The Idaho Vandals have one objective at this point: become bowl eligible in their final year as an FBS team. They are essentially being removed from the Sun Belt, and will effectively begin play in the FCS a year from now. Idaho will be a much more competitive team at that level of play. Nevertheless, there are some FCS schools who are no slouches, so it isn’t a free ticket to a championship. Idaho would really like to go out in a bowl game, but they need to win-out for that to happen. They get a tough matchup on the road against Troy and are coming in as 18.5 underdogs in Alabama. This isn’t the Crimson Tide they’re dealing with in Alabama, but Troy are a decent team who already became bowl eligible with a record of 6-2.
Troy’s biggest win came on the road against LSU, a 24-21 final for one of their biggest wins in school history. They fell right back down in a rivalry game against South Alabama, though. The Jaguars took advantage of their hangover from LSU and took a 19-8 victory. Troy have since beaten Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Both have been trash in 2017, so Troy hasn’t had a much of a test in three weeks. The Vandals aren’t the most difficult of opponents, but they’ve given some favorites a brief sweat. Notably, Appalachian State and Western Michigan.
Idaho are a 3-5 football team, not too bad for a team who is getting ousted from D1 FBS competition. They also made a bowl game last season, playing in one of the more entertaining bowl games of the year, a 61-50 loss to Colorado State. Idaho doesn’t quite have that same offense working for them, but their defense has stepped it up a bit. Other than getting torched for 68 points against Mizzou, the defense has been played reasonably well. There are a lot of teams who would give up monster numbers to Missouri, especially from the smaller conferences. Troy have their sights on the Sun Belt Championship, while Idaho is looking for a bowl. Head below for our free Idaho vs. Troy pick.
Idaho Vandals vs. Troy Trojans Betting Odds:
vs. Troy -18(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Idaho vs. Troy Pick:
Troy have Brandon Silvers in the saddle at quarterback, who they’ve been getting mixed reviews out of. Football isn’t going to work for him at the professional level, but he has a name for a porn star, so that’s working for him. The fifth-year senior has passed for 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Troy are averaging 250 yards per game through the air, 51th in the FBS. They rush for 162.6 yards per game, which puts them at 65th in the country. The Trojans don’t do anything particularly exciting that sticks out. Sometimes their offense will disappear all together, but it changes a lot with a healthy Jordan Chunn in the lineup.
The Trojans beat LSU with their defense, which can be good at times. Overall, they are 53rd in the nation with 208.5 yards allowed per game. If there is anything that will stick out about Troy, it’s their defensive line and run stoppers. They’re physical up front and have given plenty of team fits, including LSU. The Trojans are 12th in the FBS, allowing just 108.9 yards per game. It follows that Troy are 1st in the country in red zone defensive efficiency. Idaho are 93rd running the ball, so I don’t expect the ground game to work out too well for them in this one.
It appears that Troy is going to be getting their workhorse at running back, Jordan Chunn. Chunn gashed LSU for 191 yards and a touchdown. The Vandals are 64th in the country, allowing 164.8 rushing yards per game. Chunn should put together a nice performance in his return against Idaho. Idaho have some nice numbers ATS, they’ve hung around in games. However, I am going to go against some trends and expect Idaho to struggle against the Troy defense. With Chunn back in the backfield, Troy should also look better on offense. Something along the lines of 34-13 looks about right.
PICK: TROY -18 (-110)