It’s official! Until starting sophomore QB Ryan Finley returns to full health in approximately 8 weeks, the Boise State Broncos will be using a Two-Quarterback System, a decision that was announced by head coach Bryan Harsin earlier this week. Essentially, this means that Tommy Stuart and Brett Rypien will be sharing time, as the Broncos look to maximize the potential of both young QBs. The Virginia Cavaliers will be the first team to get a taste of the new Broncos QB system when they host Boise State in Charlottesville, Virginia this Friday. Here is a brief look at this matchup, including free NCAA Football betting picks for the Primetime game.
How To Bet the Broncos @ Cavaliers NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info
Venue: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Time: 8:00 PM ET
TV: ESPN/ WATCH ESPN
Game Odds: Boise State (-2.5) at Virginia (+2.5), Total: OVER/UNDER 50
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 21, 2015
Why Bet on the Boise State Broncos?
After suffering an upset loss to BYU in Week 2, the Broncos bounced back with a 52-0 shutout win over FCS Idaho State to cover the spread as a four-touchdown favorite in the NCAAF lines. The Broncos offense was in full force, collecting nearly 600 total yards of offense with almost 300 of those coming from their versatile ground attack. The win, however, came at a costly price, as Finley suffered an ankle injury that is reportedly set to set to keep him out for at least 8 weeks.
Following Finley’s withdrawal from the game, Rypien and Stuart filled up nicely. Stuart impressively threw for a score and 69 passing yards, while also showcasing great speed in running the ball, rushing 11 times for 46 yards against Idaho State. Rypien, who is the nephew of Redskins Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien, did not record a TD in his debut, but he exhibited solid pocket-passing skills, throwing 8-of-9 for 126 passing yards. The fact that both QBs showed that they can move the ball without getting into too many turnover-problems is a huge plus ahead of Friday’s game, as Virginia and Wake Forest are the only Bowl Subdivision teams that are yet to record takeaways this season.
In addition, the QBs are inheriting a strong group from Finley, led by Jeremy McNichols, who posted three running 3 of Boise State’s 6 running TDs last week. Having scored a whopping 66 percent of Boise State’s TDs this year (8 to his name), McNichols will be a crucial asset for the team, along with the support of Cory Young and Devan Demas. And with star linebacker Tanner Vallejo leading the defense, there should be more than enough talent to give Virginia a hellish time.
Why Bet on the Virginia Cavaliers?
On the opposing camp, Mike London’s head-coaching tenure in Charlottesville is in jeopardy after a disappointing start to the season. After getting humiliated by true freshman Josh Rosen and the Bruins in their season opener against UCLA and then suffering a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame in Week 2, the Hoos barely survived the game against William and Mary, eking out a 35-29 on Saturday in Charlottesville.
A loss to Boise State would leave the Cavs 1-3 entering ACC play, which would almost certainly condemn them to a below .500 finish, something that would definitely see London kicked out from his job. If there’s going to be any hope for Virginia to gain momentum for a better showing in the rest of the season, it will have to start this Friday in the winnable game against the young QBs, who will be making their first road starts.
Fortunately, there is an interesting precedence that favors the Hoos in their bid for a big win this week. In each of Virginia’s last three football seasons, the Hoos have won at least one marquee September victory— Penn State in 2012, BYU in 2013 and Louisville in 2014.
Talent-wise, the Cavs have good pieces on both ends of the field and simply need to figure out how to get the best out of them. In the offense, QB Matt Johns is completing 66.7 percent of his attempts and has passed for 6 TDs so far this season. With Boise State owning a freakish running defense that is limiting opponents to 1.7 yards per rush and 45.7 yards rushing per game (good for second-best in the country), Johns and the Cavs will need to focus more on passing the ball (where it is much easier to score) than running it and wasting away opportunities.
The return of University of North Carolina graduate transfer WR T.J. Thorpe, who broke his clavicle during training camp, should especially be a big boost for more efficiency in the passing game, along with formidable support from receivers Taquan Mizzel (5 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown last week) and Canaan Severin (3 catches for 53 yards and a score last week).
Defensively, having talents like defensive end Mike Moore has seemingly not helped the Cavs to stop getting torched by their opponents. The biggest concern is of course the aforementioned reason that the Cavs have been unable to create turnovers from opposing teams. To beat the Broncos, the defense will need to support the offense by finally creating turnovers.
The Broncos @ Cavaliers Key Betting Trends
• Virginia is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
• Virginia is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games
• Boise State is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
• Virginia is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games at home
• Boise State is 2-1 SU when leading at the half this season
• Virginia is 1-1 SU when taking a lead into halftime
• Virginia is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games in September
• The OVER is 5-0 in Boise State’s last 5 road games
• The OVER is 5-1 in Virginia’s last 6 non-conference games
• The OVER is 8-1 in Boise State’s last 9 games following an SU win.
My Boise State at Virginia Betting Prediction and Pick
Though it’s this early in the season, this game is more like and make-or-break game for London and the Cavs, as a loss would kill the team’s motivation and belief to do well in conference play. Boise State, on the other hand, has played well enough, but the absence of Finley and his experience could prove costly, as the team will now have to gamble with the inexperienced duo of Rypien and Stuart. All that said, I see the Cavs digging deep in the offense (buoyed by the return of Thorpe who had a good preseason chemistry with QB Johns) to outscore Boise State and its two inexperienced QBs for an upset win in favor of the home team. An open and free-scoring game looks to be in the books, so the game should be good to blow above 50 points for an OVER total.