Boise State began the post-Chris Petersen era a bit slowly last season but picked up steam and won its last nine games in a row, and three of its last four outings against the spread. The Broncos will try to pick up where they left off when they host their former head coach and his Washington Huskies Friday night on the Smurf Turf at Albertsons Stadium.
Point spread: Broncos opened as 11-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (see line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 25.9-21.6 Broncos
Why the Washington Huskies can cover the spread
Washington only returns nine starters this season, five on offense and four on defense. But this is the second season of the Coach Petersen era, and the familiarity with his systems should help overcome the lack of returning talent. The Huskies went 8-6 last year, but three of those losses came by one score or less, and they ended the season with a 4-1 run against the spread.
Petersen had a fantastic record on the blue turf as head coach of the Broncos, and he should know how to scheme against his former offensive coordinator, Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin.
Why the Boise State Broncos can cover the spread
Boise State carries a nine-game winning streak into this season after ending last season with a Fiesta Bowl upset of another Pac-12 outfit, Arizona. The Broncos return 17 starters from a team that went 12-2 last year, including the entire offensive line and eight on defense.
And while they have to replace their starting quarterback (Grant Hedrick) and last year's leading rusher (Jay Ajayi), they believe they have those holes filled. This is the first shot the Broncos—many of whom were recruited by Petersen—have had at their former head coach, which may provide a little added motivation.
Boise State would love nothing more than to show Petersen it's just fine without him, perhaps in tough fashion. And the Broncos hold a large advantage in returning talent. Pac-12 teams don't usually visit Mountain West schools, and this game might be a good example why. The smart betting choice is with the team with the motivation, the team that will probably win this game, and that's Boise State.
Washington is 3-0 ATS in its last three meetings with Boise State.
Boise State is 9-0 SU in its last nine games.
The over is 8-1 in Boise State’s last nine games.