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This game is a matchup between two of the best teams in the Mountain West. Combined, they have just three losses and both have wins against Power-5 programs; Wyoming beat Missouri to start their season and Boise State did the same against Florida State.
Boise State has dominated the yearly rivalry game, winning eight of the nine meetings since 2010. Wyoming's lone win came in 2016, a 30-28 victory at home.
Wyoming Dealing With Big InjuryThe Wyoming Cowboys are already bowl-eligible after winning six of their first nine games. Now, their sights are set on making it to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. They're currently 3-1 in conference play, right behind Air Force (4-1) and Boise State (4-0) for the Mountain Division lead.
Needless to say, this game vs. Boise State is a huge opportunity for Wyoming. It won't be easy, however. The Cowboys starting quarterback, Sean Chambers, suffered a season-ending injury last game, leaving the job in the hands of Tyler Vander Waal, who was the primary starter last season.
Chambers' absence is big because the offense goes completely through him, on the ground as well as through the air. Chambers leads the team in rushing touchdowns (10) and second on the team in rushing attempts (90). The whole game changes under Vander Waal, who's not nearly the runner as Chambers. They'll have to adapt to Vander Waal's skill-set, and at the same time, Vander Waal will need to step up. He was benched after eight games last year because he was ineffective (48 percent).
Luckily, the team is behind him. "I have total confidence in Tyler,” defensive end Josiah Hall told the Casper Star-Tribune, adding that "everybody else in that locker room does as well."
Boise State Can't Have a LetdownBoise State ripped off six wins to start the season before running into BYU, who beat the Broncos 28-25. The Broncos bounced back with a win over San Jose State but it was closer than they would have liked. San Jose State even led the Broncos in the third quarter. Boise State is currently ranked 21st in the country.
Boise State's defense hasn't been great recently. In their last three games, they let up 107 points and have been getting torched through the air. San Jose State and Navy both averaged over eight yards per attempt. With Wyoming's new quarterback situation, they may try to exploit this.
On offense, they're very balanced. The Broncos run the ball 55 percent of the time, gaining an average of 4.4 yards per clip. Unfortunately, their second-leading rusher, Robert Mahone, is questionable for Saturday's game. Additionally, their interception leader, Kekoa Nawahine, is questionable for Saturday's game.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
- 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a can't-miss line for the Broncos. Their goals are high and they won't let Wyoming stand in their way. They already had their letdown for the year. Wyoming is going to struggle all night moving the ball. Not only are they revamping their offense for their backup quarterback, but their backup isn't very good. He's thrown 16 passes this year and completed four. It's not out of the ordinary, either. He started eight games last year, completed less than 50 percent of his throws and lost every start he made in conference play. Boise State's defense is also due for a solid performance after three down weeks.
Prediction: Boise State -12.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cowboys aren't going to do much offensively, that's for sure, but on the other side of the ball, they're pretty good. Wyoming ranks second in the Mountain West in points allowed per game so Boise State isn't going to hang 60 on them. In fact, the Cowboys haven't even allowed a touchdown per game in their last two games (13 points combined). On top of that, the last five Boise State-Wyoming games have stayed under. Let's make it six.
Prediction: Under 48.5