Editor’s note: This game has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues at Boise State
Central Michigan ended their season by winning their last four, and six of their last seven games, while Boise State saw their own four-game winning streak snapped in their season finale. Let’s analyze this matchup of MAC and MWC entries and keep cashing our college football picks!
Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Boise State Broncos
Friday, December 31, 2021 – 02:00 PM EST at Arizona Stadium
Central Michigan had been slogging through a disappointing 2021 campaign until something clicked midway through the year and winning became contagious. On October 9th the Chippewas traveled to meet Ohio and came away with a 30-27 victory but failed to cover the five-point impost much to the chagrin of their backers.
However, that was the spark that lit the fuse as Central Michigan would go on to win and cover five of their next games by beating Toledo (26-23 OT), Western Michigan (42-30), Kent State (54-30), Ball State (37-17) wrapped the season with a 31-10 win over Eastern Michigan.
Although there was a loss to Northern Illinois sprinkled in amongst those five wins, the season-ending game against Eastern Michigan showed how far the Chippewas had come.
Aside from the 45-0 blowout of lowly FCS entry Robert Morris, it was the most comprehensive defensive performance of the season for the Chips and they would hold Eastern Michigan to a total of five net yards rushing.
Special teams contributed with a 100-yard kick return courtesy of Marion Lukes, quarterback Daniel Richardson tossed a pair of touchdown passes, and the running game ran roughshod over the Eagles in churning out 236 yards with 194 of those from freshman Lew Nichols III.
Broncos Bucked by Aztecs in Finale
Boise State had alternated wins and losses, or more accurately losses and wins, from their opening game defeat to UCF to a 28-19 victory over Colorado State that began their four-game winning streak, which also included victories over Fresno State, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
But all of that good mojo would come to an end when Boise State visited No. 21, San Diego State, installed as three-point road favorites, only to come up on the short end of a 27-16 decision. The Broncos held a 10-point advantage early in the second quarter and held a 16-13 lead at the half before the Aztecs would score 14 points in the third frame and hold Boise State scoreless the rest of the way.
Senior wideout, Khalil Shakir, who caught six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown, commented after the game, "For some reason, we just couldn't execute and finish the game out, but everybody fought their hearts out. We did everything we could to go against one of the best defenses in the country."
Wanna Make a Bet?
The college football odds at all of the best online sportsbooks are dealing the Broncos as 7 ½ to 8-point favorites in this neutral-site matchup. It’s a question of whether you believe the Chippewas pass defense, ranked 114th and surrendering 262.8 yards, can contain the Broncos' 40th ranked passing attack, delivering an average of 260.7 yards per game.
We know Boise State has the superior defense, ranked 12th in the nation in points scored, allowing just 19 PPG but Central Michigan is 33rd in points scored, averaging 33 per game. It’s all a bunch of stats and averages until they line up and play the game.
However, based on the way the Chippewas defense ended the season and the fact that the Boise State offense will be purely one-dimensional – their ground game is ranked 103rd versus a stout Chippewas run-stop unit – I believe the eight-point head start is more than generous. Let’s grab the points with Central Michigan and cash a ticket.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.