Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#311 Boise State vs.
#312 UTEP
Friday, September 23, 2022 at 9:00pm EDT
Written by Chris King

A pair of mid-major conference programs lock up on the gridiron in a non-conference tilt down when the Mountain West locks up with a member of Conference USA in the Lone Star State. The Boise State Broncos are on the road as they make the trip to face the UTEP Miners Friday night. Boise State comes in off a 30-7 victory over FCS program UT Martin at home Saturday. UTEP ended up splitting with the schools from the state of New Mexico as they were beaten 27-10 on the road by New Mexico in their most recent game Saturday. In the all-time series between the two programs, the Broncos have won all six matchups. That includes a 54-13 home demolition in the most recent meeting on September 10, 2021.

Boise State Seeking Third Straight Victory

Boise State bounced back from their season-opening defeat as they strung together back-to-back wins after taking down UT Martin at home Saturday. The Broncos are now 2-1 on the season and seek to extend their win streak to three by prevailing here. In Saturday’s contest, Boise State was even at seven after the opening quarter before outscoring UT Martin 13-0 in the second quarter to take a 20-7 halftime edge. The Broncos didn’t allow the Skyhawks to put any points on the board in the second half en route to the win. Boise State held a 327-152 advantage in total offense, rolled up a 20-9 advantage in first downs and dominated time of possession by a 39:11 to 20:49 margin in the contest. Each team committed one turnover in the game.

The Broncos enter this game ranked 104th in the FBS in passing offense with 186.3 yards per game through the air and they are 93rd in rushing offense with 132.3 yards per contest. Boise State is just 93rd in scoring offense as they put up an average of 26 points per contest while they are 39th in scoring defense by allowing 18.3 points per game. Hank Bachmeier has completed 38 of 60 passes for 404 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Taylen Green is 19 of 28 passing for 155 yards with an interception while ranking third on the team in rushing with 102 yards plus two scores. George Holani is the leading ground gainer with 57 carries for 186 yards plus a score while Ashton Jeanty (26 carries, 116 yards) is the second back in the system. Holani leads the team with 11 receptions for 96 yards plus two scores. Latrell Caples (10 receptions, 93 yards, two TD), Jeanty (eight grabs, 79 yards), tight end Riley Smith (eight catches, 39 yards) and Stefan Cobbs (seven receptions, 72 yards, TD) are solid options in the passing game. Jonah Dalmas has hit all nine extra point attempts and five of seven field goal attempts with a long of 48 this season.

UTEP Miners Looking to Rebound

UTEP couldn’t build off their first win of the season as they became a turnover machine in their loss to New Mexico on the road. The Miners fell to 1-3 on the year, a major regression from last season’s 7-6 mark, which was more than the total wins they have combined from 2017-2020, when they were 5-39. Against New Mexico, UTEP gave up 10 points in a 25-second span of the opening quarter to break a scoreless tie, and never got closer than seven the rest of the way. The Miners held a 353-299 advantage in total offense while picking up 17 first downs against 15 for New Mexico. UTEP was drubbed 36:33 to 23:27 in time of possession while losing the turnover battle 7-2, including a pick-six.

The Miners come into this contest 50th in the FBS in passing offense with 258.3 yards per game through the air and a dismal 123rd in rushing offense with 74.3 yards per game. UTEP is only 123rd in scoring offense with an average of 14 points per contest and 90th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 29 points per game. Gavin Hardison has hit 79 of 162 passes for 989 yards with two touchdown passes and three interceptions. Calvin Brownholtz is five of nine for 44 yards with two interceptions in his limited action. Ronald Awatt is the leading ground gainer for the Miners with 52 carries for 225 yards and two scores. Deion Hankins (25 carries, 79 yards, TD) is also in the mix to provide veteran experience in the backfield. Tyrin Smith leads the team with 27 receptions for 437 yards plus a pair of scores. Reynaldo Flores (22 grabs, 272 yards) and Kelly Arkharaiyi (10 catches, 92 yards) are reliable secondary targets in the passing game. Gavin Baechle has hit all five extra point attempts and seven of eight field goal attempts with a long of 54 this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Something has to give in this one as neither team has managed to cover the line this season. Boise State is 0-2-1 against the spread while UTEP is 0-4 in their contests this season. The problem here, at least for the Miners, is that they have struggled to put points on the board. Ranking in the bottom 10 in the nation in scoring offense doesn’t inspire confidence and neither does a -5 turnover differential with 11 giveaways after four games. Boise State has been better the last couple of weeks after their season-opening drubbing at the hands of Oregon State. Expect a third straight win for the Broncos as they take care of business here.

Prediction: Boise State Broncos -15.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Boise State has stayed under the total in two of their three games this season. The Broncos have seen totals of 51, 45 and 37 points in their three games against numbers of 56.5, 43 and 53.5 points. Meanwhile, UTEP has stayed under the number in all four of their games this season. The Miners have combined with their opponents for 44, 58, 33 and 37 points in their contests. UTEP narrowly missed the total against Oklahoma as the number for that game was 58.5 points: the other numbers were 53, 46.5 and 37.5 points. Given the way that both teams are below average on the offensive side of the ball, you have to think this one ends up short of the total.

Prediction: Under 45.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.