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Boise State vs UTEP Odds, Predictions: College Football Betting Picks for Friday, Sept. 23

Boise State vs UTEP Odds, Predictions: College Football Betting Picks for Friday, Sept. 23 article feature image
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Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: UTEP Miners football helmets.

Boise State vs UTEP Odds

Friday, Sept. 23
9 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Boise State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-16.5
-110
44.5
-110o / -110u
-740
UTEP Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+16.5
-110
44.5
-110o / -110u
+540
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

After meeting in Idaho last season, UTEP and Boise State will meet for the second-consecutive season — this time down in El Paso.

After a surprising seven-win season, optimism has subdued around the UTEP program after a very disappointing start.

Last year, Boise State rolled over UTEP at home by a final score of 54-13 in large part due to six turnovers and a punt return for a touchdown. Can UTEP limit the mistakes this season and keep this closer? Let’s take a closer look.


Boise State Broncos

After a disappointing blowout loss at Oregon State to open the season, Boise State (2-1) has picked up back-to-back wins albeit against subpar competition in New Mexico and FCS UT Martin.

The offense has struggled mightily at times with inconsistent quarterback play from Hank Bachmeier, who did get shaken up late last week in the game for what it’s worth.

Making matters worse, the offensive line has been shaky and the receivers are failing to get much separation. The Broncos really miss wide receiver Khalil Shakir, who’s now with the Bulls.

Fans in Boise are starting to get fed up with offensive coordinator Tim Plough’s play calling. Speaking of which, Plough stated earlier this week he wants to huddle more and lean more on running back George Holani. That could be influence from Andy Avalos, a defensive-minded head coach,

Defensively, Boise State had questions coming into the season along the defensive line and at linebacker. However, both units have exceeded expectations.

In contrast, the secondary, which was supposed to be the strength of the defense, has allowed a few too many explosive plays. Additionally, it must now potentially deal with a few injuries on the back end after safety Jared Reed and cornerback Caleb Biggers left last week’s game with injuries.

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UTEP Miners

Things have not been pretty for the Miners to start the year. They’re 1-3 this season and have yet to cover a game with their sole win coming over lowly New Mexico State.

Things may have hit rock bottom last week after losing, 27-10, at New Mexico, primarily due to seven turnovers, including a pick-six.

Offensively, Gavin Hardison returned this season under center along with running back Ronald Awatt., but the offensive line is an absolute mess. Wide receiver Tyrin Smith can hit some big plays on the outside, but he’s no Jacob Cowing, who transferred to Arizona in the offseason.

Cowing was essentially the entire offense last season for UTEP, which was horribly inefficient and remarkably explosive in large part due to Cowing’s talent and ability. All you need to know about the state of this offense is that UTEP has yet to score more than 13 points in a game through four contests.

On the other side of the ball, UTEP has a very strong defensive line, led by edge rusher Praise Amaewhule and a pair of run-stuffing tackles.

Defensive coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto — who I think does a good job overall — likes to blitz his linebackers to create pressure but still doesn’t have the services of Breon Hayward, who remains ineligible after leading the team in tackles in 2021.

The secondary has the most question marks after having to completely rebuild with transfers. Injuries also haven’t helped the makeover.


Boise State vs UTEP Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Boise State and UTEP match up statistically:

Boise State Offense vs. UTEP Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 89 66
Line Yards 118 59
Pass Success 88 77
Pass Blocking** 49 54
Havoc 117 42
Finishing Drives 63 97
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UTEP Offense vs. Boise State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 76 15
Line Yards 52 22
Pass Success 122 3
Pass Blocking** 30 11
Havoc 96 25
Finishing Drives 126 41
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 15 57
PFF Coverage 39 83
SP+ Special Teams 54 22
Seconds per Play 29.2 (113) 25.0 (40)
Rush Rate 56.2% (52) 39.6% (126)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Boise State vs UTEP Pick

I like the Miners catching over two touchdowns at home.

This isn’t the best situational spot for Boise State. The Broncos head out on the road for a nonconference opponent on a short week prior to a date with San Diego State.

UTEP’s offense is horrendous, but it will have chances to hit explosive passing plays against a beat-up Boise State secondary. Meanwhile, BSU’s offense has major issues right now, making it a very unappetizing option to need to win by three possessions on the road.

This is simply too many points in a game with a low total, especially since I also fancy the under. Let’s just hope UTEP doesn’t turn it over six times like it did last year against Boise — and especially not seven times like last week.

UTEP is an absolute snail with an inept offense. Meanwhile, Boise State wants to now play slower and is very limited offensively. This shouldn’t be a pretty watch.

If the Miners do hit a bunch of explosive passing plays, the under could get dicey, but I’d assume the side would be safe in that scenario.

Pick: UTEP +15 or Better · Under 45.5 or Better (For Smaller)

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