Click on a team for their full betting preview and suggested picks
1. Boise State (56% Div WP, 38% Conf WP)
Win Division (-305), Win Conference (-168)
Boise State is the class of the Mountain West. They recruit at the top of the conference and won the conference last season. However, the entire world is enamored with Boise State this year with Rypien back at QB and 10 starters returning on the defensive side of the ball. That means there is no value on Boise State in the futures market.
2. Utah State (21% Div WP, 10% Conf WP)
Win Division (+690), Win Conference (+1375)
Boise State should win the mountain division, but if they don’t it will be Utah State. The Aggies return 18 starers this season from a team that was 4-4 in conference last year. The Aggies will be about 2 TD dogs at Boise State to end the regular season, but will be in a position to take the division if they can pull off the upset. We have them at a 21% chance of winning that game.
3. Wyoming (14% Div WP, 6% Conf WP)
Win Division (+1150), Win Conference (+2650)
Josh Allen brought a lot of attention to the Cowboys team last year. The Cowboys do return 17 starers but of course Allen is not one of them. This is an experienced team that has played Boise State tough the last two seasons. At +1150 you might as well roll the dice on the Cowboys to take the division.
4. Colorado State (5% Div WP, 2% Conf WP)
Win Division (+1450), Win Conference (+4000)
The Rams had their chance last season as they blew a 25 point lead against Boise State. Now they only have 9 returning starers and are set for a difficult season. It will be challenging for the Rams to find their way to a winning record and much more challenging for them to take the conference.
5. Air Force (3% Div WP, 1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+2150), Win Conference (+6600)
Troy Calhoun has sustained success at Air Force, including a 2015 MW title game appearance. However, it will be difficult for them to find themselves in the title game this year as we have them picked 5th in the Mountain division.
6. New Mexico (1% Div WP, <1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+5500), Win Conference (+20000)
Last year was a rough one for New Mexico as they found themselves using their 3rd string QB for much of the season. Davie’s style of option has been successful here, but without a QB to run his offense the Lobos scored 21 points per game last year. Unfortunately, this season won’t be much better.
1. San Diego State (41% Div WP, 20% Conf WP)
Win Division (+138), Win Conference (+660)
The Aztecs missed out on the conference title game last year after winning the conference in ’16 and ’15. An experienced roster under the guidance of Rocky Long should once again compete for the conference title.
2. Fresno State (40% Div WP, 17% Conf WP)
Win Division (+148), Win Conference (+750)
The Bulldogs went 1-11 in ’16 and in response to a down season they brought in former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. Tedford dazzled in year one as the Bulldogs emerged as a power in the West. They should compete with San Diego State for the West division and could take down Boise State in the title game this year.
3. Nevada (8% Div WP, 3% Conf WP)
Win Division (+900), Win Conference (+44000)
Nevada looked much better in the second half of the season last year under the direction of new head coach Jay Norvell. The offense scored 32 points per game in conference play. Unfortunately, they are outclassed by both San Diego State and Fresno State in the West.
4. UNLV (9% Div WP, 3% Conf WP)
Win Division (+775), Win Conference (+3300)
The Rebels have been able to score some points but the problem is that they give up a lot of them. Armani Rogers is a dual-threat at QB and Lexington Thomas is one of the top RBs in the Mountain West. But without a solid defense it’ll be hard for the Rebels to contend with San Diego State and Fresno State in the West.
5. San Jose State (1% Div WP, <1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+7500), Win Conference (+50000)
Year one was a disaster for Brent Brennan as the Spartans were -26 in turnover margin, by far the worst in college football. While that number will improve, a lot of the numbers for San Jose State won’t. Staying out of the cellar would be an accomplishment for this team.
6. Hawaii (<1% Div WP, <1% Conf WP)
Win Division (+4400), Win Conference (+25000)
So much for the re-emergence of the run and shoot. Former Hawaii QB Nick Rolovich came in as head coach in 2016 and guided the Rainbow Warriors to a bowl. But last year they looked bad and went 3-9. This year they return only 9 starters and will need to find a replacement for Brown at the QB position. We have them picked last in the West.