Troy Trojans vs. Boise State Broncos
Date and Time: Saturday, September 2, 2017, 3:45 p.m. ET
Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Opening College Football Odds: Boise State -12.5, O/U 57.5
Troy vs. Boise State TV Coverage: ESPNU
There aren't all that many teams that win 10 games in the ranks of the mid-majors, but we've got two of them who pulled off the stunt last year on the Smurf Turf together.
For Boise State, this isn't a surprise. This is always one of the better teams in America, and it's a club that isn't going to back down even though there are only a total of eight starters from last season's team back in the saddle.
The Broncos are bringing back an excellent quarterback in Brett Rypien, and so long as he maintains his high level of play, we have a tough time seeing this team taking any steps backwards.
Troy is a much different story. The Trojans had never won 10 games in a season before last year, and they had never had a Top 25 ranking at any point. They can say they've done both now, but they didn't win the conference last season in spite of the fact that they led the Sun Belt in scoring.
Seniors? There are plenty on this Troy offense. Brandon Silvers, the defending first-team All-Sun Belt quarterback, won't be fazed by coming on the road onto the Smurf Turf. Not only is Silvers back, but so too are his two favorite offensive stars, Jordan Chunn at tailback and Emanuel Thompson at receiver.
Matchup To Watch
The key problem here for Troy is that just two starters from this offensive line are back for this year. The Trojans will likely be starting sophomore Kirk Kelley at left tackle, and that could be a huge concern against a Boise State pass rush that has a tendency of being dominant.
The Broncos had 17 sacks in their first four games last season (but just 12 the rest of the year), so we know that there is some potential there. David Moa was dominant at the underneath defensive tackle spot last season, but now, he's out on the edge, and that's exactly where Kelley is set to make his collegiate debut on Saturday afternoon. If Moa can get used to his new position at defensive end and dominate the same way he did when he had 8.5 sacks last season at under tackle, this could be the key to the entire game.
Troy vs. Boise State Free Picks
Troy is flat out getting no respect in this game, and we don't understand it. Boise State has a big game next week in Pullman against Washington State, and it'll be more amped up for that one than this opener against a Sun Belt team. Furthermore, this is the biggest game on the Trojans' schedule outside of a trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU at the end of September, a game that might be a little bit more in reach than you might think.
Last season, Troy went on the road and beat Southern Miss and had a legitimate shot of taking out Clemson, the latter of which came as a 34.5-point underdog. The betting odds aren't nearly as long this time around with Boise State lined at -11 at most of the top online sportsbooks. But let's keep in mind that that's down from -12.5.
The cherry on top? Boise State has 64 percent of the bets at BookMaker.eu. The Trojans are sharp. Really sharp. And probably too sharp for you to ignore. Troy can win this game outright.
College Football ATS Pick: Troy +11 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Troy 38, Boise State 34