Friday night college football in Week 4 concludes with the Boise State Broncos (2-1) visiting the UTEP Miners (1-3) at the famed Sun Bowl. This is a pairing of two brutal offenses and strong defenses. Below, we’ll look at Boise State at UTEP odds and see if there’s any value to be had in the betting lines.
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Boise State At UTEP Odds
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Boise State At UTEP Odds Movement
There hasn’t been much to write home on in terms of line movement. Boise State opened around a 15.5-point favorite and that’s where they stand now (). The over/under is set at a modest points, giving UTEP an implied team total of 15 points. Given both team’s offensive output this season, we could see a bump to the under, but at just 45.5, that’s not certain.
A One-Man Band
It might be worth remembering the name George Holani. The junior running back leads the team with 57 rushes and 181 rushing yards while also leading the team in receptions (11), receiving yards (96), and receiving TDs (2). He was rendered hapless against a very strong Oregon State defense (13 rushes, nine yards), but has at least 20 carries in both Boise State wins. What’s encouraging about Holani is that he’s utilized in the pass game, not very common in the college ranks.
Under Hank Bachmeier, Boise State’s passing game is struggling this season. Despite an even 50/50 split in run/pass, Boise State is 125th in dropback EPA and 102nd in passing yards. We’ve seen backup Taylen Green come in at times, but it’s clear he’s not much an upgrade from Bachmeier, if at all.
UTEP is stronger defending the run than it is the pass, thanks in part to a talented front seven. Boise State has a size advantage on the offensive line, rostering a pair of 6′ 6″ and 6′ 7″ tackles. However, UTEP’s two primary interior defenders are both over 300 pounds and the DL unit was ranked first in Conference USA by Phil Steele. At 4.1 yards per carry, it’s not likely Boise State gashes this UTEP front.
A No-Man Band
That said, UTEP’s offense is one of the worst-performing in the country. 112th in points per drive, 115th in EPA per play, 125th in offensive SP+ you name it and UTEP’s likely near the bottom. They’ve scored 14 points per game in four games against competition like North Texas (117th def. SP+) and New Mexico State (116th).
QB Galvin Hardison has thrown more interceptions (three) than TDs this season (two), although he usually results in zero of either. If the defense doesn’t hold the opponent to under two touchdowns, UTEP is toast.
Boise State At UTEP Forecast
This is a gross offensive matchup between two teams outside the top 100 in points per drive scored this season. While that might sound like a juicy recipe for the under, the market’s adjusted for that. UTEP’s defensive front is pretty good, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to shutting down Boise State altogether.
The market’s got the jump on team totals as well. There’s heavy juice on UTEP under 14.5 points (-125 or shorter), stripping that bet of any value. Ultimately, I’m staying off betting this game before it kicks off.
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