San Diego State Aztecs vs Boise State Broncos Odds, Picks, Predictions (9/30/22)

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier made the shocking decision to enter the transfer portal Monday, ending a four-year run as Boise State’s quarterback. Bachmeier preserves two full years of eligibility at his new school.

Andy Avalos and the Broncos will move on with redshirt Freshman Taylen Green. Green does have the strongest arm and was a three-star prospect out of high school (Texas). There’s hope, even if there might be growing pains.

Luckily, he gets an easy first start. San Diego State has been playing horrendously. The 2-2 start does not describe how poorly the Aztecs have looked in the early part of the season.

That leaves us at an impasse. Will Boise State rally around its new starting quarterback? Can San Diego State take advantage of this unique situation?

Let’s break it down. Read on for our San Diego State Aztecs vs Boise State Broncos odds, picks, and predictions.

San Diego State Aztecs vs Boise State Broncos

The sharp money is with Boise State, as the line has moved slightly from Boise State -5.5 to -6.

The total is very low, likely given the qualities of San Diego State’s offense and the backup quarterback situation for Boise State. The number opened at 41 and actually tumbled to 39 almost immediately.

Get ready for a Rock Fight.

San Diego State Aztecs vs Boise State Broncos Prediction & Pick

What do we expect out of Green?

Well, it’s not like Bachmeier was ever that good. So there could be some upside to making this move now.

Green looked great in a relief role in the season opener against Oregon State. In his first action, he went 19-for-28 for 155 passing yards and added 102 rushing on the ground plus two scores. It was electric to watch.

I’d expect Green to rely on his legs often as he settles into his role. Especially given he put up a 30.6 Pro Football Focus passing grade in his Week 1 action.

The good news is Boise can rely on its new-look running game and defense. Boise ranks fourth in Pass Success Rate allowed and 20th in Rush Success Rate allowed. The defense is eighth overall in Success Rate. This is a unit that returned nine starters from last season’s squad that allowed just 19 points per game.

San Diego State might not score a single point. Virginia Tech transfer Braxton Burmeister has been horrendous passing the ball, with just 3.6 yards per attempt this season and a 55.5 PFF passing grade. The offense is 130th in Pass Success Rate and 131st in Pass PPA per play.

The offense is also 102nd in Rush Success Rate, and the Aztecs are the fourth worst offense in the FBS in Standard Downs.

The Aztec defense is always going to play tough. They’re good at keeping everything in front of them and generally avoid explosive plays. But for a front seven that returned a lot of talent, they haven’t been good against the run, ranking outside the top-60 in both Rush Success Rate allowed and Standard Downs Success Rate allowed.

This is a gross pick, but I think we’re getting the Broncos at a discount. The starting quarterback situation is tough and may scare many bettors, but you can’t get much worse than Bachmeier anyway.

I’m buying that the Broncos can out-duel the Aztecs with a dual-threat rush attack while shutting them out on defense. A one-touchdown win seems pretty likely if that scenario plays out.

San Diego State Aztecs vs Boise State Broncos Key Matchups

Key Matchup No. 1: Taylen Green vs San Diego State’s Secondary

San Diego State always has a talented defense. But this secondary lost two All-Mountain West defensive backs from last season. The defense ranks 66th in PFF’s coverage grades so far this year. The top two cornerbacks have been targeted 50 times and allowed 34 receptions (68%) with yards per reception in the double digits.

This secondary is exploitable, but can Green exploit it? We know very little about him or his passing ability. We just know he was a track star in high school.

I think Green can have success on the ground. But this matchup should tell more about Boise State’s future moving forward.

Key Matchup No. 2: San Diego State’s Front Seven vs Taylen Green’s Explosiveness

What has happened to this Aztec front seven? Why can’t they stop a nosebleed?

Well, they’ve allowed opposing offenses to move the chains but have fared fine in overall effectiveness. They’ve allowed very few explosive rushing plays and rank top 40 in Rush EPA per play allowed.

Can Green use his athleticism to break this SDSU defense?

Or, on the contrary, can SDSU use this opportunity to bounce back against a very inexperienced quarterback?

This matchup will likely decide which team covers this game.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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