The Boise State Broncos are virtual locks to take down an inferior Louisiana-Lafayette team when they square off in their 2016 regular season opener. However, the big question surrounding their opener is whether or not the Broncos will cover the college football odds as huge, 19.5 point road favorites. Let’s find out.
Taking a Closer Look at the Boise State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Week 1 Free Betting Pick & TV Info
— Ragin’CajunsFootball (@RaginCajunsFB) August 2, 2016
When: Saturday, September 3, 2016, 8:00pm ET
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA
NCAA Odds: Boise State (-19.5)
Why Bet The Boise State Broncos at -19.5?
The Broncos have nine returning starters on offense but just five on defense. Still, they are playing at home and looking for revenge after falling to BYU 35-34 as a 2-point road favorite a year ago. The Broncos return a quartet of All-Conference players in quarterback Brett Rypien, running back Jeremy McNichols, wide receiver Thomas Sprebeck and tight end Jake Roh. The Broncos have a blossoming quarterback in Brett Rypien, a gifted rusher in junior tailback Jeremy McNichols and an experienced wide receiver in senior Thomas Sprebeck, although the Broncos could use more depth at the skill positions. The Broncos will have a pair of new co-offensive coordinators in Zak Hill and Scott Huff, so adjustments will have to be made early on.
Defensively, BYU returns just five starters and needs to rebuild the defensive line as they return just one player with any significant experience. The good news is that Boise Stat has a solid linebacker unit that features 2015 leading tackler Ben Weaver, third-leading tackler Tanner Vallejo and Joe Martarano.
Why Bet The Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at +19.5?
The Ragin Cajun’s are getting almost three touchdowns as home dogs! Louisiana Lafayette (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS) averaged a solid 26.4 points pr game in 2015 (83rd) but they need a new starting quarterback after starter Brooks Haack transferred and backup Jalen Nixon was moved to running back.
Right now, head coach Mark Hudspeth will go with sophomore signal-caller Jordan Davis, but he’ll likely hand off early and often to the Cajuns’ best player running back Elijah McGuire, a player that kicks off as the only active FBS player with at least 3,000 yards rushing and 1,000 receiving yards. Louisiana Lafayette has an inexperienced offensive line and wide receiver unit and that could put extra pressure on Davis and McGuire to make plays.
Defensively, the Cajuns’ struggled in allowing 31.8 passing yards per game (94th) in 2015. While seven starters return from last year’s team, improvements must be made. Leading tackler Tracy Walker has moved from safety to linebacker, but that creates another hole in the secondary.
Louisiana Lafayette did bring in a bunch of junior college players that could turn things around in a hurry, but that remains to be seen. The Ragin’ Cajuns forced a pitiful 11 turnovers a year ago, so, clearly, this unit needs upgrades at almost every position.
My Free Pick & Final Score Prediction
While I hate high-point spread between teams that shouldn’t be on the same field together, I’m going with the Boise State Broncos to win this game and cover the spread against a Louisiana Lafayette team that will struggle to score the ball again in 2016. The Broncos are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and a blistering 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games against teams from the Sun Belt conference. Conversely, the Ragin’ Cajuns are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in September and 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. With Boise State going 35-17 ATS in their last 52 road games, I say things don’t look good for Louisiana Lafayette!
My Pick: Boise State 38 Louisiana Lafayette 17