Fresno State vs Boise State Odds, Predictions: How to Bet Mountain West Championship

Fresno State vs Boise State Odds, Predictions: How to Bet Mountain West Championship article feature image

Will Navarro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener.

Fresno State vs Boise State Odds

Saturday, Dec. 3
4 p.m. ET
Fresno State Odds
-112o / -108u
Boise State Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

What do Boise State, Clemson and Georgia all have in common? They have all played in their conference championship game in five of the past six seasons.

After slipping to a 7-5 record last season, the Broncos bounced back with a 9-3 campaign and assumed their rightful place in the Mountain West Championship.

Fresno State will be making its first Mountain West Championship game appearance since 2018 when it beat … Boise State.

Fresno's head coach that year was Jeff Tedford, who, after taking two years away from the game for health reasons, returned to Fresno and has led his Bulldogs right back to the title game.

Since the inaugural Mountain West Championship game in 2013, these teams have dominated the title picture. Boise State has the most title game appearances with six and the most wins with three. Fresno State sits second in both with five appearances and two wins.

This will mark the fourth time these teams have faced off in the championship game with the Broncos coming out on top in 2014 and 2017. The Bulldogs won in 2018. The past two title games between these teams were each decided by just three points, and we fittingly have a spread of three in this one.

So, who has the advantage in Round 4?

Fresno State Bulldogs

When you look at Fresno State's offensive numbers this year, it's important to remember the Bulldogs were without preseason Mountain West Player of the Year Jake Haener for four games due to an ankle injury.

However, this team still finished 15th in the country in Success Rate on offense and ranked in the top 25 in both Rushing and Passing Success. The Bulldogs led the Mountain West with 30.9 points per game, 6.1 yards per play and 407.6 yards per game.

In the seven games Haener finished, he averaged 330.7 passing yards per game, which would have been second in the country. He threw 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions and completed 73.5% of his passes.

Pro Football Focus gave him the fourth-best quarterback grade in the country, tied with Bryce Young.

WHAT. A. DIME. 🚀@FresnoStateFB is running with it 😳

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 6, 2022

The passing game was helped by Jalen Moreno-Cropper, who led the team in receiving for the third straight season. He was assisted by Nikko Remigio and Zane Pope, who both averaged over 40 receiving yards per game.

After emerging late last season, Jordan Mims took over as the workhorse back and rushed for 1,078 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Both of those marks are second in the Mountain West.

Obviously, the Bulldogs offense gets all the shine and leads the way, but the defense was once again pretty good. This unit ranked top-50 in the country in Success Rate and fifth in the conference in total defense.

The secondary also excelled, ranking 21st in the country in coverage grade and allowing just 13 passing touchdowns all season. Opponents are completing just 53% of passes against the Bulldogs, which is the fifth-best defensive mark in the nation.

The thing Fresno is best at is getting its hand on the football and knocking away passes. The Bulldogs have broken up 67 passes this season, the third-most in the country. Starting cornerback Cam Lockridge and safety LJ Early are tied for the team lead.

However, it's safety Evan Williams and defensive end David Perales who headline this defense. They combine to lead a unit that ranks ninth in the country at creating Havoc, and Perales leads the conference with 10.5 sacks.

Boise State Broncos

Things looked to be full of doom and gloom for Boise State at the end of September. The Broncos were off to a 2-2 start and coming off a game in which UTEP held them to just 10 points.

Then, they fired offensive coordinator Tim Plough and named veteran coach Dirk Koetter as the interim. Koetter has been an offensive coordinator or head coach in college and the NFL for 36 years, including when he led Boise State to conference championships as head coach in 1999 and 2000.

The season also turned around with the benching and subsequent transfer of Hank Bachmeier. Since redshirt freshman Taylen Green took over, the Broncos have averaged 34.3 points per game.

A dual-threat weapon, Green has averaged 196.9 yards passing and 41.9 yards rushing since taking over. He has 12 touchdowns through the air and eight scores on the ground. He also has just four interceptions on the year and hasn’t thrown once in the past five weeks.


— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 25, 2022

Running the ball is definitely the Broncos' strength. They have a pair of talented backs in four-year starter George Holani and stud true freshman Ashton Jeanty. Holani is averaging 96.3 yards per game with 10 touchdowns, but Jeanty has added six scores of his own and averages 50.9 yards per game.

This offense's biggest area of weakness is skill on the outside, and each of the Broncos' top-three receivers averages around 36 yards per game.

Fresno State has the best offense in the Mountain West, but Boise State has the best defense. The Broncos have allowed more than 20 points just four times all year, and just once in conference play.

Overall, the Broncos sit fourth in the country in Success Rate on defense. They give up just 4.7 yards per play and sit in the top 25 at defending both the run and pass.

No team in the country has been better at defending the pass than Boise State this season. The Broncos rank first in college football in Defensive Passing Success Rate, as opponents are completing just 50% of their passes for 158.8 yards per game with just 10 touchdowns through the air.

Safety JL Skinner is one of the best in the country. He's an elite tackler and ranks second on the team with four interceptions on the year. He was named a first-team All-Mountain West selection earlier this week.

Even when teams move the ball on the Broncos, Boise State ranks seventh in Defensive Finishing Drives. The only area of weakness teams have exploited is passing explosiveness, where Boise State ranks 129th.

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Fresno State vs Boise State Matchup Analysis

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

Fresno State Offense vs. Boise State Defense
Rush Success2421
Line Yards7530
Pass Success121
Pass Blocking**9667
Finishing Drives387
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Boise State Offense vs. Fresno State Defense
Rush Success5840
Line Yards2878
Pass Success6942
Pass Blocking**44121
Finishing Drives3628
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling6927
PFF Coverage2111
SP+ Special Teams4563
Seconds per Play27.3 (89)27.2 (88)
Rush Rate49.3% (95)59.2% (26)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Fresno State vs Boise State Betting Pick

Something has to give between these two teams.

On one hand, Boise State is 7-1 since Green took over as the starting quarterback, with the only loss coming by three points to BYU. On the other, Fresno State has gone 6-1 in games with Haener, and its only loss came against Oregon State, the No. 15 team in the nation.

The Bulldogs have the best offense in the Mountain West and one of the top units in the Group of Five. The Broncos have the best defense in the conference but have really padded their stats against the bottom of the league.

The only two competent passing attacks Boise State played were BYU and Utah State — both put up over 300 yards passing. When the Broncos played Fresno State in October, it was without Haener.

The Bulldogs were torched by Holani and Jeanty on the ground in that game, but they kept Green in check. He managed just 127 yards passing and 22 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Both of these teams are elite on one side of the ball and above average on the other.  Historically, games between the Bulldogs and Broncos have been close, and I think we'll see another good game here.

I’ll take Fresno State getting over a field goal and back Haener to show why he was the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year.

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