Colorado State Rams vs. Fresno State Bulldogs Betting Picks and Predictions

October 26, 2020

Date:Thursday, October 29th
Time:10:00 PM ET
Network:CBS Sports
Venue:Bulldog Stadium
Spread:CSU -1.5
O/U:59.5

The 0-0 Colorado State Rams will go on the road Thursday night to face off with the 0-1 Fresno State Bulldogs at 10:00 PM ET in Bulldog Stadium. You can tune in on CBS Sports Network. The Rams come in as 1.5-point road favorites and we’re expecting some points on the board with a 59.5 over/under. While it’s week eight around the CFB scene, it’s just week one and two for these teams and they’re still figuring things out. Let’s dive into how this one will go and who will cover the spread. 

Trends

  • Colorado State is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games.
  • Colorado State is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against Fresno State.
  • Fresno State are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Fresno State’s last 6 games against Colorado State.

When The Colorado State Rams Have The Ball

The CSU Rams offense mostly remains the same from a season ago. A season in which QB Patrick O’Brien threw for 2,803 yards and 13 TD’s. With that being said, 1,100+ of those yards went to Warren Jackson and he’s opted out of this season. He’s a monumental loss and one that will be impossible to replace with just one player. Or even two. 

Patrick O’Brien wasn’t bad in 2019, but he struggled with efficiency and Jackson did a lot of the work for him. Dante Wright and Trey McBride will do their best to make up for his loss and they were great in ‘19 with a combined 1,362 yards and eight touchdowns. Wright is a guy with a ton of upside while McBride is a monster in the Red Zone. 

Leading-rusher Marvin Kinsey Jr. is gone and I’m not sure he will be replaced. Marcus McElroy will start in his place, but he’s not the back Kinsey is. Christian Hunter has a ton of upside as the backup, however, and I could see him eventually leading this backfield. Dante Wright will also run the ball a few times as he’s a guy that can score on any touch. 

Defensively, Colorado State has to be a lot better. They ranked in the bottom half in just about every defensive statistic in 2019 and lost five starters. You never know whether the replacements will be better or worse, but we’ll figure it out quickly against Fresno State. Dequan Jackson is a force to be reckoned with at LB and he’ll make his presence felt in this ballgame. 

When The Fresno State Bulldogs Have The Ball

The Bulldogs are coming off a 34-19 loss to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in a game that Fresno State turned the ball over four times. The game was competitive going into halftime before Fresno State shot themselves in the foot too many times in the second half. They’ll have to tighten things up against Colorado State and take better care of the ball. 

Junior QB Jake Haener made his first start against Hawaii and didn’t look great. He completed just 54% of his passes for 289 yards, one TD, and three INT’s. He did a solid job of throwing the ball downfield, but was too indecisive in the pocket and threw into double-coverage a few times. He’ll have to play a lot better against a Colorado State team that will diversify their defensive looks. 

Leading-rusher from a season ago Ronnie Rivers returns for his senior season and looked phenomenal against Hawaii. The game script just didn’t work well for him. Haener contributed on the ground as well, rushing it 13 times for 37 yards. Expect to see a heavy dose of Rivers in this game as the Bulldogs look to control the pace. 

While nobody has emerged from the pack, Keric Wheatfall and Erik Brooks start on the outside and each caught three balls in the opener. Tight end Juan Rodriguez caught three balls as well and the teams only touchdown through the air. Defensively, Fresno State struggled against Hawaii and they’ll have to look a lot better against a Colorado State team that can throw it around. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Colorado State -1.5

While we haven’t seen the Colorado State Rams take the field just yet, it’s safe to assume that they are the better team on both sides of the ball. While they’ll miss a few key players from 2019, there is enough talent to get it done on the team and the coaching is phenomenal. Steve Addazio always has his team ready and the Bulldogs showed a ton of flaws in their opening contest. There is no tape on this current Rams offense and it’ll take Fresno State time to adjust. 

The Rams are going to score in this game and the Bulldogs won’t be able to keep up. Fresno State couldn’t throw the ball consistently against Hawaii and this CSU secondary is better. Expect the Rams to get Dante Wright involved a ton as he’s one of the biggest playmakers in the country. They’re going to run the ball effectively as the Rams offensive line returns four of five starters. I like the Rams to win this one comfortably. 

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 59.5
Final Score Prediction: Colorado State 41, Fresno State 24

I wasn’t a fan of what so saw out of the Fresno State Bulldogs offense in week one. The offensive line had trouble containing the edge and Haener was avoiding sacks all too often. The Colorado State team is also going to have to learn to play without Warren Jackson or Marvin Kinsey, which is not an easy task. With all of that being said, neither of these defenses are shutdown and it’s early in the year for both of these teams. I fully expect the Rams to push 40 points and the Bulldogs won’t be too far behind. The over is the easy bet in this game and I would be it all the way down to 56, which is when I would start gaining some interest in the over. 

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