What bettors need to know: Fiesta Bowl

Boise State Broncos vs. TCU Horned Frogs (-7.5, 55)

Many have discredited matching two non-BCS conference schools in a BCS bowl.  Nevertheless, this year’s Fiesta Bowl pits two of just the four remaining undefeated FBS teams in a battle for possibly the runner-up spot in the final rankings.

Line movement

The line opened with TCU as a 9-point favorite but the betting public immediately jumped on Boise State, dropping the number to seven-and-a-half, where it has held constant.  The total opened at 54 and slowly increased to 55 over the last few weeks. 

The wagers are about dead even picking either team against the spread, whereas the over and especially Boise State’s moneyline (+250) are overwhelming selections by the public. 

Significant injuries/suspensions

Boise State wide receiver Austin Pettis, who leads the team with 14 touchdown receptions, suffered an ankle injury in late November and is a game-time decision, according to head coach Chris Peterson.

Texas Christian All-MWC cornerback Rafael Priest injured his ankle less than two weeks ago.  It looked then there was little hope of him appearing in the Fiesta Bowl but, according to Priest, “it’s [now] looking pretty good” for him to play.

Similar scheduling

One argument is that TCU is a legitimate national-title contender, and certainly more so than Boise State, is the Horned Frogs have played a somewhat challenging schedule.  Supporters point to TCU’s games against Air Force and BYU in conference and non-conference foes Virginia and Clemson, all four on the road.

This stance is somewhat of a misconception, especially when compared to BSU, as both teams have faced similar schedules of difficulty.  They have played the same number of teams (six) with winning records and nearly the same number (BSU five/TCU six) of bowl teams.

Running success

Texas Christian is known for its dominant defense, however, the Horned Frogs offense is just as successful, especially when running the ball. 

Quarterback Andy Dalton had a record-breaking season passing and is one of four Frogs to rush for at least 500 yards.  TCU finished the regular season ranked fifth in the nation in rushing offense, seventh in yards per carry and sixth in rushing touchdowns.

Boise State has shown to be susceptible to the run.  Although the Broncos held seven opponents to under 100 yards rushing, Fresno State rushed for 320 against them, Nevada for 242 and Idaho for 209.

Very special teams

Boise State has arguably the best overall special teams unit in college football.  The Broncos are averaging almost 39 yards net punting, 11 yards per punt return and 27.3 yards on kick returns—fifth best in the nation.  They have also blocked four kicks while having none of their own kicks blocked.

Besides leading BSU in receiving, junior wideout Titus Young has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.  Whether running the football (he averaged more than 10 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns) receiving or returning kicks, Young is one of the best big-play players in the WAC.

"We missed [having big plays] last year - especially the TCU game [in the Poinsettia Bowl], with the type of players they had on the field," teammate Jeron Johnson told reporters.  "You can't guard [Young] 1-on-1."

Key matchup

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is the FBS’ highest-rated passer but was fortunate to face some of the worst pass defenses in the nation, namely Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii and San Jose State.  Only Oregon’s pass defense posed any threat to Moore.

Against TCU, Moore will face one of the best defenses against the pass in all of college football.  Against a pass-happy schedule, led by Priest, Nick Sanders and receiver-turned-strong safety Tyler Luttrell, the Horned Frogs have allowed opponents to complete just 46 percent of their passes.

"[The Broncos] throw the ball all over the field," said Priest.  “I look forward to covering Pettis or any other great receivers they have."

Trends

Boise State and TCU have faced one another twice in their histories. The Broncos won the 2003 Fort Worth Bowl 34-31 as 11-point favorites and the Frogs won last year’s Poinsettia Bowl 17-16 as 3-point favorites.

These teams are two of the best against the spread in the last several years.  Boise State has won more than 63 percent of its games ATS since 1999. Texas Christian has won nearly 66 percent ATS since 2005.

The Horned Frogs are 11-13-1 all time in bowls, 6-4-2 ATS since 1984. The Broncos have a 5-4 bowl record, 6-3 ATS.

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Posted by dagrad
4 years ago

Sorry suckers who took TCU. My former student (Titus Young) guaranteeed it and delivered. I am not gonna say "told you so." What I didn't tell you was that he knew his team would win by studying TCU. He said all the strengths of TCU matches well with BSU...but the reverse wasn't true. Sorry, I didn't tell you that info though.
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

SEATTLE YOU LOST THE BATTLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE ONLY BETS YOU WILL WIN ARE THE ONES WERE YOU ROLLIN WITH MAD MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!MONEYLINEMAXIMUS STRIKES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO HOLD ON TO YA BOOM CAUSE YOU MISSED OUT ON A MONEYLINE PAY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

watch me work
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Posted by oaktownpics
4 years ago

watch my skills
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Posted by kickerssuck
4 years ago

haha ... true though this should be a great game and it sucks cause there 2 of my favorite teams, I would have liked to see them play where they should have!! but lets get it on!!
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Posted by madulamaximus
4 years ago

From the desk of Madula-MONEYLINE-maximussss!!!!!!!!!!! Im going with Boise St MONEYLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!+overs WHY? IM STUPID!!!!!! nuff said. You dont always bet MONEYLINE, but when you do......bet with MONEYLINEMAXIMUS!!!.............stay thirsty my friends. LOL
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Posted by charveron
4 years ago

u cant argue with the stats and never argue against a good D for the win, BUT i do think Boise scores 23pts tonight, Taking that play straight up..
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Posted by dagrad
4 years ago

one thing is for sure...this should be the best BCS game, including the national championship game. Both have been saying they always get SNUBBED by the polls...but only ONE can say it next year. and if someone (TCU) gets blown away....the talk is OVER.
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Posted by kickerssuck
4 years ago

yes sir remember TCU vs Utah game ? this will be the same.....TCU is just to strong for a team the almost lost to nevada who couldnt score a freakin td against smu!!!
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Posted by freddiefan09
4 years ago

Tough to bet against BSU, however, this TCU team is just flat out better than their team ly and BSU is no way as good as LY BSU team - personally think it will be the best bowl game so far - think TCU shud have played Fla and BSU shud have played Cincy
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Posted by SuperflySnuka
4 years ago

I don't post much, however, I'm fairly confident tonight. TCU Take the defense and the running game v. a weak D, and a soft schedule.
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Posted by sammyt
4 years ago

I am 15-3 on Boise St this season. OVER 55 (I like this bet a lot!) Boise St. -7 (not so confident on this one) GL everybody
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Posted by hanziman
4 years ago

I like TCU -7 GET PAID TONIGHT
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Posted by KingKenny13
4 years ago

I Concur, TCU and the OV. just a gut feeling. Pluse I found the Guarantee of a win above... which mean insta fade. late and Gl. may the games begin
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Posted by The_Unknown
4 years ago

Dagrad, I think this will be a hell of a game. But I think I am going to take the points and Boise. My book has Boise at +8
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Posted by powers13
4 years ago

betting the over is more enjoyable..cheer for both teams.......
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Posted by powers13
4 years ago

im going to go with tcu minus 7........ might be better to be on the second half after watching firts half...... good luck to all in either way you go..... boise defense is weak ..watched alot of games.....
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Posted by StevenGA1011
4 years ago

BST +7 & OVER 53.5
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Posted by dagrad
4 years ago

I didn't guarantee you guys anything nor would I ever, just giving you a comment my former student T. Young told me. Take it for what you may. He is a pretty arrogant guy. :) GL
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Posted by traveller117680
4 years ago

Anyone look at last year's stats? Total yards...TCU 478...BSt 250 1st downs...TCU 28...BSt 15 Rushing Yds...TCU 51/275...Bst 20/28 Looks like TCU to me.
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Posted by oneseed
4 years ago

year after year there are surprises in these bowl games boise st. money line they aren't going to roll over they have had plenty of time to be prepared the favorite loses the edge because they expect to win boise gets the edge being the dog
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Posted by couchola37
4 years ago

TCU And the over. easy money.. better team all around
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Posted by obeypato
4 years ago

coin flip
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Posted by obeypato
4 years ago

WHO THE FU CK !!!!! GUARANTEE YEAH RIGHT YOU FULL OF garbage.... THIS GAME THE ONLY THING I KNOW ??? GONNA BE A SICK behind GAME FOSURE HOLLA
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Posted by dunker51
4 years ago

THE QUESTION WE SHOULD ASK YOU DAGRAD IF YOU GUARANTEE THE WIN THE LONE EVERYONE MONEY SO WE CAN ALL BET A MILLION. LET MAKE SOME REAL MONEY AT THIS IF U GUARANTEE THIS garbage...........
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Top Response

Posted by PADREFAN
4 years ago

"I WENT TO SAN DIEGO ST VS T.C.U. GAME JUST TO SEE HOW REAL IS THIS HORNED FROG TEAM !!!!! BELIVEME FOLKS THIS TEAM IS FOR REAL DEFENSE AND OFFENSE A COMPLETE TEAM T.C.U. ALL DAYYY FROGS 38 BRONCOS 21"