The Oregon State Beavers head to Hawaii as 2.5-point favorites looking for its first bowl victory since 2008. Boise State will be looking for its fifth-straight bowl win and its fourth-straight over a Pac-12 school.
The Broncos will be playing their first game under interim coach Bob Gregory.
Point spread: Broncos opened as 4.5-point favorites, but the Hawaii Bowl line was getting bet down in early wagering; the total was 63. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 43.7-32.1 Broncos
Why Oregon State can cover the spread
Oregon State (6-6) struggled down the stretch, but anyone would have through that gauntlet of opponents that included three ranked teams. Despite finishing the year only 6-6 against the spread, the Beavers were surprisingly good away from Corvallis, 5-1 versus the number on the road. They are led by Sean Mannion, who finished second in the nation in passing with 4,403 yards and 36 touchdowns.
He is licking his chops at the sight of Boise State’s 91st ranked pass defense that gave up 460 yards and four touchdowns through the air to Fresno State. The Beavers can move the ball down the field at will. Underdogs have dominated this game and the Hawaii Bowl odds should continue to move in their direction over the next week.
Why Boise State can cover the spread
To put it simply, the Broncos (8-4) love beating up on teams from the Pac-12. Boise State has beaten a team from the conference every season since 2007. That includes two-straight wins over Oregon State. The Broncos will have a tough time stopping Mannion, but every team does. The best way to stop Oregon State’s deadly passing attack is to keep it on the sideline.
Boise State averages 201 yards per game on the ground and is led by super-sophomore running back Jay Ajayi. Ajayi will gash an Oregon State defense that allows 193 rushing yards per game, allowing Boise State to control the clock.
Boise State might have two more wins on its resume than Oregon State, but the Broncos struggled mightily against the best teams on their schedule such as Washington, Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State. The Beavers have lost some close games to far superior competition and will be ready to go against a depleted Boise State squad.
The advantage of extra weeks to prepare for the bowl game that Boise State usually manages so well is eliminated with the departure of Chris Peterson. Oregon State wins the game and covers the 2.5, don’t listen to the computer prediction of 44-32 in favor of BSU in this one.
- Underdogs are 6-2 ATS past 8 Hawaii Bowls
- Boise State is 4-1 ATS past five bowl games
- Oregon State lost five in a row to end the season
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