Boise State Broncos (8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) vs. Idaho Vandals (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS), 9:00 p.m. EST, College Football Week 11, Friday, November 12, 2010, Kibbie Dome, Moscow, Idaho
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: BSU 34.5/ID +34.5
Over/Under Total: 61.5
On Friday, the Boise State Broncos make the short trip to face the Idaho Vandals. The Broncos look the keep the ball rolling against a Vandals team that should be pumped-up. Weve seen teams with mediocre records step up their level of play to threaten some top teams this year. It is problematic whether the Vandals will be up to the task.
There has been no letdown from this Boise State squad yet. It is unusual for a celebrated team like Boise State to cover week after week in spite of a large national following. Such teams normally lay bigger numbers than they should be, leading to a lack of covers. This is not the case with Boise State. Bettors anticipating flat performances against hapless teams can keep waiting. Rather than suffering a lull or becoming discouraged by their lack of BCS progress, they are just leaving it all on the field.
At the same time, bettors anticipating a letdown could see this as a good spot. Facing upcoming games against more-difficult Fresno State and especially Nevada, one could imagine a Broncos squad lacking a spark, especially on the road. The problem is that Idaho is really suffering. As if giving up 320 yards and 5 touchdowns to Nevadas Colin Kaepernick and company isnt enough, they allowed 100 yards rushing to 3 different running backs! Giving up 830 yards to Reno doesnt bode well going into a game against the 2nd-ranked scoring offense in the nation.
Boise State catches tremendous flack for their weak WAC conference, yet Idaho managed to drop their last two games to WAC rivals by a combined 81 points. Now facing the far-and-away conference kingpin, the prognosis looks dreary. Idaho lost their leading receiver last week for the rest of the season, but they have some depth at that position, so the offense should remain intact. Not that it was very good to begin with, especially with a dilapidated running game that will allow the Broncos defense to hone in on the Idaho receiving crew.
The Idaho defense in lingering around the 100 spot in rankings in most defensive categories. To lesser WAC squads, they have allowed 48 to Louisiana Tech, 45 to Hawaii, and 63 to Nevada. An offense that looks potent against teams like UNLV, Western Michigan, and New Mexico State has looked flat facing the marginally better teams. Everything on paper lines up for a Boise State rout. But laying 35 points on the road is never appetizing. Factor in the possibility that Boise State might be mentally seeking a week off before making their final late-season statement-making rush and maybe the Vandals can save some face on a bad season and make a respectable showing. Expecting a letdown might be asking too much for Idaho, but if they draw a Broncos team that is an octave lower in spirit, like in the Louisiana Tech game, a cover isnt out of the question.
The only thing Boise State can do is keep hammering these teams and hope for a shakeup among the elite BCS teams. The offense and defense is playing with an edge that comes from a lack of acknowledgement and respect. Thats not going to change. Kellen Moore is throwing at a 72% completion ratio and in less than 2 seasons has thrown for 60 touchdowns against a measly 7 picks. He gets everyone involved. The defense is ranked 2nd in yards and points against. The Broncos have a package that should take Idaho out of this game fairly quickly.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Spread: Expect big doses of Titus Young, Austin Pettis, Doug Martin, and Jeremy Avery, as the Broncos mash their way to an early lead. At some point, the foot will be taken off the gas. Sure. The Broncos are playing with a chip on their shoulder, but in the middle of the 3rd quarter, when theyre up to the tune of 42-7, it will be difficult to find the motivation to keep lighting up the Vandals. Look for Idaho to sneak in a late score for a backdoor cover. Take the Idaho Vandals plus 34.5 points.