Fresno State Features in Friday Night College Football Picks

A pair of over/under plays and a lean on Fresno State at Boise State against the spread feature in our best bets for rare Friday night action in Week 11. Louisville at Syracuse included.

No. 23 Fresno State (-2.5, 52.5) at Boise State

Friday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Line Movement:

The spread is holding steady with oddsmakers opening Fresno State a 2.5-point favorite on Sunday, although sharps are backing the home team. Boise State is getting just 30 percent of tickets across the top online sportsbooks. The total is sliding south from a 55 initial offer, down to 52.5 as of publication.

Betting Analysis:

Bettors have to research back to 2005 to uncover the last time Boise State (7-2 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) kicked off an underdog at Albertsons Stadium. The Broncos lost that game 27-21 to Boston College while catching 2.5 points. No. 23 Fresno State (8-1 SU, 8-1 ATS), ranked in the AP poll in each of coach Jeff Tedford’s first two seasons, is that good.

The key to handicapping this matchup is to determine whether Boise can match the Bulldogs on the scoreboard stride for stride. Don’t get wrapped up in the over/under line movement trending down. There will be plenty of points in this one. Bet on it.

Fresno’s offense is clicking, having surpassed it’s projected team total by an average 5.8 points in each of the last three games. The Bulldogs post 45.3 points on 488.7 yards per game since Week 7.

Boise, meanwhile, has an OVER record of 15-6-2 (71.4 percent) when going off with a single-digit line behind head coach Bryan Harsin. A 64.5 combined score is sailing 8.3 points past a 56.5 average total under these market conditions.

Fresno plays at an above-average pace, too. The Broncos have squared off against only three teams (UConn, Wyoming, Nevada) this season allowing more plays per game (68 or higher). Boise has put up 31 points or more in each with an average 611.0 yards of offense.

Pick: OVER 52.5, Fresno State -2.5

Louisville at Syracuse (-21, 69)

Syracuse (7-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) will put up 40-plus points in this pass-happy showdown. Louisville’s (2-7 SU, 1-8 ATS) offense is so bad, however, it will not be able to take advantage of the worst scoring defense in the ACC (32.2 ppg). Orange win 41-24. The final comes up a tad short.


Image by Andy Clayton-King/The Associated Press