Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
10:30 PM EST. This game has all the makings of a shootout. Sure, Washington State may feature a prototypical quarterback in Luke Falk, who has thrown for an average of 4,500 yards through the air in the previous two seasons. The effort of Falk has led the Cougars to emerge as a threat in the Pac-12, as they have boasted the best passing attack across America. However, the Cougars also own a defense that has on average given up over 27 points per game and 411 yards of total offense in the previous two seasons. The 31-0 shutout of Montana State last week can be quite misleading, as Montana State is a FCS team that finished 4-7 last year. Basically, Montana State is a one-dimensional (running the ball) joke so give no credit to WSU for that victory. Very simply, Wazoo is like many other Pac-12 teams in that they live and die by their offense. While the Cougars have been able to get away with this strategy against the likes of Oregon, Oregon State, and Arizona State, they were hammered last season by any team with a semblance of a defense. For example, when they hosted its hated cross-state foe Washington in the 2016 Apple Cup, the Cougars were held to 17 points while the Huskies went off for 45. In the week previous, Colorado was able to hang 38 points on Washington State while the Buffs held the Cougs to 24 points.
Boise State opened its season against Troy and as a 10½-point choice, they won by 11. What’s notable there is that the total was 59 and the Broncs held Troy to just 13 points. BSU also beat Washington State last season in Boise. The Broncos went up against Falk and company at the Smurf Turf and were able to deliver a 31-28 victory. In that game, the Cougars were spotted nearly two touchdowns and covered easily. Fast forward a year later and now the Cougars opened as a touchdown favorite with heavy steam pushing them to a double-digit choice. We’re going to attribute the line move to recent results. The Cougars started off 0-2 in 2016 and won eight straight to put itself in position to vie for the Pac-12 Championship Game. Boise State is not the Broncos we typically see. Though they won 10 games yet again in 2016, they lost games they were expected to win. Thus, the market assessment of both outfits has driven the price here. A lackadaisical performance by the Boise State offense in a sloppy win over Troy has this market concerned but we’d be more worried about this Wazzu defense. We continue to see too many guys who can’t get lined up correctly, corners who are nowhere to be found and an alarming lack of fundamentals. Boise State always tries to schedule games against strong opposition and they know how to prepare for it without batting an eye. Traveling to Pullman is just another day at the office for the team known as the “Greatest BCS Buster of All-Time”.
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#399 Boise State +10 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)