Bet of the Day – Boise St. Broncos vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, Sept. 6, 2010

Boise State Broncos (+1) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (-1), Over/Under 51.5, 8:00 ET

Yesterday’s baseball bet was a winner.  Today, I am tackling the big college football game of the weekend, Boise St. vs. Virginia Tech.  Tonight’s match up is being hyped as Boise State’s “welcome to the party” game and the key to their season.  Standing in their way is a perennial power in the Hokies.  Tonight’s game should be a great way to kickoff the season.

The Broncos return 20 starters from last year’s 14-0 team.  Boise State averaged 6.52 yards per play on offense and held teams to 5.0 yards per play on defense in 2009.  QB Kellen Moore (3526 yards, 39 TDs and 3 INTs in 2009) has weapons that will make Boise State offensively potent.  Can they take a step forward on the defensive side of the ball.  The Hokies have a potent offense with talented recievers.  This could emerge as a weak point for Boise State, as they allowed 5.75 yards per pass against a weak schedule.  If Boise State loses tonight, they have no chance to go to a BCS championship.

The Virginia Tech Hokies return 12 starters from their 10-3 2009 team.  Virginia Tech was effective on offense last year averaging 6.22 yards per play.  Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor (2681 all-purpose yards, 18 TDs and 5 interceptions in 2009) has 5 offensive compliments returning, Virginia Tech is poised to step forward in 2010.  The unknown is the Hokie defense.  Beamer’s Virginia Tech defense held opponents to 4.61 yards per play last year.  They were one of the best in the country.  But with only 4 defensive starters returning, Boise State will be looking to jump on the Hokies early.  Can the Hokie defense weather the storm?

I used the Jeff Sagarin’s ratings to evaluate the point spread.  The Sagarin ratings are: Virginia Tech 87.71, Boise State 85.40.  Considering tonight’s game is basically a home game for the Hokies, we will add the standard 3.08 home advantage.  This yields a fair line of 5.39 points.  This indicates the betting value is with Virginia Tech at -1.

Simulating the game using last year’s data, my model projects an extremely close game; Virginia Tech 28.73 vs. Boise State 28.54 for 57.27 total points.  As expected, the key variance contributor is Boise State’s ability to pass on the Hokie defense.  It seems pretty clear in the model that Virginia Tech will be able to move the ball.  Considering we have some unknowns in the Hokie’s defense and Boise State’s weaker opponents, I made some adjustments to the data to test the sensitivity.  I adjusted the yards allowed by both passing defenses and Boise State’s defensive yards allowed by 1 standard deviation.  With these changes, my model projected Virginia Tech 31.57 to Boise State 29.16 for 60.73 total points.  The model variance contributors didn’t change.  One question remains, will the Broncos be able to move the ball against the Hokie defense?

Tonight’s game is a very tough game to handicap.  Boise State will be very motivated and has a very talented and experienced team.  Virginia Tech will be more atheletic, is a perennial power and coach Frank Beamer knows how to win big games.  I am siding with Virginia Tech.  The Hokies have an explosive offense, are playing much closer to home, and have proven in the past the ability reload on defense.  Bet on the Virginia Tech Hokies -1.  Who do you think will win?

Follow me on twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!


2 Responses to Bet of the Day – Boise St. Broncos vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, Sept. 6, 2010

  1. brouhahasports says:

    1 quarter into the game, Boise is shocking the nation.

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