The no. 25 Boise State Broncos will try to keep their hopes of a Mountain West championship alive this weekend as they visit the New Mexico Lobos. Kickoff will be at 9:00 EST on Friday, November 16, at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fans can catch all the action on CBS Sports Network.
The betting line for his game opened with Boise State favored by 20.5 points on the road. Be sure to check out a full list of this week’s college football betting odds.
After a couple of setbacks early in the year, the same old Boise State has shown up over the past month. The Broncos are in the midst of a five-game winning streak, including last week’s impressive win over Fresno State. That win moved the Broncos to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play. Most importantly, it kept them alive to win the Mountain West title for the second straight year and for the third time in Bryan Harsin’s tenure.
Of course, to make that happen, the Broncos will have to win their remaining games. Boise State is actually behind Utah State at the top of the Mountain division. The Broncos host the Aggies next week in a game that will likely decide who goes to the conference title game. However, unless Utah State loses to 3-7 Colorado State this weekend, Boise State needs to take care of business against New Mexico to ensure next week’s game means something.
New Mexico, on the other hand, is in the middle of a five-game losing streak. The Lobos have dropped to 3-7 overall and are out of bowl contention with two weeks left in the season. Just a couple of years ago, Bob Davie appeared to have New Mexico moving in the right direction. But the Lobos were 3-9 last season and could be looking at the same record this season unless something drastic happens.
In nine previous meetings between these two schools, Boise State has eight wins. That lone win for the Lobos came on Boise’s home field back in 2015. Of course, that means that the Broncos are undefeated in all four of their trips to Albuquerque.
I’ve gone against the Broncos a couple of times this year and have been wrong both times. I’ve learned my lesson and now I’m ready to jump on the Boise State bandwagon. Of course, even if I hadn’t been burned earlier in the year, this is still an easy lean in Boise’s favor. The Broncos know they have no margin for error, so I think they’ll be at their best. The spread is a little big but reasonable, so I’ll take my chances with the Broncos covering.
It’s worth noting that during their current five-game winning streak, the Broncos only have one win by a margin greater than 10 points. That could be a bad sign. But Boise State has played some quality teams during that stretch. Remember that Fresno State was a top-25 team when they lost to Boise last week. The likes of BYU, Nevada, and Air Force are also legitimate opponents, so I’m not going to worry too much about Boise State being unable to blow those teams out and win by large margins.
I feel confident that the Broncos have the offensive weapons to put up big numbers against bad teams. Senior Brett Rypien is having the best season of his career, completing 69% of his passes and setting a new career-high with 25 touchdown passes. At times during Boise’s five-game winning streak, he’s been unreal with his precision. Last week against Fresno State, he completed 24 of 29 passes against a legitimate defense. If he’s half as good this week against New Mexico, the Boise State offense will be just fine.
The Lobos aren’t exactly a quality defensive team. They are giving up nearly 36 points per game. Things have been even worse over the past month when they’ve played Fresno State, Utah State, and some of the other quality teams in the Mountain West. In their last four games, the Lobos are conceding an average of 43 points per game, showing weaknesses both on the ground and through the air.
For what it’s worth, New Mexico isn’t completely worthless offensively. They’ve had their moments behind quarterback Sheriron Jones, although most of them came early in the season. During their five-game losing streak, the Lobos are averaging around 18 points per game. Plus, last week they switched back and forth between Jones and Coltin Gerhart at quarterback, so they are a little lost offensively at the moment. Things aren’t likely to get better this week against a Boise State defense that’s held opponents to 20 points or less in six of their 10 games.
Obviously, covering a spread of 20.5 points isn’t always easy. However, Wisconsin, Fresno State, and Utah State all beat New Mexico by at least 31 points, showing that the Lobos can’t compete with quality teams. I like my chances with Boise State winning by at least three touchdowns and covering on Friday night.