On Saturday, December 2, 2017, the 9-3 Fresno State Bulldogs take on the N0. 23 ranked 9-3 Boise State Broncos in the Mountain West Conference championship game at Albertsons Stadium. These two teams are quite familiar with one another and even faced off against one another last weekend at Fresno State in a game that the Bulldogs won 28-17. The Bulldogs got 332 yards passing and two touchdowns out of Marcus McMaryion in the victory.
Fresno State has been excellent against the spread this season, going 9-2-1. Over there last 19 games, they are 15-3-1 against the spread and are 5-0-1 against the spread over their last six road games. However, the Bulldogs are only 4-12 against Boise State against the spread in their last 16 contests. The Bulldogs have gone under the total in each of their last five games and have gone under in six of their last seven on the road. Fresno State is 2-9 in their last 11 games against the Broncos.
Boise State is 8-4 against the spread this season. In their last five games, they have gone 4-1 against the spread, with their only “loss” coming against Fresno State last weekend. Boise State is the home team, and they are 3-12 against the spread at home over their last 15 games. The Broncos have won their last five games at home.
Fresno State is a team built with a solid offense and a pretty quality defense. They are averaging 27.8 points per game while giving up 17.2 per contest. Last weekend, Marcus McMaryion proved that he has what it takes to lead this offense to victory. The Bulldogs quarterback has thrown for 2212 yards and 14 touchdowns, while only throwing three interceptions this season. He’s a talented young man, whose got an accurate arm, completing 62.8 percent of his passes this season.
Three different running backs see a significant amount of time for Fresno State. Jordan Mims leads the team with 595 yards rushing and is second on the team with six touchdowns. Second in rushing is Josh Hokit who has rushed for 473 yards and leads the team in touchdowns with seven. Third is Ronnie Rivers, who has 456 yards and five touchdowns and leads the team with a 5.0 yards per carry average. This is an outstanding group that can dominate, but they will need to have a much better performance against the Broncos the second time around if Fresno State is going to win this game.
The Bulldogs know how to get after the quarterback, recording 27 sacks this season. The leader in sacks is Tobenna Okeke who has 5.0, and two other players have 4.0 sacks on this team.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS
The Broncos may have lost last weekend but they have an outstanding offense of their own, averaging 33.3 points per game while giving up 23.2 on defense. The offense is led by running back Alex Mattison, who has 1024 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns this season. Mattison has also been elusive to try to tackle, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He rushed for 63 yards last weekend and will have to have a better performance for Boise State to win this game.
While the Broncos lost last weekend, no one can blame quarterback Brett Rypien. He threw for 278 yards, giving him 2269 on the season with 14 touchdowns. Rypien has one of the more accurate arm’s in the country, completing 64.6 percent of his passes and he has thrown only four interceptions in 280 attempts.
Boise State knows how to get after the quarterback and force mistakes. They have 28 sacks this season, 12 interceptions, and nine fumble recoveries as a unit. Kurtis Weaver leads the team in sacks with 8.0, and KekoaNawhine has three interceptions the season. For players on this defense have at least two interceptions.
Bulldogs vs. Broncos Betting Lines
Fresno State pulled off a bit of an upset last week, but both of these teams knew they would face each other again this weekend. The winner of this contest may find itself in one of the elite bowl games, so expect both to pull out all the stops to try to earn the victory. Boise State is going to win this game, but they will not cover the spread. The Bulldogs are just too good. Therefore, take Fresno State and the points and expect this game to be slightly over 49.