Boise State vs. Washington Prediction: Las Vegas Bowl Pick

Getty Washington quarterback Jacob Eason celebrates the Apple Cup victory over Washington State

The Washington Huskies are 3.5-point favorites over the Boise State Broncos in Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl.

Boise State (7-5) is making its third appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl, having won its last two postseason trips to the desert. The Broncos are playing in a bowl game for the 18th straight year as they continue their postseason dominance under head coach Bryan Harsin. Boise State won its final six games including an impressive 31-10 win over Hawai’i in the Mountain West Championship.

Washington (6-6) will be coached by Chris Petersen for the final time. Petersen has spent the last six seasons on the sidelines for the Huskies after eight years as head coach at Boise State. It’s an ironic matchup for Petersen’s final game as he will try to navigate the emotions and familiarity of facing his former team. Quarterback Jacob Eason is trying to cement his draft stock and could opt for the NFL.

ESPN’s FPI gives Washington a 58.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl between the Broncos and Huskies. 

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Boise State vs. Washington Game Details

Date: Saturday, December 21
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Washington -3.5
Total: 48.5

*All lines and odds courtesy of SportsMemo, Covers, & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Washington -3 and has been bet up slightly to Washington -3.5 with the majority of bets coming on Boise State but the majority of the money coming in on the Huskies.

Betting Trends

  • Boise State is 12-1 SU and 7-5-1 ATS this season
  • Washington is 7-5 SU and 7-5 ATS this season
  • Under is 7-6 in Boise State games this season
  • Over is 6-6 in Washington games this season

Analysis & Pick

This will be an emotional game for Chris Petersen. Not only will he be coaching his final game and facing an uncertain future, but he will also be coaching against his former team and a Boise State program that Petersen put on the map. My gut says the Huskies will be extra motivated to get him a win in his final game. On the other side, the Broncos will also be fired up to face their former coach. It should make for an interesting game on both sides. While Boise State might be the scrappier team, Washington has a distinct advantage at the skill positions, especially running back, with Salvon Ahmed churning out 1,000 yards on the ground this season. Huskies tight end Hunter Bryant, the team’s leading receiver, will not play after declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Huskies have had trouble closing out opponents this season, blowing second-half leads against Oregon and Utah. It resulted in a relatively disappointing season for Washington which had Pac-12 title hopes entering 2019. I think Boise State is a tad overmatched here in what was an overall down year for the Mountain West. The Huskies send Chris Petersen out a winner in his final game against his former team.

PICK: Washington -3.5

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Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith