Friday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Boise State Broncos vs. Fresno State Bulldogs Betting Preview
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Orlando Robinson
- Fresno State hosts Boise State as a short home favorite on Friday night.
- The Bulldogs will be looking for a quality win against the Mountain West leading Broncos.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Boise State vs. Fresno State Odds
|Boise State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Fresno State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Boise State has taken control of the conference lead following consecutive wins on the road against San Diego State and at home against Wyoming in the last week. Now 7-0 in the Mountain West, the Broncos are the betting favorite (+125) to win the regular season title and will put their undefeated conference record on the line on Friday night as they visit Fresno State.
The Broncos won the first meeting between these two teams at home in Boise, 65-55. It was a near wire-to-wire win for the Broncos, who did survive a late charge by Fresno State by outscoring them 17-5 in the final 6:12 of the game after the Bulldogs briefly grabbed a two-point lead.
Fresno State has vaulted into the top 60 in the NET following a tight road win against New Mexico by five. The Bulldogs have no real quality wins and need this one if they want any chance of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament because they won’t get many more opportunities for quadrant 1/2 wins.
Any discussion of Boise State begins with its defense, which is among the best units in the entire country. KenPom rates them eighth, Bart Torvik has them sixth, and ShotQuality ranks them in the top 25 defensively. The Broncos are long, alter shots at the rim effectively and rebound at an elite rate defensively.
Boise State sits inside the top 70 in Near Proximity Field Goal Percentage allowed and Mid-Range Field Goal Percentage allowed, but Fresno has already shown it can produce success against the Broncos in this matchup.
Fresno State has one of the most efficient post-up offenses in the entire country and uses a lot of pick-and-roll to run the entire offense through dominant big man Orlando Robinson. Boise State is just average at defending post-ups this season and really struggled to corral Robinson last meeting.
He finished with 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 8-of-13 shooting from inside the 2-point arc. The Broncos’ defense also has some perimeter shooting regression coming defensively. ShotQuality suggests they’ve been marginally fortunate on both 3-point and post-up defensive field goal percentage, and the Broncos will allow open catch and shoot looks from beyond the arc.
There are some concerns about potential Boise State fatigue as the Broncos are playing their seventh game in 16 days, but you could have said the same thing prior to each of their last two conference wins that featured stellar defense. They’ll probably have a lackluster defensive effort at some point due to fatigue though, and there’s a chance it comes on Friday night.
Whether or not Fresno State makes its open 3-point looks remains to be seen, but the Bulldogs made just 4-of-18 from deep on the road in the first meeting and still got to 55 points on 59 possessions. An average shooting night would get them into the 60s here.
Similar to Boise’s defense, the Bulldogs don’t allow a ton at the rim but are willing to concede open jump shots and allow a larger percentage than average of their points from beyond the 3-point arc.
Fresno State will run the offense through Robinson in the post, but he’s also a 38 percent 3-point shooter this year. ShotQuality’s regression analysis says that the Bulldogs should be shooting better from both the post and the 3-point line going forward.
Robinson did suffer an ankle injury early on in the game against New Mexico last time out, but he came back into the game and played 15 minutes in total, so I’d expect that he should be alright for this. The market is pricing in that he will play, so as long as he’s good to go, he is a matchup nightmare for the Boise State defense.
Boise State vs. Fresno State Betting Pick
I had hoped to fade Boise State in this spot after two tight wins against SDSU and Wyoming — where the Broncos were a bit fortunate to pull both games out. But it’s about the number in the end, and unless Fresno State is catching points, there’s not much value betting on the Bulldogs in a market showing little respect to undefeated-in-conference Boise State.
When these two teams played their first meeting on Dec. 28, the total opened at 117.5 and was bet up to the close 119/119.5. The game ended on 120 total points, and, given the number of possessions in that game and projected in this game, I see no reason for the total to open at just 116 here.
Given the positive regression shooting indicators coming for both offenses from beyond the arc and Boise State’s defense being a bit fortunate lately with opponents missing a lot of 3s against them, it doesn’t take much offense for this to get over 116.
I’d only play this to 118 because each point in a total is more valuable when you’re dealing in the 110s, and this game could grind to a halt like San Diego State and Boise State did last weekend if it’s within a possession late.
Pick: Over 116 (play to 118)
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