Oregon State Beavers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, College Football Week 4, Saturday, September 25, 2010, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
by Scotty L of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: OSU +16.5/BSU -16.5
The Boise State Broncos take another step in what they hope will be a special season, as they host the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday at Broncos Stadium. When Boise State and those who fancy their National Championship hopes looked at their schedule before the season began, they saw three big tests. The Broncos passed the first one by nipping Virginia Tech. Now comes step two against 24th-ranked Oregon State. The third test figures to be a tough road game against dangerous conference rival Nevada later in the season.
Not that the rest of their schedule is a gimme, but these are the big games for Boise State. This game is the last one for Boise State before they go into a lax part of their schedule. The difficult games were loaded up at the front this year for the Broncos, who are forced to win big games while in early-season form. So far, so good, but they should be tested by the Beavers and need to come through in a big way.
It’s a little questionable how much value bettors can find wagering on Boise State these days. Once a fine underground betting choice, BSU has become somewhat of national favorite. A ton of people really like this team. From a betting standpoint, their potent offense has always made them a solid team for bettors to back. The lines might seem big, especially at home, but only until they blow their opponents away. But gosh, laying 16.5 to a top-25 Pac-Ten team seems steep, doesn’t it?
Not that they can’t do it. Since having a little trouble getting things clicking against Virginia Tech, Boise State looked electric in bashing Wyoming 51-6-on the road. Certainly the oddsmakers are within sound reason in anticipating an explosive home opener for the Broncos. Even if the Beavers are an upper tier Pac-10 team, Boise State figures to be humming on Saturday.
If you look at it from a certain angle, you could say Boise State struggled with a Virginia Tech team that went on to lose to lowly James Madison. I tend to think that loss took a little spirit out of the Hokies and while they were probably overrated, the Broncos still won a tough road game against a team that was good on that particular night. Against Wyoming, those who took the leap of faith by laying 22 points on a traveling Broncos squad were treated to a no-sweat cover. Even if Boise State is overhyped, there is no doubting their explosiveness.
Quarterback Kellen Moore and his deep cast of skill players on offense figure to have their way, at least for certain stretches of the game, against a Beaver defense that has given up 30 to TCU (no shame) and 28 to Louisville (not good). Still, Oregon State will get some business done-with Jacquizz Rodgers and his brother James handling the ball behind quarterback Ryan Katz. James has been an absolute best on returns, running back 9 kicks at 30 yards per clip. If one of these guys has a breakout game on offense, which is entirely possible, it could put pressure on a Boise State defense that showed some holes in the Virginia Tech game. With a couple big special teams plays or a few turnovers, Oregon State could conceivably be in this game.
Scotty L’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Boise State is gonna fail to cover some spreads this season to be sure, but I see those coming later against unranked opponents where the Broncos are ridiculous favorites. That 16.5 number is daunting. I think the Beavers will be a good team when all is said and done. This just seems like the kind of game where it’s going to be 14-0 really quick and looking like a big uphill battle for the Beavers.
Until bowl season, this could be as fired-up a Broncos squad as we see all year. You have a home opener with a frothing throng of fans in a landmark game that will be used to bolster national championship credibility in light of a weak schedule. If there’s a time for this team to run wild, now would seem to be it. Against a legitimate foe like Oregon State, I don’t think the Broncos will have things entirely their own way, but they won’t have to in order to cover this number. Lay the 16.5 points and take Boise State.