Boise State at BYU: What bettors need to know

Oct 23, 2013 |
Boise State at BYU: What bettors need to know
Boise State RB Jay Ajayi leads the conference with 12 rushing TDs.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Boise State RB Jay Ajayi leads the conference with 12 rushing TDs.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Boise State Broncos at Brigham Young Cougars (-7.5, 61.5)

Two of the hottest teams in the FBS meet up Friday night when the Boise State Broncos visit the Brigham Young Cougars. Boise State is off to a blistering start atop the Mountain West's West Division on the strength of a three-game winning streak. But the Broncos will have their hands full against a BYU squad that has won four consecutive games, including a thrilling 47-46 slugfest against the host Houston Cougars last Saturday.

Few teams in the nation boast the offensive firepower of Boise State, which has overcome a one-sided loss to host Washington in its season opener to average better than 45 points over its last six games. Led by a top-25 rush attack, the Broncos should expect to meet their match as they tangle with a Cougars defense limiting opponents to just over 21 points per game. Defense ruled the day in their last encounter, a 7-6 Boise State win back on Sept. 20, 2012.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE: BYU has held steady as a 7.5-point favorite, with the O/U falling slightly from 62.5 to 61.5.

WEATHER: Temperatures at LaVell Edwards Stadium will be in the low-60s with sunny skies and wind blowing diagonally out of the northeast at 5 mph.

ABOUT BOISE STATE (5-2, 3-1 Mountain West, 4-3 ATS): The Broncos roll into Provo, Utah without starting quarterback Joe Southwick. The senior standout suffered a broken ankle in last week's 34-17 home victory over Nevada, leaving the offense in the hands of backup Grant Hedrick. The junior hasn't played a full game since his senior year of high school but is excited for the opportunity to take the reins, telling the Idaho Statesman: "I've been preparing for this for four years." Hedrick went 18-for-21 for 150 yards and added eight carries for 115 yards and two scores versus Nevada.

ABOUT BYU (5-2, 4-3 ATS): The Cougars find themselves in a difficult position, facing just six days between games and still recovering from last week's four-hour, seven-minute marathon win over Houston. BYU surrendered 483 yards in that one, but head coach Bronco Mendenhall said afterward he was proud of how his team buckled down after allowing 34 first-half points. "(Houston) got four giant plays in the first half," he told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Every one of them was an assignment mistake or an execution mistake ... and then, man, I thought (the defense) played pretty well in the second half."

TRENDS

* Boise State is 25-9 ATS in its last 34 road games.
* BYU is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games against the Mountain West.
* Over is 8-1 in the Broncos' last nine games following an ATS loss.
* Under is 12-3-1 in the Cougars' previous 16 Friday games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Southwick underwent ankle surgery Monday afternoon, and the Broncos are optimistic he'll be able to return before season's end.

2. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi leads the conference with 12 rushing touchdowns and is second in yards with 766.

3. BYU QB Taysom Hill has thrown eight touchdown passes in his last three games after recording just one passing TD in his first four outings.

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