There are two ESPN Thursday night games this week and frankly the better and more important matchup is the nightcap when Brigham Young visits No. 14 Boise State, which is the highest-rated Group of 5 school in the country and favored to stay unbeaten on college football odds.
Here’s a Closer Look at the BYU at Boise State Expert Pick, Betting Odds & TV Info
When: Thursday, Oct. 20, 10:15 PM ET
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Boise -7 (57.5)
Why Bet on BYU?
It has been a tough week already for BYU as it was hoping to join the Big 12 from independent status but the Big 12 opted to not expand. BYU (4-3) comes off a 28-21 double-overtime win over SEC school Mississippi State. Taysom Hill rolled right and found tight end Tanner Balderree, who did most of the work after catch to give BYU a 28-21 lead after the Cougars’ second overtime possession. BYU linebacker Fred Warner broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone on the Bulldogs’ possession to seal BYU’s win. Jamaal Williams rushed for 76 yards in the game to increase his career rushing total to 3,468 yards, which broke Harvey Unga’s career BYU mark. Unga, whose last year was in 2009, had 3,455 career rushing yards as a Cougar. Hill completed 16 of 28 passes with one interception and three touchdowns.
It was the first time he has had three passing touchdowns since the season opener in 2014 when BYU beat UConn 35-10. Hill rushed for 53 yards and one touchdown in the game. He passed 2,500 career rushing yards, overtaking Luke Staley for No. 7 all time at BYU. He is also tied with Marc Wilson for No. 8 all time for career touchdowns responsible for with 68.
The Cougar defense tallied a season-high nine tackles for loss in the win, surpassing the eight recorded against UCLA. BYU has now had at least four tackles for loss in every game this season.
It was the first overtime game BYU has played in since the 2014 bowl game against Memphis, when the Cougars lost 55-48 in double overtime. BYU last won an overtime game in 2009 in a 26-23 victory over Utah in LaVell Edwards Stadium. It was the lowest scoring BYU game to ever go into overtime. The previous low was a 16-16 game against SMU in 1997.
Why Bet on Boise State?
The Broncos (6-0) beat Colorado State 28-23 last week. Jeremy McNichols rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the win. After the Broncos took a 28-3 lead early in the fourth quarter, Colorado State recovered two onside kicks in the final 6 minutes while scoring three straight TDs, cutting the deficit to five with 3:35 left. The Broncos recovered Colorado State’s third onside kick attempt.
McNichols set the Boise State single-game record with 40 carries. It was the second 200-yard game of his career and of this season (208 yards at Oregon State on Sept. 24). McNichols’ 80-yard rushing score in the third quarter was his third-career rushing touchdown of at least 80 yards.
Boise State trailed for the first time in 2016 when Colorado State hit a 39-yard field goal with 7:24 left in the first quarter. The Broncos were the last team to trail a game this season in the FBS, and set the program’s FBS-era (1996-present) record for longest season-opening stretch without trailing (307:36). The previous record was 306:35 in 2009.
Despite being just 380 miles apart, Thursday’s matchup is just the seventh all-time between Boise State and BYU. The Broncos are 4-2 against the Cougars, the only losses coming on the road in both 2013 (37-20) and 2015 (35-24). Boise State is a perfect 3-0 at Albertsons Stadium, notching wins in 2004, 2012 and 2014.
My Expert Pick
Cougars are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Broncos are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Broncos are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Broncos are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Take Boise State on NCAA football odds and the over.