The 2012 bowl season is the gift that keeps on giving with Saturday afternoon action (3:30pm ET) featuring the Washington Huskies (7-5) of the PAC-12 taking on the 20th ranked Boise State Broncos (10-2) of the Mountain West in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas, NV. Washington is 7-5 ATS this season, but the Huskies had a four game winning streak against the spread snapped in their season finale against cross-state rival Washington State in a 31-28 loss in a game in which they were favored by 14 points. Boise St. is 6-6 ATS this season, and has failed to cover in three of their last four games to close out the regular season, highlighted (or low-lighted) by their second outright loss of the year coming to San Diego State on November 11th by a score of 21-19 at home in a game in which they were favored by 16 points.
The Washington offense ranks among the worst in major college football, standing 90th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 23.8 points per game scored and 101st in total offense with 347.4 yards per game. Quarterback Keith Price (2,484 yards passing, 18 TDs, 11 INTs) and running back Bishop Sankey (1,240 yards rushing, 15 TDs) are the top performers for the Huskies. The UW defense has been solid, ranking 38th in the country in scoring defense with 23.8 PPG allowed and 30th in total defense with 353 YPG allowed.
Boise State’s offense has not been the offensive juggernaut that has been the darling of college football in recent years under Head Coach Chris Petersen, the Broncos rank only 55th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 30.4 PPG, and 77th in total offense with 390 YPG. Defensively the Broncos have made up for the lack of production with one of the top defenses in the nation by the numbers with top 10 rankings in three major categories: scoring defense with 14.9 PPG allowed (6th among FBS teams), total defense with 304.7 YPG allowed (9th among FBS teams) and pass defense with163.4 YPG allowed through the air (4th among FBS teams).
Washington vs. Boise State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Washington Huskies +5.5
@ Boise State Broncos -5.5
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Washington vs. Boise State Pick:
Washington has a 4-1 record ATS in their last 5 games overall, 15-6-1 in their last 22 games on field turf and 1-5-2 in their last 8 games against teams from the Mountain West Conference. Boise St. is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games against PAC-12 teams. The under is 4-1 in Washington’s last 5 games against Mountain West teams and 4-1 in their last 5 games against teams with winning records. The under is 5-0 in Boise State’s last 5 games against winning teams, 602 in their last 8 games on field turf and 10-4-1 in their last 15 non-conference games.
Boise State is certainly familiar with this particular bowl game and the Las Vegas area having won the last two MAACO Bowls against the likes of Utah (26-3 in 2010) and Arizona State (56-24 in 2011) by a combined 55 points. The offensive production for Washington has been woeful this season, and with the Huskies going up against one of the top defenses in the country points could be at a premium against a Bronco defense that has allowed three passing touchdowns all season. Price has not played well against the better teams on the Huskie’s schedule this season, and he is not a good bet to reverse that trend here. Neither team has been a good bet against the spread this season; they are evenly matched so the line is not the play to make here. The under is the play with both teams playing solid defense and possessing underwhelming offensive units. Take the under here.
PICK = Under 44.5