After unforeseen roller coaster starts to the 2022 season, the Fresno State Bulldogs and the Boise State Broncos will meet yet again in the Mountain West Title game on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.
The two programs met earlier this season, though Fresno State was without star quarterback Jake Haener, who was out due to injury. Boise State won the matchup 40-20 behind a dominant effort on the ground from Boise State’s tailbacks George Holani and Ashton Jeanty, who combined to rush for over 260 yards on 7.4 yards per carry and two touchdowns.
Haener is back and healthy for the Bulldogs, as they’re riding a seven-game win streak over San Jose State, New Mexico San Diego State, Hawai’i, UNLV, Nevada and Wyoming — outscoring them by 21.2 points per game. Boise State remains unbeaten in conference play and continued its dominance last week over Utah State, downing them 42-23 to earn its seventh victory in eight games.
For our full previews, check out each of our writers’ pieces below!
Conference championship season usually entails ample amount of people — yes, me, I’m the people in this case — are betting on the different games throughout the weekend, which usually kickoff Friday morning and end Saturday night. Below, I dove into the spread, over-under, my favorite prop bet and my favorite parlay!
Now let’s dive into them, with the odds courtesy of the DraftKings Sportsbook!
(Note: Betting is hard! I’m not good at it! For example, when I dabbled into early season MWC MBB, I had Boise covering the 6-point spread in this game. Spoiler: They didn’t. I could go on! So fade my bets accordingly.)
Spread: Boise State -3 (-110)
The line opened at 4.5, and action on Fresno State subsequently trimmed it to 3. I would’ve likely strayed away from Boise at 3.5, but I don’t hate 3 for them at all. If you still think it’s still too big — assuming you think Boise State still wins — you could always dabble money on their money-line at -155, which is still playable odds. Boise State is 6-1-1 ATS in conference games this year and 4-2 ATS as a home favorite; the two losses coming to BYU (as a 9.5 point favorite) and Wyoming (they still won by 3, but were favored by 14.5). Fresno State, meanwhile, is 1-2 — albeit a small sample — as an underdog, with one of their losses coming to Boise State (and the other to USC....which tracks). Boise State has won three of their four title games on their blue turf. With the frigid temperatures, their top-flight ground game + defense at home benefits them. That said, Jake Haener and Jalen Moreno-Cropper is on the other side. And Boise is dealing with injuries along their front-seven — hence, action on Fresno State. This might be a stay away, but I can’t not pick against Boise at home and in the cold.
Pick: Boise State -3
Over-Under: 54.5 (-110)
Full disclosure: Over/unders are tricky business for me. Even more so than the spread. Maybe I’m just bad at betting? Well, we already established I am, so, again: Fade accordingly! O.K., I digress. The line opened at 50.5 but bloated to 54.5 over the last several days. Since Dirk Koetter has taken the helm of Boise State’s offensive coordinator job, Boise’s offense has scored more at least 28 points in six of the eight games, including 35-plus in five of them and 40-plus in four. Fresno State has averaged 34.9 points when in games Haener starts, including 36.1 points over their win streak. I’ll lean the over because of said offenses — even if their point-total falls below their per-game averages — which I would play to 57.
Pick: Over to 57
Favorite (Dumb/Silly) Prop Bet: Boise State o13.5 PTS 1H (-125)
This is completely out of the blue (pun intended), I get it. But Boise State has scored at least 14 points in the first half six of their last eight games, including 20 against Fresno State earlier this season. Both teams’ offenses might not throw haymakers right away, which limits their ceiling, but I’m still taking the over here — especially if Boise’s defense gets involved in the turnover game.
- Fresno State o20.5 PTS (-260)
- Fresno State +10.5 (-340)
- Jake Haener o250 passing yards (-350)
Odds equate to +130.
Jake Haener has lit secondaries on fire, throwing at least 310 yards in six of his eight games this season. The game script could dictate him to air it out if they fall behind, and even against a formidable Boise secondary spearheaded by JL Skinner, 250 or more yards is doable. I expect Fresno to keep this a one-score game — which further makes me weary of betting Boise -3 — and with how proactive Fresno’s offense is, I can’t see them scoring anything below 21 again.
Official prediction: Boise State 30, Fresno State 26
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