It’s been a resurgent season for Boise State. The Broncos can take one step towards a berth in the New Year’s Six with a win on Saturday over Hawai’i in the Mountain West Championship Game. The Broncos get the benefit of home-field advantage after an 11-1 season where their only loss came on in a 28-25 road setback against non-conference foe BYU back in October. If the Broncos win decisively and can jump Memphis in the final rankings, they will earn the Group of Five automatic bid into a New Year’s Six bowl game.
Standing in the Broncos way is a Hawai’i team that is coming off their best win of the season. Despite having nothing to play for last Saturday, the ‘Bows dismantled Army 52-31 and scored their second-highest points total of the season. Boise State won this matchup 59-37 back in mid-October. The Broncos gained 518 total yards in the game and forced 4 Hawai’i turnovers.
ESPN’s FPI gives Boise State an 89.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s Mountain West Championship Game matchup between the Rainbow Warriors and Broncos.
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Hawai’i vs. Boise State Game Details
Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Location: Albertsons Stadium (Boise, Idaho)
Spread: Boise State -14
This line opened at Boise State -15.5 and has been bet down slightly to Boise State -14 despite the majority of the bets and money coming in on the Broncos. This indicates a slight reverse line movement favoring the Rainbow Warriors.
- Rainbow Warriors are 9-4 SU and 7-6 ATS this season
- Broncos are 11-1 SU and 6-5 ATS this season
- Over is 8-5 in Rainbow Warrior games this season
- Over is 6-6 in Broncos games this season
Analysis & Pick
I was impressed with Hawai’i’s performance in a completely meaningless game last Saturday against Army. Despite having nothing to play for, the Rainbow Warriors came out focused and defended their home turf against the tough-to-defend option-attack of the Black Knights. That type of momentum can very well carry over to the following week, and I expect Nick Rolovich to have his team prepared again this weekend. My one hesitation with this matchup comes with Boise’s history against Hawai’i at home. The Broncos are 7-0 all-time against the ‘Bows on the Smurf Turf with an average margin of defeat of 33.1 points. I think that is why the line is so inflated in this game. I don’t care where the game is, I can’t lay 14 points in a matchup of two prolific offenses that have proven to be able to score at will this season as the back door will be open all game long. Considering this high spread and struggles on both sides defensively, the over seems to be the best play in this game and I expect both teams to have success on offense.
PICK: Over 64.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith