Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Boise State Broncos Picks and Game Preview -- 10/02/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET, October 2, 2021
Venue: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Where to watch: FS1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Boise State -5
BetMGM: Boise State -5
Caesars: Boise State -5

Season record
Nevada: 2-1 (0-0 Mountain West)
Boise State: 2-2 (1-0 MWC)

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Nevada - Boise State preview and analysis


Recent form
UNR: lost 38-17 at Kansas State on Sept. 18
Boise State: won 27-3 at Utah State on Sept. 25

The ghost of Kyle Brotzman has come to haunt the Boise State Broncos yet again.

The Nevada Wolf Pack have lost 16 of the 17 meetings all-time against Boise State. The lone win was the Brotzman gaffe in 2010 missing two field goals against UNR. All it would've taken was one to put undefeated Boise State in a BCS game, maybe even the national title game.

But it won't take a missed kick this time around for Nevada to pull off a road upset over the Broncos in what's the Mountain West opener for the Wolf Pack.

UNR had a much-needed bye week after losing by 21 to the Kansas State Wildcats on Sept. 18. The 'Pack got off to a 2-0 start with wins over California and Idaho State. The Wildcats, who will pull off the upset of the season against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, kept UNR to 331 total yards of offense.

Wolfpack quarterback Carson Strong had a solid day with 262 yards and a touchdown, but Kansas State's home crowd and defense took it to UNR. Despite that, Strong is averaging around 353 yards per game while completing 68 percent of his passes.

UNR is the best passing attack the Broncos have faced since Central Florida at the beginning of the season. The Boise State defense held Utah State Aggies quarterback Logan Bonner to less than 50 percent completions and two interceptions, but could not stop running back Calvin Tyler Jr. The leading rusher ran for 126 yards despite not getting into the endzone.

If there's one area UNR would like to exploit, that run defense of the Broncos is it. The Wolfpack average only 77 yards per game on the ground and 3.4 per carry. Boise State's run defense, however, is giving up 210 per game as evidence of Tyler's big day.

Prediction


Despite UNR losing outright heavily in this series, they've covered six of the last eight-game and is 6-2 as a single-digit underdog in conference play. Strong could be a potential first-round quarterback and this is his time to shine in conference play. Brotzman may not be kicking, but Strong will do just enough to get the road upset. UNR by 8

Betting trends


UNR is 7-3 in its last 10 against the spread as an underdog.

Boise State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 as a home favorite.

Players to watch


UNR: Devonte Lee was Nevada’s leading rusher last week. He had only 10 carries for 24 yards. Need more from him to balance out Strong’s passing attack.

Boise State: Khalil Shakir continued his strong play this season with 113 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown against Utah State last week. He’s become the focal point of Boise State’s offense.

Statistical leaders


UNR:
Passing: Carson Strong -- 955 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Toa Taua -- 155 yards
Receiving: Romeo Doubs -- 259 yards, 1 TD

Boise State:
Passing: Hank Bachmeier -- 1,132 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: George Holani -- 96 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Khalil Shakir -- 448 yards, 3 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Nevada - Boise State prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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