Boise State vs. Houston prediction, line: Broncos a live underdog

Boise State vs. Houston prediction, line: Broncos a live underdog

The Houston Cougars got their season started with a resounding victory over Lamar on Wednesday, but the level of competition will be kicked up a notch when they play against Boise State on Friday.

Boise State will look to Arizona transfer Emmanuel Akot to give the team a lengthy 6-foot-8 wing after he had a tough time finding his niche in the Pac-12. Akot scored just 2.5 points per game in his two seasons in Tucson. He will be supporting another former Pac-12 recruit, Abu Kigab, who had 11.1 points per game in 20 games for the Broncos last season after sitting out the first semester per NCAA transfer rules.

Houston will counter with Marcus Sasser coming off a 7-for-9 3-point shooting performance in the season opener. He is a part of a unit that has been in the top eight among all Division I teams in rebound rate each of the past two seasons.

Houston is dealing with an injury to the team’s top scorer from last season and American Conference Preseason Player of the Year selection Caleb Mills, who has a tweaked ankle. That puts what Boise State’s Derrick Alston does at even more of a premium.

Alston is coming off a season in which he collected 17.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Alston should get more open looks with Portland transfer Marcus Shaver eligible after sitting out last season. Shaver had notched 14.8 ppg the season prior.

Boise State ranked 17th in the country in defensive rebound percentage, leading to opponents being unable to get second-chance opportunities. The ability to stay competitive on the glass makes Boise State a live ’dog in this one.

The play: Boise State, +12.