Boise State Broncos (10-3 SU, 3-9 ATS) vs Baylor Bears (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS)
Cactus Bowl Odds: Baylor +7.5, 67.5
Boise St vs Baylor Free Cactus Bowl Prediction by Documented Handicapper T.D.
The 2016 Motel 6 Cactus Bowl features the 10 win Boise State Broncos vs the 6 win Baylor Bears. The last time the Broncos played a Big 12 opponent in a bowl game was the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Adrian Peterson-led Oklahoma when Boise State pulled out a memorable 43-42 overtime upset victory.
Boise State kicked off the season winning 7 straight games and their only losses came within the Mountain West Conference to Wyoming and to Air Force in their last game of the season. Like many past Boise State teams, the Broncos can score averaging 35.6 PPG, 297 passing yards per game and 182 rushing yards per game. The defense gave up 379 yards and around 23 points with less then 200 yards passing.
The Broncos are lead by QB Brett Rypien (3,341 yards, 23 TDs passing) and junior running back Jeremy McNichols (1,663 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing). This offense is very well rounded but after failing to make it to the conference championship for the 2nd straight season makes me question how the Broncos will respond by playing in a “lesser known” bowl game?
Will the real Baylor Bears please stand up? Baylor opened the season by winning six straight games only to lose their final six games. It was a tale of two seasons for Baylor which ranked in the top 10 after their (6-0) start but then the wheels fell off losing six straight games.
Baylor has the fifth-ranked offense nationally, averaging 523.3 yards – including 250.3 yards rushing. However, the numbers are skewed in the sense this production was under QB Seth Russell who broke his ankle in early November. Freshman Zach Smith started the final three games at quarterback and threw eight touchdown passes compared to six interceptions over that span so look for the Bears to lean heavily on a running game led by sophomore Terence Williams (945 yards, 11 TDs, 5.9 per carry).
The Baylor defense has been their downfall to the 2016 season. The defense allows 30 PPG, 223 yards in the air and 210 rushing yards. Teams can pound the rock on this Baylor team which is very concerning for the Bears defense and their inability to get off the field.
I fully expect Boise State’s running back Jeremy McNichols to run wild on Baylor. McNichols ran for over 100 yards in all but three games and he could have a monster game vs this Baylor D. Neither team has been overly impressive this season but both teams can score and both defenses are very suspect. Running with the Over 67.5 in this bowl game.
Boise St vs Baylor FREE Cactus Bowl Prediction: OVER 67.5