Boise State vs. UNLV: Prediction & Odds (12/2/23)

On Saturday (12/2/23), Boise State faces UNLV in the Mountain West championship game. Boise State is currently favored by 2.5 points on the road with a total set at 58.5 points. In this article, find a full matchup preview and our best bet which is over 58.5 points.

Boise State Broncos Vs. UNLV Rebels Prediction

After being selected to finish ninth in the preseason poll, first-year head coach led UNLV into their first Mountain West championship game appearance in program history. Meanwhile, Boise State has rallied around interim head coach Spencer Danielson after the dismissal of Andy Avalos, who appears to have been universally disliked by the team.

Boise State is led by Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year Ashton Jeanty, one of the most talented running backs in the country who finished with 164.6 all purpose yards per game. He was the first FBS player who finished with 1,000+ rushing yards and 500+ receiving yards since 2019.

UNLV will find it difficult to contain Jeanty and running mate George Holani. Jeanty is particularly poised to have a big performance in the passing game, where he faces a defense ranked 119th in passing EPA/play allowed. The UNLV defense has struggled all year to contain big plays as they rank 107th in explosive plays allowed.

The Rebels’ offense has been a joy to watch all season as offensive coordinator Brennan Marion brought his patented Go-Go offense to Las Vegas. UNLV’s Jayden Maiava took over as the starting quarterback in Week 4 and never looked back, finishing 7-2 overall as the starter.

However, it’s all about the three-headed backfield monster of Vincent Davis Jr., Jai’Den Thomas, and Donavyn Lester who accounted for over 1,700 rushing yards. Boise State will likely struggle to contain this unique attack, particularly as they rank 128th in tackling per PFF. They’re also 112th in explosive plays allowed.

Ultimately, I see a significant edge for both offenses in this game, and this could be a strong live trading game with opportunities to buy both teams at +3 or better. However, if you need a bet to start the game with, the only real approach is the over. 59 is a key number, so keep that in mind in case the line moves up from the time this article was written.

Boise State vs. UNLV Prediction: Over 58.5 Points

Boise State Vs. UNLV Best Odds

The current odds have Boise State lined as a 2.5-point road favorite in the game with a total that can be found at 58.5 or 59 points, depending on which sportsbook you use. 3 is a key number for spreads and 59 is a key number for totals, so keep that in mind. The current numbers would lead to an implied final score of around 31-28 in favor of Boise State, suggesting a high-scoring, back and forth affair in this championship game.

Boise State Vs. UNLV Key Matchups

Both offenses enter this game with plenty of explosiveness against defenses that struggle to contain the big play. Let’s take a look at each team’s top offensive player who will help determine the winner of the game.

Ashton Jeanty Vs. UNLV’s Run Defense

While George Holani is overqualified as a sidekick and Taylen Green is capable of generating big plays of his own, there’s no question that the Boise State offense hinges on the uber explosive Ashton Jeanty. One of the most dynamic runners in the country, Jeanty finished with an electric 4.26 yards after contact per attempt and forced 63 missed tackles this season per PFF.

UNLV’s defense features linebacker Jackson Woodard, who finished First Team All Mountain West. The Rebels are 20th in tackling per PFF, but they struggle to defend the run on a down to down basis, ranking 85th in run defense success rate. Jeanty can also attack a secondary that has surrendered plenty of yards after the catch as UNLV ranks 119th in passing EPA/play allowed.

Ricky White Vs. Boise State’s Cornerbacks

While Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers stole headlines on a weekly basis, it was actually UNLV’s Ricky White who led the FBS with 4.05 yards per route run per PFF. White finished the season with 75 catches for 1,304 yards and seven touchdowns, and he had 110+ yards in six of the last seven games of the year. The former Michigan State transfer could be a coveted pick in the NFL draft.

White faces a Boise State defense that has struggled against the pass this year, ranking 103rd in PFF coverage grades and 78th in passing EPA/play allowed. The Broncos will rely on top cornerbacks A’Marion McCoy and Jaylen Clark to hold up in coverage, but White has had the upper hand on basically every Mountain West cornerback he has faced this season.

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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