2022 Mountain West Championship Game Prediction, Pick, and Odds for Fresno State vs. Boise State

Jake Haener's re-emergence at Fresno State headlines the action in the 2022 Mountain West Championship Game, but does it make the Bulldogs a team to back?

Arguably one of the better conference championship games — on paper — this weekend, the 2022 Mountain West Championship Game features two of the staple programs from out west. The Fresno State vs. Boise State prediction reads very favorable to one side, but does one side actually have that big of an advantage?

Fresno State vs. Boise State Odds

  • Spread: Boise State (-3)
  • Moneyline: Boise State (-155), Fresno State (+135)
  • Over/Under: 54.5 points

Fresno State has come a long way to get to the Mountain West title game. After weathering the storm with star QB Jake Haener injured, the Bulldogs immediately thrust themselves back into the title picture when Haener returned.

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Now, winners of seven in a row, there may not be a hotter Group of Five team.

On the flip side, Boise State dropped an out-of-conference game to BYU but has lost just three total games this year and finished Mountain West play undefeated. Sure, they had a bit of a lucky escape against Wyoming, but their defense has been lights out all season long.

Prediction for Fresno State vs. Boise State in the Mountain West Championship Game

The Boise State defense has indeed shut the door on teams all year. They’ve clamped down in coverage and enter the Mountain West Championship game allowing just 158.8 passing yards per game. That number ranks second in the Mountain West, surprisingly, but is good enough for third-best nationally.

Most importantly, they’ve allowed just 10 passing touchdowns this year, good enough for seventh-best in the country.

While stopping the pass is one thing, taking the ball away is another. All-American candidate JL Skinner has recorded four interceptions, and the Broncos have nabbed 13 picks as a team.

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Together, they’re allowing just over 50% of passes to be complete and less than seven yards per attempt.

But Boise State, it should be noted, has had difficulty stopping the pass-first teams with quarterbacks of the same caliber as Haener (looking right at BYU).

Sure, these two teams have met this year, but Fresno State sans Haener was a different team. Logan Fife struggled mightily against the Broncos, and Boise State ran away with a 20-point victory.

Does Haener’s entrance back into the lineup push the Bulldogs up three touchdowns? Not necessarily, but Haener’s play this season has elevated players like Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Nikko Remigio, and Zane Pope.

This has freed up Jordan Mims to reach over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.

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So, in a way, Haener does indeed make this team a much better unit. And that unit should put on a show against a very difficult test, indeed.

It’s strength vs. strength, and in a rematch like this, we go with the opposite side.

Prediction: Fresno State 28, Boise State 27

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