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Mountain West action here as the Colorado State Rams travel to take on the Wyoming Cowboys in a Friday night game. The Rams enter this one at 4-6 but they've won three of their past four games, while Wyoming sits at 6-4. Oddsmakers opened Wyoming as about a touchdown favorite for this one, which will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Colorado State started off the season in brutal fashion, limping out to a 1-5 record with their only win coming against an FCS school. Just when things looked like they were lost for good, they got on a bit of a roll, winning three straight games. Although they dropped their most recent game to Air Force, they have still been playing quite well recently. They need to win this one to keep their dreams of a bowl game alive.
Wyoming, on the other hand, is in a completely opposite boat. They started the season hot by winning four of their first five games, but they have since lost three of their last five. They enter this one-off back-to-back road losses, and are surely glad to be getting back home. Wyoming has two winnable games coming up, and they obviously want to finish the year 8-4.
CSU Back On Track?Colorado State's season got off to a disastrous start, and it looked like Mike Bobo was just about done for. They started the year off 1-4, with their only win coming against FCS school Western Illinois. Bobo had already caught a ton of flak for his team's performance last year, and he seemed on his way out. Then, the Rams caught fire all of a sudden. They responded with three straight wins, with two of those coming on the road. They did finally lose to Air Force in their most recent game, but they led in the fourth quarter and Air Force is one of the best teams in the conference at 8-2. CSU's passing game has come alive with Patrick O'Brien recently, and they've scored at least 35 points in three of their past four games.
🚨TOUCHDOWN🚨— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) November 17, 2019
Patrick O'Brien to Dante Wright x2!
1️⃣7️⃣ Yard TD!
CSU 21 // AF 24
4Q | 6:36 pic.twitter.com/OceD54aTLH
The defense has shown some signs of improvement after being disaster risks early in the year, and if they can keep that up at this team can be really good. How they fare in their next two games is likely going to determine Bobo's future with the team. He still has years left on his contract but the program has signaled a willingness to fire him, and he needs these final two wins to become bowl eligible. Even though Bobo has lost the confidence of that fan base, he remains quite popular with the players. I such I would expect them to go all out these final two games to try and save their coach's job.
Wyoming Coming Down?Wyoming has been an interesting team to monitor this season. They started the year off with a bang, picking up one of the biggest wins in recent program history when they beat Missouri, an SEC team. They started off 3-0, but each of their wins was close and it was kind of clear they were getting pretty lucky.
Against FCS school Idaho, they only won by five points. They have been great ever since then, and are just 3-4 in their last seven games. Most of their games this season have come down to the wire, so they're always an exciting team to watch. The offense has been really struggling recently, particularly the passing game. Tyler Vander Waal averaged only 5.1 yards per attempt and threw three interceptions in their most recent game against Utah State, and in their game, before that against Boise State, he had only 160 yards. Wyoming is an extremely run-heavy team that always attempts to establish its ground game, so that will be the key here.
As for their defense, Wyoming has a very stout defensive front but their secondary has been a bit shakier. They're giving up 282.1 yards per game through the air, a figure which has them ranked 120th out of 130 FBS schools. If they can't get their rushing attack going early and Colorado State's newly improved passing game is able to have some success against their secondary, they could be in big trouble. Wyoming likes to run so much, that a fast start is always crucial. They really can't afford to get down big early on and then have to pass to catch up because that isn't their style.
Trends, courtesy of Covers.com Rams are:
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference games
- 18-6 ATS in their last 24 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a double-digit loss at home
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I'm taking the points all day long with Colorado State here. The Rams have quietly been playing pretty well recently after a terrible start, winning three of their past four games. Their one loss in that span was to Air Force, one of the best teams in the conference, and they led in the fourth quarter. Wyoming, on the other hand, has been mediocre at best recently, and they have virtually no passing game to speak of. Wyoming got really lucky early in the season, and has been overvalued as a result. I think CSU has a good chance to win this one outright, so I'm playing some on the money line as well.
Prediction: CSU +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot in this spot. Wyoming can barely complete a forward pass at this point, and they have over twice as many rushing attempts as pass attempts on the season. That should help keep the clock moving, and ensure this one doesn't turn into a shootout. Wyoming has one of the best run defenses in the country, which will turn Colorado State's offense one-dimensional. CSU's defense has been the driving force behind their recent resurgence, and I expect to see them shut down Wyoming here. This one should be pretty low-scoring.