Boise State Broncos Odds to win the Mountain West Conference with Expert Betting Predictions
The Broncos have been so good for so long that we just expect it from them. They are not always great but are so wildly consistent. They have won 12 conference championships since 1999, they have won at least eight games every year since then, they won two BCS bowl games, and have finished ranked in the Top 18 of the final polls 10 times since 2002. They just keep on keeping on, never seeming to have to reload no matter which players graduate and which coaches leave. It's remarkable. And while they aren't heading into this season with the best team we have ever seen from them, they are still positioned to add yet another conference title. The train keeps rolling.
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2016 in a Nutshell
Things started out as good as they could have. They won their first seven games and climbed as high as 13th in the rankings. They had back-to-back Pac-12 wins against Washington State and at Oregon State in that time. The momentum crashed to a halt at Wyoming, though, when they lost by just two points - a loss that would come back to haunt them. They won three more handily but then lost another very big game at Air Force. That dropped them to 6-2 in the conference. That was the same as Wyoming and New Mexico in their division, but Wyoming advanced to the championship game because of the win over the Broncos. The 10-2 record landed them in the Cactus Bowl against Baylor, but they disappointingly failed to show up and lost by 19 in their flattest performance of the year.
Key Additions and Departures
The team had a linebacker and a running back drafted, so they have lost some strong talent. Offensively, they have been hit pretty hard. Quarterback Brett Rypien is back, and he's strong, but three of the top four receivers are gone. There is still plenty of talent at receiver, though, so with a little luck they will be ready. And they added some good QB depth. Grad transfer Montell Cozart started 18 games at Kansas. That's barely a Division 1 team, but at least they play major conference opponents. That drafted running back, Jeremy McNichols, is a big loss. He had 1,709 yards rushing and added 474 through the air. They have options, but none that are proven at this point. And on the offensive line they have two returning starters and a third guy who started three games last year. They brought in JUCO help up front and will need some luck. At least their center, who was their best player on the line last year, is back. That makes things easier on Rypien. There are a lot of concerns, but Rypien is the real deal, and if he takes another step forward this year they should be fine.
On defense the issues are less with personnel. They return a fair bit of defensive line depth. They have a whole lot of secondary depth - young but talented. And though they lost their best linebacker, there is some strong talent still in place. Coach Bryan Harsin added a strong corner and a linebacker from JUCO ranks, and both of them should be starters as well, which will help. As on offense they will need some luck with new guys finding their game quickly, but they have the talent to be just fine. The bigger issue for the defense is that they just weren't very good last year. They need to be much sharper and much less predictable. That rests with the coaching staff as much as everything - the first year for defensive coordinator Andy Avalos was very underwhelming, and he needs to be much better or his second year will be his last.
Boise State Broncos Schedule Analysis
This team has a schedule that is very manageable. They have a tough road trip to Washington State in Week 2. The rest of the nonconference schedule is manageable, although a trip to BYU will require this team to be on their toes. They also play at San Diego State, likely the best team in the conference aside from Boise State, the week after that Boise State game, which could be tough. They get both teams they lost to last year at home this time around, though. It's a schedule that will allow them both to earn 10 or more wins again if they are any good, and they are ready to play, and they can earn a bit of national respect with a shot at a couple of respectable wins early on.
2017-18 Boise State Broncos Betting Odds and Trends
There is good news and bad news from the oddsmakers. The good news is that BetOnline only currently lists odds for 36 teams to win the national title , and Boise State is among that group. The bad news, though, is at +30000 they have the longest odds on the boards. Things are much rosier when it comes to the Mountain West Conference, though. They are the +100 favorites to win the conference, comfortably ahead of second choice San Diego State at +175.
The team was about as bad for bettors as a 10-3 team can be. They were 3-10 ATS, and followed every cover with at least three games where the bettors lost their money. They were favored by at least a touchdown in every game they played, so their brand obviously blinded the betting public to what they really were - and how many concerns they had on defense. They were only a little more balanced on the totals, where they went "under" eight times in 13 games.
2017-18 Boise State Broncos Predictions and College Football Picks
They have no worse than a coin toss chance in every game and better than that in most. Ten regular-season wins is a realistic goal this year and one that I expect them to attain as long as Rypien stays healthy and the defense is sharper. I like them to win the conference, though I have no interest at all in betting them at this price.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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