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Boise State Faves at Virginia Tech

Week 1 of NCAA football betting ends in style as two of the nation’s top programs clash on Monday night with the road team favored. The No. 3 Boise State Broncos look to crusade toward a national championship after an undefeated season in 2009. The No. 10 Virginia Tech Hokies believe their offense can finally back up their defense and lead them to a BCS Championship. For what it's worth, oddsmakers at shops such as Bovada think it will be Alabama or Ohio State.

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Something has to give on Monday. Most bettors have a difficult decision for this game, which will take place at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. The Broncos look like slight favorites – by roughly two points at your typical book. As if Boise State’s perfect season didn’t earn it enough respect, beating TCU in the Fiesta Bowl last year all but confirmed that the Broncos are no longer an under-the-radar team. All but one starter returns to Boise State this season.

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That means the Broncos’ offense should be a well-oiled machine again. It averaged more than 42 points per game last season and the offense remains in good hands with Kellen Moore under center. Moore was a force last year, setting an NCAA record with his 39-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Since Titus Young and Austin Pettis are back to catch passes, the Broncos seem poised to field a powerhouse passing attack again. Tailback Jeremy Avery can keep defenses on their toes in the running game, too; he ran for 1,110-plus yards last season. Boise State’s defense is also a plus; it doesn’t grab as many headlines but allowed only 17.1 points per game last year. As much as Boise State has been known as an offensive juggernaut in recent years, the Virginia Tech Hokies have built their reputation on stout defense. Last season, they ranked 11th in the country against the pass. But Virginia Tech lost a whopping seven starters from its 2009 defense. That means the Hokies have to evolve, starting Monday against Boise State. Since the “D” is primed to regress, Virginia Tech’s offense has to elevate its game.

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Most VT fans believe that can happen this season. Terrell Pryor evolved as a quarterback last season and is always a threat to run. The Hokies’ running game also looks like a huge plus for 2009. Two years ago, Darren Evans ran the show for Virginia Tech, rushing for 1,265 yards. Ryan Williams took over in 2009 after Evans tore his ACL and Williams didn’t miss a beat, setting an ACC freshman rushing record with 1,655 yards and running for 21 touchdowns. It’s therefore possible – if not probable – that Boise State and Virginia Tech will exceed the posted point total, which currently hovers around 50.5 points. Boise State has a monster offense and it could prey on the diminished Virginia Tech D - meanwhile, the Hokies’ phenomenal ground game should help them strike back against the Broncos. A win for either team will go a long way toward securing a BCS title game berth; a loss could end that dream immediately.