Ryan Mayer

The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. Lines are as of date published.

Las Vegas Bowl

#25 Boise State (10-3) vs. Oregon (7-5)

Spread: Oregon -7

Total: 59.5

Spread: The Ducks just lost head coach Willie Taggart as he decided to take the Florida State job. Mario Cristobal was originally designated the interim, but has since been hired as the full-time coach. Generally, teams that lose their coaches prior to bowl games don’t play well in those games. That said, the Ducks have been a very good team in games when QB Justin Herbert plays (6-1, 52.1 PPG) and below average when he doesn’t (1-4, 15 PPG). Herbert missed the team’s middle part of the schedule which coincided with the Ducks facing some of the Pac-12’s best teams. The Ducks defense has been better than previous years, allowing 28.2 PPG and they’ve allowed just 38 points in their last two games.

For Boise State, they rank in the top 40 in both points scored per game (32.1) and points allowed per game (22.5). They’re led by QB Brett Rypien (63.3 percent 2,495 yards 14 TD 4 INT) and RB Alexander Mattison (209 carries 1,074 yards 12 TD). Since starting off a rocky 2-2 on the season, the Broncos have gone 8-1 in their last nine games, with their lone loss coming to Fresno State, who they then beat in the MWC title game.

Boise was 8-5 ATS this year, but they did fail to cover in both games they played against the Bulldogs. In games where they were listed as underdogs (Washington State & SDSU) the Broncos were a perfect 2-0 ATS. For the Ducks, their ATS split is similar to their overall win loss split. They were 6-6 overall, but they went 5-2 in games when Herbert was playing. They were also 5-2 as the favorite this season. The Ducks offense is explosive, but Boise is capable of covering. Boise State +7

Total: Each team hit the over five times during the course of the season and the promising sign for those thinking Over is the fact that Boise did have their fair share of shootouts this season. We know that the Ducks can score, but the Broncos have proven capable of keeping pace, even with a Pac-12 opponent, as they lost 47-44 to Washington State in the out of conference slate early in the year. Expect both teams to be able to put points on the board. Over 59.5


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