Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST
HAWAII +14 over Boise State
Aloha Stadium – Honolulu, HI
Streaming: CBS Sports Network in the Sports Group or in the Sports & Outdoor Group
11:00 PM EST. Boise State is a team that needs no introduction, they are very much the “Alabama” or “Clemson” of mid-major/Group of Five college football with respect to their pedigree and reputation. The Broncos have become a household name and they are almost always a favorite to win the Mountain West Conference on a regular basis and a pre-season pick to appear in a New Year’s Six bowl.
While BSU’s NY6 aspirations may have been dashed by BYU in their sole defeat this year, their Mountain West hopes are fully alive and well as they are undefeated in conference play. Barring what was a very rare blowout loss suffered on the Smurf Turf by Brigham Young (in a non-conference game), the Broncos have pretty much steamrolled every constituent it has come across in the MWC, covering lofty double-digit spreads with ease.
In the head-to-head between the Broncos and Rainbow Warriors, Boise State has won the last eight meetings and covered in the preceding seven. In all seven of Boise’s covers against Hawaii, the Broncos were priced no lower than a 13-point choice and have been priced as high as -28. Most notably, Boise State defeated Hawaii in the regular season last year in Boise 59-37 (producing a green-up as a 13-point favorite) and beat them again on the Smurf Turf in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game in December. As a 14-point favorite, the Broncos dropped the hammer in a 31-10 victory.
Last week, Hawaii’s stock took perhaps its biggest hit of the season as the “Bows” were obliterated, 34-10 at the hands of San Diego State when Hawaii travelled to the mainland and were nowhere near coming in under the number. While Hawaii may have looked to have taken a step back, it is perhaps because the Warriors were looking ahead to this very game. After all, Hawaii was considered by many to be a player in this year’s Mountain West race but the gigantic question-mark was whether or not the Alohas could get over the proverbial Boise hump.
Hawaii bodes one of the most unique home-field advantages in all of college football, albeit one must travel thousands of miles across several time zones just to get there. Before anything else is factored into the equation, the Rainbow Warriors have the elements of jet lag and travel wear-and-tear working against their opponent and that is before we consider the motivation that Hawaii will bring into this game.
In an isolated Thursday night prime time game last week, Boise St whacked Colorado State, 52-21. When a team scores 52 points in a prime time game that is the only game of the day, it makes an impact. Trust us when we suggest that Colorado State was sloppy and unprepared. Boise St took a 7-0 lead on a blocked punt less than a minute into it. They took a 14-0 lead off a turnover shortly thereafter. The Bronc then took a 21-0 lead on a 91-yard FG block that was returned for a TD. The Rams were down big very early and Boise St cruised. Trust us again when we tell you that Boise is not the power that the market believes they are. They are beatable, they are without several starters and they met a team that was not interested last week. Boise’s other two wins were against weak opposition in Utah State and Air Force. As a result of Boise’s pedigree, market presence, and recency bias (especially in this series), the Broncos are among the most overpriced teams this week and we would not be a bit surprised to see the dog win this one outright.
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HAWAII +14 -113 (Risking 2.26 units - To Win: 2.00)