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How To Bet On Boise State Michigan State - Broncos, Spartans Figure To Provide Compelling Theater

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/28/2012 6:30:10 PM

The Boise State Broncos and Michigan State Spartans might not produce the sexiest game of week one (that's Michigan versus Alabama), but they just might offer the best tilt this weekend.

Boise State Broncos @ Michigan State Spartans - Friday, August 31    
NCAA football betting line: Michigan State -7

Why Boise State Will Win

When ranks of betting sites are faced with the beginning of a college football season every August, they know that certain coaches should be seen as superior to others. Boise State head coach Chris Petersen consistently schedules very tough season openers, but he manages to win them – versus Oregon in 2009, versus Virginia Tech in 2010, and versus Georgia in 2011. Sure, Boise State is entering a new world, one without longtime quarterback Kellen Moore, who graduated and can no longer captain the Broncos on the field.

Yet, while Moore's loss is noticeable, the rest of the Broncos still field an appreciable degree of talent. While leading receiver Tyler Shoemaker has graduated, the new quarterback – likely Joe Southwick – should have plenty of playmaking studs to which he can throw. Matt Miller (679 receiving yards), Mitch Burroughs (500 yards), and Geraldo Boldewijn (266 yards) all return with varied skill sets that should keep Boise’s offense as diverse as ever, as long as the quarterback is capable. Boldewijn should breakout to carry Shoemaker’s load after playing only part time last year due to student visa eligibility issues.

Old-reliable Doug Martin is gone at running back, but D.J. Harper was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after tearing his ACL early in both 2009 and 2010. On half of a load last season, Harper carried for 557 yards on 4.8 yards per carry. Boise State clearly has the kinds of weapons that can keep pace with Michigan State… as long as Southwick is up to the task at quarterback. What helps Boise State is that Michigan State has a new quarterback, Andrew Maxwell, who is replacing the Spartans' veteran of the past few years, NFL-bound Kirk Cousins. If Maxwell does not show good ball security, Boise State's defense can pounce.

Why Michigan State Will Win

When various online sports betting analysts are confronted with the particulars of this matchup, they'll have some convincing reasons to go with Sparty over Boise. One reason is that if two teams have relatively even levels of talent – and that's fair to say with Boise State and Michigan State – the home team is likely to have an advantage in the context of a season opener. The Broncos and Spartans have untested quarterbacks who are stepping into the cauldron of real-world pressure. It's true that Michigan State is relying on a new signal caller in the person of Andrew Maxwell, but Boise State's Joe Southwick is replacing Kellen Moore, one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the history of college football and Boise State's most decorated player of all time. On the road in East Lansing, Mich., Southwick will be forced to play a precise game. He doesn't have to be spectacular, but one must seriously question if Southwick can perform with even a basic level of competence. If his nerves and mechanics both suffer, it's very hard to see how Boise State can win this game.

Who Will Win

Maxwell won't flourish, but it's hard to think that Southwick, his counterpart, will be up to the challenge on this occasion. There's just too much pressure on his shoulders. Moreover, the odds suggest that Boise State will eventually lose one of these tough season openers. The Broncos cover, but Michigan State wins the game.

College Football Betting Pick: Boise State

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