Will Boise State Win the MWC Championship? You can bet on it.

MWC Champs
Photo: Brian Losness/USA Today Sports

A new Boise State football season is fast approaching. Fall camp has begun and game day is a mere three weeks away. It is officially time for fans to get antsy! One reason for fan angst is that there is so much change on the 2016-2017 Boise State Bronco football team. Gone to the NFL are Correa, Deayon, Obhiambo, Henry, Thompson, and Gray. Gone too are long time standouts Williams-Rhodes and Tyler Horn. BSU will also be without their offensive AND defensive coordinators from last season.

As I’m sure many of you are thinking, none of this is new for the Broncos. In fact, the more things change for Boise State, it seems, the more they stay the same. Among the list of things that will remain unchanged at Boise State is the team goal for the upcoming season. For 2016-2017 (and every year) that goal is, to win the Mountain West Conference and a bowl game with class, integrity and academic excellence. Today’s article will focus on the first part of that goal. Will Boise State win the MWC? As always, we’ll turn to Vegas for guidance.


The chart above shows you what you’d win (at the Bovada Sportsbook, in this case) if you bet $10 on each MWC team to bring home the trophy. Unsurprisingly, bookmakers make Boise State the clear favorites to win the MWC. One area that IS surprising is that you can get better than even money by betting on Boise reigning supreme in the conference. Didn’t I post last week that Vegas and betters are telling us that BSU is favored to go unbeaten? Why would you profit $13 on BSU winning the MWC when you would only win $6.67 if you bet the same $10 that they’d go undefeated? There are (at least) two football reasons behind these seemingly conflicting bets, and one “inside Vegas” reason.

1) The season win total bet of 11 games (where you’d win the $6.67) only takes into account the regular season. Boise State could win 11 games, lose to Air Force (shudder), and not even play in the championship game. In this case you would get your money back on the season win total bet, and lose the MWC championship bet.

2) Boise State could go 12-0, winning you the season wins total bet, and then lose to San Diego State (puke!) in the championship game. Vegas suggests that San Diego State is a heavy favorite to make the championship game, and the BSU odds suggest that a MWC Championship game against SDSU would likely be BSU’s biggest test of the season.

Besides on the field analysis, an important reason these odds don’t line up is because Vegas isn’t predicting an outcome as much as they are trying to make the payouts as even as possible under any and all scenarios. In the season wins total bet book makers want to set odds that result in bets coming in for each side of the OVER/UNDER. If everyone bet on one side then the casino or sports book would be on the hook for a lot of money if they lost. In BSU’s case, the line started at 10.5 wins, and as people disproportionately bet the OVER 10.5 wins the line crept up to 11 games to entice people to put money on the UNDER.

That bet only had two outcomes, BSU wins OVER 11 games, or UNDER 11 games. The bet on who will win the MWC has 12 different outcomes (theoretically), so it isn’t as easy to

move the odds to create completely level actions on all payout outcomes. A simplistic way to look at is imagining a teeter-totter. Stay with me. You put BSU on one side, and the 11 other teams on the other. Vegas wants the money on BSU to stay level with the bets on all of the other MWC teams. So while betting on BSU to beat, say, Utah State would pay you much less $13 on a $10 bet, betting BSU against the entire MWC field is a much more even bet.

Phew, we made it through the complicated and explain-y futures bets. The bottom line is that Vegas has a crush on the Broncos, and they’re crushing hard! From here on out my articles should be much shorter, much more relevant to on-the-field action, and (hopefully) much more entertaining. Sometime during game week I’ll write an article focusing on the betting action of BSU vs ULL, and what sports book and gamblers are telling us to watch for on the field. Contact me @ddenato04 on Twitter with any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

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