Mountain West Championship Game: Boise State vs. San Jose State odds and preview
The unbeaten Spartans of San Jose State (6-0) will square off Saturday with the Broncos of Boise State (5-1), as the two teams battle for the Mountain West Championship in Las Vegas.
Let's take a look at the matchup and make a pick.
Boise State vs. San Jose State
Sat, December 19 2020, 9:15 PM
San Jose State Spartans
Boise State Broncos
Broncos seek 15th straight conference win
Boise State has had a rough season. Players have missed time because of COVID-19 and the program had multiple games cancelled. In the Broncos lone defeat this season, they faced BYU with only a third-string quarterback on the active roster.
Now, they have an intact backfield, which includes starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier and running back George Holani.
Boise State’s key weapon is wide receiver Khalil Shakir, who has averaged more than 130 yards of total offense per game and gets involved in sweep plays, as well as the passing game. He has twice as many targets as anybody else on the team, and will be the focal point of their offense. Having Bachmeier throwing to him will be a huge boost, as Boise State has won all four games when the quarterback has played.
Boise State’s defense has struggled against good running teams this season, as both Air Force and BYU ripped them for more than 6 yards per carry. Even Hawaii was able to rush for 141 yards on 35 carries against the Broncos. That could be a big problem against a San Jose State team that has averaged nearly 160 yards rushing per contest.
Spartans look to stay undefeated
San Jose State upset Nevada last week, 30-20, to complete an undefeated regular season. Quarterback Nick Starkel led a second-half comeback and continued a stellar season that has seen him throw 13 touchdowns to just four interceptions.
He has two terrific targets, Bailey Gaither and Tre Walker, and has averaged nearly 10 yards per pass attempt this season.
On the ground, running back Tyler Nevins has rushed for 336 yards in his last two games.
Defensively, San Jose State touts one of the top scoring units in the country. The Spartans have allowed fewer than 18 points per game. They have held the score under the total in five of their six games this season, with a defense that ranks 27th in yards allowed per play.
How they match up
The Spartans have also not lost against the spread, with five wins ATS and one push. Boise State has covered just three times in their six games.
In addition, the Broncos’ defense has shown it can be gashed by the run, and Boise State is one of the worst teams in the nation against the run on third down with 2 yards or fewer to go.
Boise State’s offense is much too reliant on one player, while San Jose State has more weapons and a more balanced offensive attack. Look for the Spartans defense to make enough plays to give its offense an opportunity to win the game.