Portland State vs. BYU Pick
Will BYU find any challenges when it takes on Portland State in today’s College Football season opener at 3PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, BYU is the clear favorite over Portland State, as the Cougars are getting odds of -33 points today. The over/under total for the game is listed at 58 points. These two will meet from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah and the game will air on ESPN.
BYU enters the 2017 coming off a 9-4 campaign. The Cougars were 5-2 at home during the year as well. Against the spread, BYU posted a 9-4 mark overall with a 5-2 record ATS at home as well. BYU had a strong defense in 2016, holding opponents to just 19.5 points and 366.7 yards per game. The Cougars ranked 10th in run defense, allowing just 114.5 yards per game on the ground. Offensively, BYU posted 29.5 points and 399.2 yards per game. Tanner Mangum finally steps in as the full-time starter at QB for BYU. He threw for 3,377 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2015 filling in for Taysom Hill, who was injured. Hill was the starter last season and Mangum saw limited action. The Cougars will have a big hole in the run game, as they will lose both Hill and Williams, who combined for nearly 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The Vikings of Portland State are a FCS team that went just 3-8 last season. That included a 66-35 loss to San Jose State and a 41-3 loss to Washington. The Vikings scored 33.2 points per game while allowing 39 per contest. They were strong on the ground, rushing for 243.6 yards per game as a team, but they also struggled to stop the run, allowing 249.1 per game.
Big wins aren’t something BYU is known for, so giving 33 points can be a little scary for the Cougars. They are also working in a lot of new pieces, including Mangum, who hasn’t started much in the last year. Still, BYU is hosting a bad FCS team in Portland State. If the Vikings were a little better against FCS opponents, I would probably take the points. However, they struggled to stop the run of much lesser teams. I can’t see them stopping the BYU ground game no matter who has the ball.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: BYU -33