- No. 9 BYU heads into its Friday night game at No. 21 Boise State a 2.5-point favorite (9:45 p.m. EST, FS1)
- Cougars QB Zach Wilson is one of the nation’s best and looking to add to his Heisman resumé
- Get full analysis, odds and a pick on the game below
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has been in the Heisman Trophy conversation for most of the season, but he’ll have his best opportunity to make a case for himself on Friday against Boise State.
Wilson has averaged 337 yards passing per game and is third in the country in touchdown passes with 19 this season. For the No. 9 Cougars, this week’s game has some shootout potential, will be nationally televised, and comes ahead of a couple weeks off.
Although the gap between Wilson and frontrunners like Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones is still pretty wide, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake should recognize what unleashing his QB in this spot could mean.
All of that could add up to a good set of circumstances for bettors looking to make a play on the game. Most of the betting trends favor the Cougars, but the line still hasn’t moved beyond a three point difference after it essentially started as a pick ’em in the Week 10 Opening Lines.
#9 BYU vs #21 Boise State Week 10 Odds
|BYU||-2.5 (-122)||-154||O 59.5 (-110)|
|Boise State||+2.5 (+100)||+126||U59.5 (-110)|
Odds taken from FanDuel on Nov. 4
Experience vs Enthusiasm
The undefeated Cougars already have seven games under their belt this season, while No. 21 Boise State has looked good in its two wins over softies Utah State and Air Force.
BYU is 5-1-1 ATS this season, and even though he’s 1-3 overall against Boise, Sitake is 3-1 ATS when he’s faced the Broncos.
One of the nation's smoothest quarterbacks is @BYUfootball's Zach Wilson. He's had some incredible throws in this unbeaten season for BYU, including this one on third down Saturday. As pretty as you'll see. Makes it look effortless. pic.twitter.com/bcyUuX3lAG
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) November 2, 2020
Both offensive lines have been strong this season. BYU has been a top-ten unit in both running the ball and protecting Wilson on passing downs, and the Broncos’ line has been very efficient moving the ball on early downs.
Boise hasn’t been quite as sound against the pass rush, however, and there is optimism that BYU will get its most productive defensive lineman, Tyler Batty, back on the field after he missed the last two games.
QB Controversy for Broncos?
Boise State also has a bit of uncertainty at QB, as Jack Sears started last week against Air Force in relief of sophomore Hank Bachmeier, who was hurt in the season-opener.
Sears completed 85-percent of his passes last week for 280 yards and three touchdowns, but Air Force has been one of the worst pass defenses in the country through its three games. Whichever quarterback ends up playing on Friday will face a Cougars’ defense that has only allowed opponents to convert 31-percent of third downs and has been a top-25 front in creating pressure in passing situations.
Tyler Allgeier with the 34-yard touchdown run to give BYU an early lead over Navy. pic.twitter.com/hK84WfahGz
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 8, 2020
The Cougars have also had one of the better rushing attacks in the country to aid Wilson. Sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier has averaged 6.5 YPC this season, and should be able to pound his way through a Boise defense that has allowed an average of 263 yards on the ground through its first few games.
The Broncos’ defense could also be without starting safety JL Skinner for a second consecutive game, and defensive end Demitri Washington is also banged up after last week.
This line seems to be giving Boise the benefit of the doubt to keep things close at home. If BYU was anything other than undefeated, this could be a letdown spot with a two week break before playing FCS-North Alabama. This is just the second road game for the Cougars this season, but it’s a relatively short trip up I-84, and travel shouldn’t be a significant factor.
That being said, BYU should be looking to empty the clip here in its biggest game of the season. Boise hasn’t faced a QB that comes close to holding a candle to Wilson this year, and the defense should at least provide enough resistance to keep the Cougars in front by a field goal.
The Pick: BYU -2.5 (-122)
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