Boise State Broncos at Fresno State Bulldogs (-3.5, 68.5)
Fresno State looks to snap a seven-game losing streak to Boise State when the teams meet at Bulldog Stadium on Thursday in a key Mountain West matchup. No. 25 Fresno State is ranked for the first time since 2008 and seeking its first 3-0 start since 2004. The Bulldogs had an unexpected bye last week when flooding forced the cancellation of their game at Colorado, while Boise State has bounced back from its season-opening loss at Washington with two straight wins, including a 42-20 victory over Air Force on Saturday.
Boise State dominated the series from 2006-11, winning by an average score of 50-16 before holding on for a 20-10 victory at home last season. Thursday’s contest figures to be a shootout, with Fresno State ranked 11th in the FBS in scoring offense at 46.5 points per game and Boise State averaging 37. The game features two of the top quarterbacks on the West Coast in Fresno State’s Derek Carr and the Broncos’ Joe Southwick, who set a school accuracy record last week by completing 27-of-29 passes for 287 yards.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE: Fresno State opened as high as -4.5 and has been bet down to -3. Some books are seeing buyback on FSU at that key number, moving the spread to -3.5. The total has moved from 67.5 to 68.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 70s with partly cloudy skies and a 2 percent chance of rain. Winds blowing west at 5 mph.
ABOUT BOISE STATE (2-1, 1-0 Mountain West, 1-2 ATS): The Broncos’ offensive line did not allow a sack in two of their first three games, and sophomore Jay Ajayi rushed for a career-high 125 yards and four touchdowns against Air Force. At 6-3 and 222 pounds, junior wide receiver Matt Miller could be in for a big game against a Fresno State secondary that has struggled against physical receivers. The Broncos limited Air Force to 99 passing yards last week, and cornerback Bryan Douglas will need to continue his strong play against the explosive Fresno State aerial attack.
ABOUT FRESNO STATE (2-0, 0-2 ATS): Carr has been as good as advertised, especially at home, where he’s thrown 31 touchdown passes against four interceptions in his last eight games. Sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams has made a TD reception in 10 straight games and senior wideout Isaiah Burse has 338 all-purpose yards in the first two games, but the Bulldogs have struggled to establish a running game. Fresno State has caused a turnover in 16 straight games, but they enter Thursday ranked 111th in the FBS in total defense.
* Favorite is 11-0 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Broncos are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings.
* Broncos are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Fresno State.
* Bulldogs are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Broncos are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 road games.
1. The Bulldogs are 10-0 under head coach Tim DeRuyter when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
2. Since the 2000 season, Boise State is 94-7 (.931) in conference games - the highest winning percentage in the country during that period.
3. Fresno State has won eight straight home games with an average margin of victory of 25.9 points.