BYU Cougars (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS)
Date and Time: Friday, October 24, 2014, 9:00 PM EST.
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
by Wilson, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BYU +6/BSU -6
Over/Under Total: OFF
BYU travels up the Freeway this Friday night to play at Boise State in what may well be the Cougars 4th consecutive loss. After starting the season 4-0 and looking like the BYU of old the Cougars have dropped three in a row and two back to back at home for the first time since 2004. Adding to the Cougars woes are two significant issues: QB Taysom Hill is out and RB Jamaal Williams is questionable. Boise State is not the traditional powerhouse they have been over the past decade but they are still a tough football team especially at home where they rarely lose. Lets be honest, not too many teams look forward to playing on the Blue Carpet in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN. The Broncos line opened early a -6.
Boise State had their hands full last week at home against Fresno State as the game was knotted at 27 until the Broncos separated with a TD and a FG to close out the contest. The Broncos defense normally known for their ability to shut teams down has not been able to do that as much this season outside of the Texas Longhorns matchup where they only allowed 7 points but most of that was Texas not being good at all. Boise States D will definitely need to show up this week even with BYUs starting QB outthe Cougars offense will test the secondary nearly every play. If Boise States secondary tightens up and controls the air attack they will limit BYUs approach and more than likely blow them out.
BYU meanwhile loves to give up points! The Cougars have allowed 108 points combined in their last three outings. You do not want to get into a shoot out at Boise State. BYU will be hurting without Hill behind center and although BSUs defense has allowed points this year they always figure it out at home.
Boise State WR Matt Miller is listed as out this week but this should not hurt the Broncos too badly as they seem to have a deep sideline especially when it comes to WRs. The Broncos are my pick in this contest for several reasonsthey are homewhere they hardly ever lose, they are coming off of a solid close-out win at home, and they are a playing a down BYU squad who has dropped three in row to teams that nobody knows. Normally this game would be a high interest contest and a much anticipated potential game of the week but not this time around. Boise State will come out and roll all over the Cougars in this game.
These two teams have only matched up four times despite their campuses being just under 400 miles apart from each other. I believe this game is a lock for Boise State. They have a ridiculous home win percentage of 96 percent since 2000. The Broncos are 88-4 at home since the year 2000. Boise State hasnt dropped an October home game since 1998! Out of 100 drives by teams this season versus Boise States defense only 31 have resulted in a score and 61 of those drives were for less than 20 yards. Even with a less stellar D than usual the Broncos are holding their own and our currently ranked 24th in the country for rush defense. In addition to the Broncos rush defense is the fact they have forced 41 three and outs already this season which is about 6 per game.
BYU comes into the land of the Blue Carpet without their starting QB which will almost certainly spell disaster for the Cougars against a tough rush defense thus forcing the backup QB to make a lot of plays via pass and scramble. The Broncos crush the Cougars despite their previous 1 point margin victories in the pastthis is a weaker and banged up BYU squad. Luck to ya.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Broncos minus the points!