BYU Cougars vs. Boise State Broncos
Point Spread Pick: Boise State -6.5 points (October 20th 2016)
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The BYU Cougars have played a gauntlet of a schedule to open the season. This will be their eighth consecutive week with a game, and they have to be about on fumes by now. They have faced the likes of Arizona, Utah, UCLA, WVU, Toledo, Michigan State and Mississippi State. No team has played a tougher slate to this point, and they desperately need a bye week.
Boise State is legitimately one of the best group of 5 teams in the country with its 6-0 start. And for the most part, the Broncos have made easy work of their opponents. The exception was a 31-28 win over Washington State in which they were actually outgained. But that win looks a lot better now with Washington State contending for a Pac 12 title.
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I believe Boise State’s narrow 28-23 win over Colorado State last week is keeping this line lower than it should be. But that was a 28-3 game with five minutes to play. The Rams somehow scored three touchdowns in a matter of less than two minutes to make the final score closer than it really was.
The Broncos have outgained five of their six opponents and have put up impressive numbers this season. They are outscoring foes by 16.0 points per game and outgaining them by 96 yards per game. Their offense is averaging 68 yards per game and 1.2 yards per play more than their opponents give up on average, and their defense is giving up 9.3 points and 44 yards per game less than their opponents average.
BYU has actually been outgained in four of its seven games this season. The offense is only averaging 0.1 yards per play more than their opponents allow, and their defense is only giving up 0.3 yards per play less than their opponents average on offense.
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Home-field advantage has been huge in this series as the home team is a perfect 5-0 SU in the past five meetings, four of which have come in the last four seasons. The Broncos won their last home meeting with the Cougars by a final of 55-30 in 2014 as identical 6.5-point favorites. They outgained BYU by 315 total yards in that victory.
Boise State is 35-14 ATS in its last 49 games off three straight wins against conference opponents. The Broncos are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 games after forcing one or fewer turnovers in two consecutive games. The Cougars are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. The Broncos are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning record. Bet Boise State Thursday.
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