points.
Free College Football Pick: Aztecs +14 at Pinnacle