College Football Odds, Picks, Prediction for Boise State vs. Utah State: No Defense Expected
Photo by Tyler Ingham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
- Boise State and Utah State play an early affair at Noon ET.
- The Broncos are looking to rebound from a loss vs. Oklahoma State, while the Aggies have been a 3-0 surprise.
- Kyle Remillard has everything covered from this game, including his best bet.
Boise State vs. Utah State Odds
|Boise State Odds||-9.5 (-110)|
|Utah State Odds||+9.5 (-110)|
|Over/Under||69.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Utah State Aggies are the surprise of the college football season thus far and look to continue that trend as they welcome the Boise State Broncos on Saturday.
Boise State returns as the cream of the crop in the Mountain West Conference and one of the top Group of Five teams in the nation. However, the Broncos have stalled coming out of the gate in 2021, losing two of their first three competitions. This is the worst start for the program since 2005 when they started 0-2.
Boise State coach Andy Avalos started out the season hot by building a 21-0 lead over Central Florida before seeing that game slip away 36-31. Most recently, they suffered defeat to Oklahoma State after a controversial ending that saw the Broncos’ game-winning 36-yard field goal get blocked.
The Broncos look to bounce back and continue their streak having won 21-straight conference openers against Utah State.
Utah State hit rock bottom in 2020 when it fired its head coach, dismissed its starting quarterback and finished with a 1-5 record. Expectations were low coming into this season, but head coach Blake Anderson has shocked the Mountain West the first month of the season.
With wins over Washington State as a 17-point underdog and Air Force as a nine-point underdog, Utah State is sitting at 3-0.
I previously wrote about value in the over 3.5 regular season wins for Utah State back in July, but no one could have predicted the Aggies starting out winning their first three games. A win over Boise would certainly turn the Mountain West upside down.
Boise State vs. Utah State Betting Preview
Boise State Offense
Hank Bachmeier returns at quarterback for his third season under center. He’s one of the few offensive pieces that has been efficient this season by averaging 8.7 yards per pass attempt while throwing for six touchdowns to two interceptions. He’s led the offense to 36th in Passing Success Rate.
Outside of Bachmeier, there hasn’t been much production from the rest of the Broncos’ offense. The offensive line ranks 117th in Pass Blocking and the run game has been non-existent ranking 110th in Rushing Success Rate.
Boise State is averaging a horrid 2.1 yards per attempt on its 98 carries this season. Its offense has averaged 67 rushing yards per game while running the ball 33 times a game.
The Broncos have looked lackluster in preventing big defensive plays as they rank 114th in the nation in Havoc Allowed.
Luckily for Avalos, this is the perfect opportunity to open the playbook and air it out against a vulnerable Utah State defense which is still one of the worst in the country.
Boise State Defense
Boise State owned one of the top defenses in the Mountain West in 2020 and returned 77% of its production, according to TARP.
The Broncos lost two experienced cornerbacks in Jalen Walker and Avery Williams, and this has appeared to be detrimental early in the season.
The 2020 unit ranked among the top 20 in terms of both Rushing and Passing Success Rates. Through three games, the defense is ranking 64th in Rushing Success and 89th in Passing Success. They’ve shown they’re vulnerable by allowing 4.2 yards per rush attempt and 8.3 per pass attempt.
Avalos was previously the defensive coordinator at Oregon before taking the job at Boise State. He will need to sharpen the Broncos’ defense before they’re the next victim of Utah State’s upset run.
Utah State Offense
In 2020, the Aggies averaged just 15.5 points per game, ranking 124th in the country. They ranked 110th in offensive yards per play and 117th in Touchdown Rate.
Coach Anderson has since stepped in and completely overhauled this offense.
The Aggies improved their points per game to 37.5 and are putting up over 530 yards of offense. They’ve been a balanced attack running the ball on 49% of their snaps for 4.7 yards per play.
There’s been a quarterback competition the first month of the season, which is starting to feel more like a dual quarterback system.
Arkansas State transfer Logan Bonner led the team back to defeat Washington State in Week 1. Bonner has averaged 8.6 yards per throw while tossing seven touchdowns to three interceptions.
The incumbent starter, Andrew Peasley, came up clutch last time out, leading the Aggies to three second-half touchdown passes in a come-from-behind victory over Air Force.
Both quarterbacks have leaned on wide receiver Deven Thompkins, who leads the country with 454 receiving yards. He’s hauled in 25 catches, including three touchdowns this season.
Utah State amassed over 600 yards of offense and 49 points in its win over Air Force. The Aggies ran 89 plays and played at a blistering tempo.
Utah State Defense
The defense was atrocious last season ranking 118th in Defensive Points per Drive and 119th in Defensive Touchdown Rate.
The unit showed minimal improvement in its first two games against Washington State and North Dakota, but showed its true colors last time out against Air Force. The Falcons used their triple-option attack to score 45 points and amass over 600 yards of offense.
They managed 6.9 yards per carry on 63 attempts, racking up 400 yards of offense. The Aggies allowed explosive drives on 46% of the Air Force possessions, compared to the 13% national average.
The bright spot of this defense has been linebacker Justin Rice, who transferred from Arkansas State to continue playing under Anderson. He’s leading the defense in tackles while contributing three interceptions, one fumble recovery, and four tackles for loss.
The fast tempo that Utah State plays with often leaves the defense vulnerable, and it could be another long night for this unit against the talent level of Boise.
Boise State vs. Utah State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Boise State and Utah State match up statistically:
Boise State Offense vs. Utah State Defense
Utah State Offense vs. Boise State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Boise State vs. Utah State Betting Pick
Although Boise’s offense has been underwhelming through the first three weeks, this is an opportunity for them to find some momentum. Air Force exposed the Utah State defense for explosive plays throughout the game.
Boise State will spread the field and lean on its superior talent level to finally light a spark under this offense.
Former UCF offensive coordinator Anthony Tucker has revamped the Utah State offense which ranks No. 3 nationally with over 560 yards per game.
The key in this game is going to be the pace that it’s played at.
Boise State ranks 16th in Plays per Minute while Utah State ranks second. It will be an up-and-down game with both offenses finding success and plenty of scoring opportunities.