Friday Night Lights: First Time This Century Boise State Home Underdog

fresno state boise

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 5, 2018 8:53 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 8:53 PM UTC

It’s arguably the biggest game of the regular season in the Mountain West Conference on Friday night, with No. 16 Fresno State visiting Boise State on ESPN2.

No. 16 Fresno State (8-1 SU, 8-1 ATS) at Boise State (7-2 SU, 4-4-1 ATS)Friday, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN2)Free NCAAF Pick: Broncos (buy to +3.5)Best Line Offered: GT Bets

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Two games on the Friday college football schedule this week. My cohort Rainman (really?) will preview the ESPN2 opener from the ACC as Louisville visits Syracuse in what would surely be a better basketball matchup. We’re here for the late game from the Mountain West as No. 16 Fresno State visits Boise State.

Can you think of two teams playing four times in the span of 12 months? I’m sure it has happened, but I can’t remember when. That could be the case for Fresno and Boise depending on what happens Friday and then the rest of the regular season. The Bulldogs are atop the MWC West Division at 5-0 in conference and could afford to lose this game and still win it. Boise State may not have the option as it’s a game behind Utah State in the Mountain Division; those teams play in Boise to close the regular season.

Last year, then-No. 23 Boise State closed the regular season with a 28-17 loss at Fresno State in a game that really meant nothing because both already had clinched a spot in the MWC title game. Still, it was Fresno’s first win over a nationally ranked team in 22 tries dating to December 2004. They turned around a week later and played on the blue turf in Idaho and the Broncos beat the No. 25 Bulldogs 17-14. Ryan Wolpin scored the winning TD on a 2-yard run with 4:42 left. All of FSU’s points were in the second quarter.

Boise State leads the all-time series 14-4.

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Both Teams Rolling

Fresno State didn’t get caught looking ahead to this one Saturday as the Bulldogs went to Sin City and trounced UNLV 48-3. McMaryion was 26 of 35 for 274 yards and two scores, while four different players scored on the ground. FSU had 466 yards of offense. Fresno has won each conference game by at least 18 points. It has now held three opponents out of the end zone this year and is allowing just 7.2 points per conference game.

Saturday was the 100th career victory for Coach Jeff Tedford; 82 of those came at Cal. He has been at Fresno only since 2017. FSU is 7-0 under Tedford in Mountain West road games. The team’s seven-game winning streak is its longest since 2013.

Boise State won its fourth in a row Saturday, 21-16 over visiting BYU. The Broncos’ defense had a goal-line stand in the final seconds and finished with seven sacks and nine tackles for loss. Leading tackler and linebacker Riley Whimpey left the game with an injury and is done for the year with a torn CL.

Brett Rypien threw for 214 yards and a TD. He is now 36 yards and five completions from passing San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley (12,690 passing yards, 961 completions; 2008-11) as the all-time Mountain West leader in each category.

  • Underdog is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
  • Broncos are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.

Not too often you get Boise State plus points at home (first time since Oct. 23, 1999), so take advantage. FSU hasn’t won there since 1984. However, buy that number up to +3.5 and back the Broncos for a Friday college football pick.

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