Defending Mountain West Conference champion No. 22 Boise State looks for a repeat on Saturday when it hosts No. 25 Fresno State at 7:45 p.m. ET. Each of these teams finished 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the MWC, with the Broncos edging the Bulldogs 24-17 in Boise on Nov. 7. The Broncos are at -2 in the most-recent Boise State vs. Fresno State odds, while the over-under for total points scored has risen to 52.5. Boise beat Fresno 17-14 for last year's MWC title, and won the title match between the teams in 2014 as well. Can this be the year the Bulldogs finally get over the top against the Broncos, even on the blue turf of Boise? Before you lay down your own Boise State vs. Fresno State picks for the 2018 Mountain West championship game, you need to see what SportsLine expert Micah Roberts has to say.
Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for 20 years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos' book director. Armed with an unmatched network of sources, he's crushed college football for SportsLine since 2016, and that's especially true when it comes to games involving Boise State. He's 8-2 on spread picks for or against the Broncos, including when he took San Diego State (+14) in a 19-13 straight-up Aztecs victory in October. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Roberts has scrutinized Boise State vs. Fresno State from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he's sharing only at SportsLine.
Roberts knows the Broncos possess one of the nation's top pass-run combos in QB Brett Rypien and RB Alexander Mattison. Rypien, who earlier this week was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, ranks in the top 10 in the country in completion percentage (68.8), yards (3,580) and TDs (29).
Mattison has 1,215 rushing yards and 16 TDs, and he's gotten hot lately, going for 714 yards and nine TDs the last five games, all wins. Boise's defense ranks in the middle of the pack overall, but its game has improved dramatically of late. The last four games, it's held BYU, Fresno State, New Mexico and Utah State to 17.8 ppg.
But just because Boise State's offense has been firing on all cylinders doesn't mean the Broncos can cover in the MWC Championship 2018.
Fresno State's defense has been dominant all season. The Broncos' 24 points were the second-most the unit has allowed all season - the most was 27 by Toledo in an easy 22-point Fresno victory on Sept. 29. Junior linebacker Jeff Allison was named MWC Defensive Player of the Year, while defensive back Anthoula Kelly and defensive end Mykal Walker were first-teamers as well. Allison registered 109 tackles.
Fresno State's offense doesn't garner the awards like Boise State's, but the Bulldogs enter Saturday's showdown averaging 36.3 points per game. Bulldogs QB Marcus McMaryion filled up the stat sheet this season, completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 3,283 yards, 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
We can tell you Roberts is leaning toward the under, but he has also unearthed the crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing his pick over at SportsLine.
Who covers in Boise State vs. Fresno State? And which crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump on, all from a seasoned expert who's nailed eight of his last 10 spread picks involving the Broncos, and find out.