Boise State Broncos Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
There was some concern that Boise State would lose their way once Chris Petersen finally took an offer from elsewhere and headed to Washington. There was no need to worry, as it turns out, and Bryan Harsin has won 42 games in his four years as Petersen's replacement. This team has been so good for so long that we take them for granted. But you can be sure that their goals are higher. Making a New Year's Six bowl. Trying to find a way into the playoff. There is no goal that this team would be afraid of, and they are darned talented this year. A lot of people talked about UCF last season as the next Boise State - before Scott Frost left, at least. Well, the Broncos probably want to remind us that we don't need to find a replacement for them because they are still here.
2017 in a Nutshell
The team won 11 games last year, but they are still likely haunted by two of their three losses - and they should be. The wins were solid, with victories at a Top 20 San Diego State team and over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl probably the most solid. And there is no real shame in losing at Washington State with their veteran QB in triple overtime. But losing to Virginia by 19 points two weeks after that was far from acceptable - Virginia is a long way from good. And finishing the season off with a loss at Fresno State wasn't great, either - especially because they beat the same team a week later in the conference championship game. You could argue that the Broncos were saving themselves because they had already made the championship game, but I don't think top programs can afford that mentality.
Key Additions and Departures
Senior Brett Rypien is back at QB and poised for a big year. Redshirt freshman Chase Cord (Can you possibly think of a more Idaho name?) will back him up. Running back is deep, though perhaps short of an explosive No. 1 back type. The receiving corps is a concern, though. Top receiver Cedrick Wilson was drafted, and the top two tight ends, which the team likely to rely on, are gone. They add five scholarship receivers this year, including four-star Khalil Shakir, so the relaxed redshirt rules come along at a perfect time for the team. The offensive line entered last year with questions but improved significantly. Three starters are back, but center Mason Hampton, the best player up front, is gone. There is some depth, but like so many teams they won't truly know what they have until they see live fire.
The defensive line will be a real strength with starters back and nice depth behind them. Top recruit of 2017, Aisa Kelemete, is hungry for time after redshirting last year. Losing Leighton Vander Esch, the wildly-impressive linebacker, to the first round of the draft was a hit, but they knew it was coming, and the team has always developed strong linebacker talent. Behind their own depth they added an interesting transfer in Tony Lashley, who had an eye-popping 122 tackles for Idaho last year. Four starters are back in the secondary, and they have some youngsters pushing as well. Jeff Popovich is now coaching the corners after two years coaching for the Indianapolis Colts - a sign of how much respect this program gets now.
Biggest Area of Concern
The receivers are a concern. Rypien is talented and should play on Sundays - or at least make a roster for a while - but he can't do it alone, and he needs some young guys to step up in a hurry.
Boise State Broncos Schedule Analysis
They get an easier start this year than last year, though playing at Troy to start the year is far from a soft game. Then they host UConn, which is decidedly easier. Then it is the game that will likely define the scope of their aspirations this year as they travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are changing quarterbacks and should be vulnerable, but the Broncos will have to be on their game. From there it is a conference schedule that could certainly be worse - they get San Diego State and Fresno State at home, and don't play two road games in a row. If they can get through Troy and Oklahoma State intact then an undefeated season would be a real possibility - and a bare necessity if they have grand hopes.
2018-19 Boise State Broncos Betting Odds and Trends
The Broncos are at +30000 to win the national title at Bovada . For context, that ties them with UCLA - which is far from flattering this year. They are the strong -180 favorites to win the Mountain West Conference. The season win total sits at 10, with the "under" slightly favored.
2018-19 Boise State Broncos Predictions and College Football Picks
What the heck - I'm optimistic about this team. I like the defense a lot, and I like Rypien and the coaching. The offensive line is a concern, but if it can gel in a hurry then this team could be very good. It will be a very nervous first three weeks, but if they survive that then they should be off to the races. The playoff isn't happening with this schedule, but a New Year's bowl certainly could - and it says here that it will.
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