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Virginia Cavaliers vs. Boise State Broncos Odds - Prediction

Virginia Cavaliers (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Friday, September 22, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
TV: ESPN 2
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: UVA +13/BSU -13
Over/Under Total: 51

On Friday from Albertsons Stadium on the blue-field, the Virginia Cavaliers come to Idaho to face the Boise State Broncos in week 4 action. The Cavaliers were able to push their record to 2-1 on Saturday with a 38-18 win over UConn, with a lot of offensive production along the way. Boise also prevailed last week, notching a 28-14 Thursday win over New Mexico in MWC action. It was a necessary development for a Boise team that was still recovering from an epic collapse the previous week to Washington State. Having 8 days until this game should aid a Boise bunch that has been run a little ragged already in the young college football season.

This is not an easy road spot for Virginia, in a faraway location out of conference. This is their first road game of the season and to their credit, the Bronco Mendenhall-led Cavaliers have already equaled their win total from last season. The win over Connecticut is not earth-shattering perhaps, but the offense showed a lot of energy and it looks like they’re at least ready to take a small step forward after a rough first season under their new coach, who at BYU, earned some experience against Boise.

We’ve seen some better overall form from Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert this season, especially on Saturday. The senior set a school passing record with 455 yards, along with three touchdown passes. Getting this offense moving is a big development for anyone who saw Virginia labor so badly on this side of the ball last season. The ground-game also sprung to life with Jordan Ellis and Olamide Zaccheaus adding some nice work on the ground, while Zaccheaus also had 122 yards through the air with a TD score. They have a nice 1-2 punch at receiver with Doni Dowling and Andre Levrone, who were both over 100 yards on Saturday. Still, wins over William & Mary and Connecticut, which sandwich a 17-point loss at home to Indiana isn’t grounds for a parade. It’s fair to say, however, that they’re better than last season.

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The Virginia defense is not the most-bankable group, but they have some things going for it. Safety Quin Blanding and LB Micah Kiser are a top tackling duo in the ACC. If anything, they are able to at least make up for some of the shortcomings around them on the defense. Kiser registered a pair of sacks on Saturday with freshman safety Brenton Nelson offering promise through the first few games. He had a pick against the Huskies. They will be pressed this week in their first road game and we’ll see how well they hold up. A lot depends on Boise. Against the offense that has trouble getting into high-gear, this defense could thrive in spots. But if Boise hits its stride in this game, it could get ugly.

Things have been slow to click for the Broncos thus far in the season. The collapse against Washington State where they blew a huge lead late was awful and after that draining game, they had to face New Mexico on the short week and it showed. The quarterback situation is a bit muddled. Dual-threat Montell Cozart had been getting worked into the rotation and took over as a starter when Brett Rypien went down with a head injury to the Cougars the previous week. One of Rypien’s best-ever games came against this very Cavaliers team in 2015. Cozart can run the ball well and connected with versatile tight end Jake Roh for two TD passes. But Cozart was hardly impressive enough to usurp Rypien should he be ready to return this week. This group still has talent and can put up points, but the void of Jeremy McNichols is really being felt as finding a go-to running back has proven to be problematic. Alexander Mattison and Ryan Wolpin just can’t fill that void.

Even more erratic has been the Boise State defense, going from rigid to downright exploitable without warning. They completely collapsed against Washington State, but held firm against the potent New Mexico run-game. The potential loss of Tyson Moa after an arrest could hurt, but there are good players on this side of the ball. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is a legit playmaker and had a pick against the Lobos. Guys like Tyson Maeva and Reid Harrison-Ducros are also playmakers, with good safety play from Cameron Hartsfield and Kekoa Nawahine. They might not shine consistently against the better teams they play and the WSU collapse still looms large. Against the easier teams they face, however, they should be in pretty good shape.

While it is a Friday game, Boise St. last played on Thursday, so the full week and a day of rest should help after they expended a lot of energy in the first three weeks of the season. Virginia is up against it in a tough road spot, a little out of their element in Idaho. We’ll see if Virginia can take whatever progress they’ve shown on both sides of the ball and have it transfer to this setting. I just see a better effort from Boise State, as they pull away late for the win and cover.

Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Boise State Broncos minus 13 points. Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at a sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits and take advantage of their 100% signup bonus on your first deposit up to $100! (Example: Deposit $100 and they'll give you an extra $100 FREE!) Find this great offer at Intertops Sportsbook.

NCAA Football Week 8 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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