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BYU Cougars (9) vs. Boise State Broncos (21) Betting Picks and Predictions

06 November 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Friday, November 6th
Time:9:45 PM ET
Network:Fox Sports 1
Venue:Albertsons Stadium
Spread:BYU -3
O/U:59

The 7-0 Boise State Broncos will go on the road Friday night to face off with the Boise State Broncos at 9:45 PM ET in Albertsons Stadium. You can tune into the showdown on FS1. The Cougars come in as three-point road favorites and we’re expecting a shootout with a 61.5 over/under. Neither of these teams have lost a game yet this season and the Cougars have moved up to ninth in the country while the Broncos are sitting at 21st. The winner of this game will jump significantly in the rankings. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will cover the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of my CFB Best Bets for this weekend.

Trends

  • Brigham Young is 5-1 ATS in their last 7 games.
  • Boise State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Independents (FBS) conference.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boise State’s last 5 games played on a Friday.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Brigham Young’s last 6 games.

When The BYU Cougars Have The Ball

The Cougars are undefeated through seven games and they’ve been one of the most dominant teams in the country to this point. They haven’t really been tested in any game, outside of a matchup against UTSA that was somewhat competitive. The Cougars are averaging 44.4 points per game and are converting over 50% of their third downs. The defense has been solid as well, ranking first of all independent teams in yards and points allowed per game.

Junior QB Zach Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the entire country and he should be getting a lot more national attention. Through seven games, Wilson has piled up 2,152 yards and 19 touchdowns to just two interceptions. He’s added another 150 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, so there is nothing this kid can’t do. He’s one of the best QBs in the country and Boise State better figure out a way to slow him down.

The Cougars have a plethora of weapons for Wilson to play with, but Dax Milne has been on a different level this season. The 6’0 junior wideout is extremely versatile, being the primary option in the screen game as well as the deep passing game. He’s hauled in 42 receptions for 706 yards and six touchdowns. Gunner Romney was expected to be the number one this year, but he’s battled injuries on his way to 26 catches for 515 yards and two scores. When both are on the field, this passing attack is nearly impossible to stop. Isaac Rex has caught four touchdowns on just 16 catches and he remains a viable RZ target. Neil Pau’u and Lopini Kotoa have both caught 14+ passes and both are excellent complimentary options to Romney and Milne.

The passing game is lethal, but the Cougars can still run the ball with the best of them. It’s a two-headed attack with Tyler Allgeier (587 yards, 7 TD) and Kotoa (263 yards, 3 TD) splitting the backfield. Allgeier has emerged as the primary running option while Kotoa contributes in the passing game as well. This offense is beyond dynamic and the Broncos will have a tough task of slowing them down on their hands.

When The Boise State Broncos Have The Ball

While the Broncos have only played two games this season, they’ve been impressive in both. They opened the season with a 42-13 victory over the Utah State Aggies before going into Air Force and taking care of business with a 49-30 score. They had a different QB at the helm in each game, but it didn’t matter. Both were solid and the offense coasted in both contests. The defense was great in week one and struggled in week two, but the Air Force Falcons are always a challenge to stop on the ground for anyone.

The Broncos starting QB Hank Bachmeier missed the last game with COVID, but it looks like he’s been practicing and I would expect him to get the start. He threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns in the opener and did a good job of spreading the ball around. Backup Jack Sears was great as well in game two, however, so don’t be surprised if we see both get snaps in this contest.  Both have a ton of talent and one of the few weaknesses for BYU this season has been in the passing game defensively.

The talent is plentiful at wide receiver and it starts with Khalil Shakir, who’s already caught 13 balls for 213 yards and two touchdowns. CT Thomas has caught just four balls, but he’s turned them into 122 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end John Bates has added another 10 catches and 84 yards as a sure-handed security blanket. Both running backs are effective out of the backfield as well, so BYU won’t be able to hone in on just one or two targets. 

Ideally, Boise State wants to establish the run early and often. George Holani (105 yds, TD) and Andrew Van Buren (91 yds, 3 TD) share the load and both are also effective in the passing game. Van Buren is the bulldozer back while Holani has a little bit more speed and agility to him. The offense is reliant on these guys picking up their four or five yards per carry. The offense isn’t built like the Cougars are and they can’t afford to be in 3rd and long situations. 

Spread Prediction

The Cougars are downright elite offensively and they can beat you in so many different ways. Kotoa and Allgeier are dangerous enough on the ground and Zach Wilson has shown the ability to throw it both short and long this year. The Broncos don’t have a ton of tape to watch on them this season, but the defense did struggle against the Air Force running game. Look for BYU to establish the run early before opening things up for Wilson as the game progresses. I’ll take BYU all day here as a nice Friday night bankroll booster. 

The Pick: BYU -3

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

If Hank Bachmeier is at the helm for Boise State, I love the over. Both of these offenses can toss it around the yard and I’m not overly impressed with either defense. If BYU has one downfall, it’s their secondary. They’ve given up some big plays this season and the likes of Shakir and Thomas are going to give them troubles. We know the BYU weapons will do more of the same and I expect a ton of points in this one as the Cougars pull away in the second half. 

The Pick: Over 59

Final Score Prediction: BYU 41, Boise State 31

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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