The Mountain West title game features two teams that have surprisingly not met since the 2019 season as the 7-5 Boise State Broncos take on the 9-3 UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas this afternoon.
The Broncos won their final three games to not only land bowl-eligibility but also make this conference championship game. The Rebels will be playing in their first-ever conference championship game under first-year coach Barry Odom. Will the Rebels complete their magical season with a MWC championship and cover in the college football odds this week?
Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Boise State vs. UNLV at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV on December 2.
Boise State vs UNLV best odds
Boise State vs UNLV picks and predictions
Despite being conference foes the entire time, these two programs have not met on the football field since the 2019 season, when the Boise State Broncos won 38-13 at UNLV. However, those were very different times for each program, as the Rebels were a miserable 4-8 that season before going a dreadful 2-16 over the next two years. The Broncos were an astounding 12-2 that year on a run to four straight double-digit wins seasons.
Under Barry Odom, the Rebels have completely turned around their program in an instant. A brand-new offense from last year’s 5-7 team is ranked 19th in the nation in scoring at 35.5 points per game. It also ranks 40th in total offense at 424.3 total yards per contest.
Meanwhile, a down year for the Broncos got Andy Avalos fired after a 5-5 start to the season. Interim coach Spencer Danielson won the final two games to get Boise State to Vegas. Also in the final two games, beginning of the season starting quarterback Taylen Green had to take over after Maddux Madsen went down for the season with an injury.
Green is averaging 179.9 passing yards per game in which he had double-digit pass attempts and has only nine passing touchdowns to eight interceptions on the season. Where the Broncos excel is in the running game. They rank 10th in the nation at 207.7 yards per game on the ground and 32nd in the country at allowing only 127.2 rushing yards.
However, the Rebels will counteract that with their passing game. Quarterback Jayden Maiava has thrown 14 touchdowns to only six interceptions on the season. The Rebels rank fourth in the country in third-down conversion percentage at 51.1%. They are also 44th in passing efficiency and have only allowed 17 sacks on the season.
The Rebels three losses this season have all been in games in which they allowed 31 or more points. The Broncos have been held under that number four times this season. I think the recency bias of three straight big wins for Boise State has inflated this spread and given them too much credit. I like UNLV to win this game outright and we are getting a nice plus money price to boot.
My best bet: UNLV Moneyline (+120 DraftKings)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Boise State vs UNLV same-game parlay
Starting with the Rebels moneyline play, we can build a nice same-game parlay here on FanDuel.
While not the main back, Jai’Den Thomas for UNLV has 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. The Broncos have allowed 20 rushing touchdowns on the season, despite their solid run defense. The passing game will get the Rebels into the redzone and then Thomas will get at least one touchdown on the ground to finish a drive.
Finally, we will add the Over on passing yards for Maiava. The Broncos allow 254.8 passing yards per game, which ranks 115th nationally. We can get Maiava at only 238.5 here and he has gone Over that total in three of his last five games.
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Boise State vs UNLV spread and Over/Under analysis
The Rebels rank 16th nationally in turnover margin (+8) with 13 interceptions and nine recovered fumbles. The Broncos have thrown 11 interceptions, lost eight fumbles, and have a -3-turnover margin. It will be tough for the Broncos to win this game if they lose the turnover battle and that is very likely.
This total is a bit of a toss-up for me as it is set at 59 points currently. Both teams average right around this total for their games this season. Boise State games average 57.2 points and UNLV games average 61.1 points.
My biggest thing for liking UNLV in this contest is that Boise State will not be able to score enough to get the win. If I am right, then it is more likely that this game will stay Under the total. However, it could be very close regardless, and would recommend maybe taking an alternate total.
Boise State vs UNLV betting trend to know
UNLV is 5-0 against the spread and 3-2 straight up as underdogs this season. Find more college football betting trends for Boise State vs UNLV.
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Boise State vs UNLV game info
|Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
|Saturday, December 2, 2023
|3:00 p.m. ET
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