UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (9-1 SU, 3-7 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Friday, November 18th, 9:00pm EST
Where: Albertsons Stadium – Boise, ID
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UNLV +27 / BSU -27
Over/Under Total: OFF
This Friday night on ESPN2, there is a Mountain West Conference game between the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and the Boise State Broncos. Boise State has quietly gone 9-1 this season and are still ranked in the nation’s top 25 while UNLV, who has never really been a “football school” sits at 4-6 overall and would like nothing more than to get their biggest win of the year over the Broncos on the blue turf.
The first time these two teams met was in 1972 when UNLV fell to the Broncos by a score of 36-16. Since that day in 1972, UNLV and Boise State have only met nine times, with this game being their tenth all time showdown. Boise State is on a four game winning streak against the Rebels that dates back to 1977. It would be a great win for the UNLV program if they are able to pull off the huge upset on the road Friday night.
It appears that UNLV is not getting any love or respect from the bookmakers either. Boise State sits as a 27 point favorite at home over the Rebels and the very early action has the public all over this one. 62% of the documented betting is on Boise State to cover the near four touchdown spread. If the money continues to fall on the side of Boise State, this line could be as high as 30-31 points by kick off on Friday night. As for the total points, most books have yet to set a line on that. I am going to predict the total will be somewhere near 60 points but do not quote me on that.
Over the last decade or so, Boise State has been one of the winningest programs in college football. They have won some big games over Oklahoma, Georgia, and a few other well known teams, but the Broncos just have not been able to get over that hump due to playing in a non “power 5” conference and having a rather weak strength of schedule. However, they are a great team and have become well respected by much of the college football world. Coming into this game, they are 9-1 and ranked 22nd in the nation. The Broncos have won some pretty good games in 2016 including wins over Washington State, BYU, and Oregon State. The only loss for Boise State was a 30-28 loss to Wyoming. On the season, Boise State has scored an average of 36.5 points per game and only allowed a little over 21 per contest. Brett Rypien has the offense clicking in the passing game averaging 315 yards per game in the air which ranks the Broncos 15th in the FBS. To go along with the solid passing game, Boise State also runs the ball well gaining another 183 yards per game on the ground. Much of the success for the Broncos is based on the well balanced offense and a defense that plays pretty solid too. The key to this weekend is to get UNLV out of the game early. Quick scores and keep the UNLV offense off the field. If Boise State can jump up 21-0 in the first quarter or so, the game is over as is UNLV’s chances to even make it close.
UNLV has their work cut out for them. At 4-6, the Rebels must win out to make a bowl game and to be honest, I think that is pretty much a no go. The Rebels come into this game with Boise State as a huge underdog on the road and it would take an absolute miracle to win. With that said, lets ask ourselves how COULD UNLV win this game? First off, keep the Boise State offense off the field. Believe it or not, I see UNLV as the team that could potentially do this. UNLV is not a run and gun, high scoring type team. They run the ball…a lot. The Rebels are averaging 252 yards per game on the ground which ranks them as the 13th best running offense in FBS. UNLV does not play in low scoring games by any means, but this team has the ability to slow this one down make it a grind for the Boise State Broncos.
I will say this, when the game is over Friday night, Boise State will be 10-1, but look at the Broncos trends all season against the spread. It isn’t good. They are getting wins, but the public I feel is giving them too much love based on their short successful history and they are not looking at THIS team in 2016. I truly think UNLV comes in Friday night and makes this game a little closer than most think. The final will be something like Boise State 34 and UNLV 20 but I think this thing stays a lot closer than most feel.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE UNLV RUNNIN’ REBELS +27
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