The 10-2 Boise State Broncos will welcome the 10-2 Fresno State Bulldogs to Albertsons Stadium in Boise on Saturday night for this year’s Mountain West championship game. This game serves as a rematch of last year’s conference title game in the same venue, which Boise State won by a final score of 17-14.
These two squads also hooked up a few weeks back in the regular season, with the Broncos once again getting the better of their conference rivals, this time by a margin of 24-17. We would imagine the Bulldogs are dying to snap their losing streak to their nemesis, while Boise State will undoubtedly be locked and loaded as they seek their second consecutive Mountain West title.
It shapes up to be an excellent game underneath the primetime lights on Saturday night. Let’s take a look at the matchup in full detail, starting with the game line.
Fresno State vs. Boise State, 7:45 PM EST, Sat. Dec. 1, ESPN
Fresno State vs. Boise State pick:
When these two squads hooked up a few weeks back, Fresno State actually entered the game as 2.5-point road favorites.. The prevailing thought was that the Bulldogs defense would hold the Broncos offense in check enough to seal the deal. That proved to be off the mark, as Boise State prevailed by a final score of 24-17.
The spread has flipped this time around, but it remains just as tight with Boise State only a 2.5-point home favorite. The two teams are evenly matched, and they bring identical overall and conference marks to the table.
|Record||Conf. Rec.||PF||PA||Streak||Standings||CFP Rank|
|Fresno State||10-2||7-1||435||162||W2||1-MW West||#25|
|Boise State||10-2||7-1||444||268||W7||1-MW East||#22|
Looking at the above table, the matchup is essentially a wash with the exception of the Bulldogs greater prowess on defense. That has served them well throughout the regular season, as no opponent has scored more than 27 points off of them. That came in a 49-27 victory over Toledo earlier this year.
The Broncos bring their hallmark solid offense to the table, but they can get it done on the other side of the ball as well. They gave up 44 points to Oklahoma State in a loss and 38 to Air Force in a victory, but no other team has surpassed 28 points against them on the season.
Balance is the name of the game on offense for both clubs, with the Broncos holding a slight edge in average yardage for both the pass and the run. As their average points per game indicates, these two teams are equally efficient, with Boise State holding a razor thin 37-36.3 edge.
Defensively, Fresno State is clearly the better unit in terms of averages, but the Broncos are much more stout when it comes to getting to the quarterback. That said, they are certainly lacking in protecting their own in comparison to Fresno State, which also has the edge in turnover margin on the year.
Over the past 10 meetings of these two schools, Boise State holds a clear edge with a mark of 8-2 straight up and 6-4 against the spread. The Over has come out four times over that time frame, but none in the past four. For the aforementioned meeting on November 9, Fresno State was a 2.5-point road favorite in a game with a projected total of 55.5 points.
Boise State held serve at home and walked off the field with a 24-17 victory. These two clubs also met twice last season. Fresno State was a 28-17 victor in the regular season, while Boise State was victorious in the Mountain West title game by a score of 17-14. For this meeting, the spread sits at 2.5 points in favor of Boise State, while the Over/Under checks in at 52 points.
This will be the fourth meeting of these two squads in the span of a year. They have combined for three pretty tight games thus far over that span, with the biggest margin of victory coming on November 25, 2017, when Fresno State pulled out a 28-17 home victory.
For this meeting, we can give a slight edge to the Broncos on offense, while we can say the same about Fresno State on defense. Both teams are pretty equal versus the run, but Fresno State is stronger versus the pass, which just so happens to be a strength for Boise State.
In the last meeting, both teams found some success through the air, but Boise State’s running game proved to be the difference. Junior RB Alexander Mattison put up a stellar line of 30/144/2 in the 7-point victory.
This looks to be another really close affair, so the tight spread is absolutely justified. The difference could very well come down to home field once again, and we’ll look for the Broncos to get it done on the signature blue turf field.
We’ll take Boise State minus the points.