BYU Opens as a Slight Road Favorite vs Boise State on Friday Night to Kick off Week 10

Zach Wilson looking to throw a pass.

Zach Wilson and the BYU Cougars will face Boise State on the road this week. Photo by @PFF_College (Twitter).
  • The No. 9 BYU Cougars are a slight road favorite against the No. 21 Boise State Broncos for their Week 10 match-up at Albertsons Stadium
  • BYU is coming off a 41-10 home win against Western Kentucky in Week 9, while Boise State knocked off Air Force 49-30 in Colorado Springs
  • See opening odds and analysis in this Week 10 match-up below

The No. 9 BYU Cougars have opened as a (spread) road favorites against the No. 21 Boise State Broncos to kick off Week 10 at Albertsons Stadium.

The Cougars moved to 7-0 and looked dominant in their 31-point victory over the Hilltoppers. Sleeper Heisman Trophy contender Zach Wilson wasn’t his normally uber-efficient self, going 18-of-32 through the air – but it was more than enough.

Meantime, the Broncos picked up a 19-point road win over the Falcons. Boise State quarterback Jack Sears looked much more comfortable in his first career start than in his first appearance of the season last week against Utah State. The USC transfer was outstanding in Week 9, passing for three touchdowns and 280 yards on just 20 attempts. The junior from San Clemente, California also rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

BYU vs Boise State Opening Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
BYU Cougars +0.5 (-110) -110 OTB
Boise State Broncos -0.5 (-110) -110 OTB

Odds taken Nov. 1 at FanDuel

BYU can now focus on its biggest game of the season so far against Boise State. And the Cougars have some things to work on, as their offense scored just once on five second-half drives — a 49-yard field goal. Now, the team with a 2-0 record against the spread on the road this season leaves the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium as the Cougars try to remain undefeated.

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As for the home team, Boise State is averaging over 45 points per game over its first two outings and now welcomes a BYU team getting some attention as a possible New Year’s Six bowl contender to the blue turf.

The Cougars seem more established this season — but do they deserve to be (spread ) favorites over a what appears to be a worthy Bronco outfit?

Let’s further investigate the opening spread and consider possible movement.

Heisman Hype

Prior to Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky, Wilson’s stats were historic.

Wilson put up 312 yards of offense in the first half, leading scoring drives of 75, 75, 84 and 88 yards. He finished with 224 yards passing and three touchdown passes and 35 yards rushing and another score over three quarters before giving way to backup Baylor Romney in the fourth,

His 74.6% mark still on track to approach former Texas standout Colt McCoy’s all-time mark of 76.7% for the highest single-season pass completion in NCAA football history. But Wilson’s efficiency isn’t his only impressive attribute.

Wilson has a total of 19 touchdowns and just one interception through seven games. But he knows he can get better.

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How the junior quarterback handles the attention he’ll get this week will be a factor.

Cool Customer

While Sears may not have the same Heisman hype as Wilson, the former Trojan QB looked fantastic against the Falcons Saturday. Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin told the whole team to “cut it loose” before the game,

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It appeared Sears took that advice to heart. His first pass as the Broncos’ starting quarterback went for a 75-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver CT Thomas. It was game on from there. After the game, Harsin called Sears “a cool customer.”

If Sears can approach that type of performance — at the friendly confines of the iconic blue turf of Albertsons Stadium against a somewhat unproven BYU team, the Broncos have a very legitimate shot to win this one.

Unfriendly Trend

While the Cougars have looked every bit of a top-10 team in this strange 2020 season, mostly dominating their opponents, the jury is still out on exactly how good they are. Friday’s game against the Broncos will go a long way in telling us.

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BYU won the last game in the relatively short 10-game series history between the programs: a 37-20 victory in Provo last year.

But the Cougars are winless in their previous five trips to the Treasure Valley. Interestingly, three of those five defeats were all by one point.

I don’t expect much fluctuation in this line through the week. If anything, BYU’s favorite status may slightly increase due to national hype.

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