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Wyoming Cowboys vs. Colorado State Rams Betting Picks and Predictions

05 November 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Thursday, November 5th
Time:9:00 PM ET
Network:CBS Sports
Venue:Canvas Stadium
Spread:Wyoming -3.5
O/U:52.5

The 1-1 Wyoming Cowboys will go on the road Thursday night to face off with the 0-1 Colorado State Rams at 9:00 PM ET in Canvas Stadium. The Cowboys come in as 3.5-point road favorites and there has been a ton of movement on this line since opening. The Cowboys bounced back from a heartbreaking loss in week one while the Rams were pummeled in their opener. This figures to be a very interesting game and one that will be a lot more competitive than some think. Let’s dive into how this one will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Check out the rest of my CFB Picks and Predictions for this weekend’s slate.

Trends

  • Colorado State is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in week 10.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Colorado State’s last 5 games against an opponent in the Mountain West Conference.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Wyoming’s last 8 games against an opponent in the Mountain West Conference.

When The Wyoming Cowboys Have The Ball

The Cowboys started the season off with a heartbreaking 37-34 loss to the Nevada Wolfpack before setting the tone and dominating Hawaii 31-7 just a week ago. The Cowboys were three-point home underdogs against Hawaii and dominated, holding the dangerous Rainbow Warriors scoreless for the last two and a half quarters of the game. Everything clicked for Wyoming and they’ll be looking to carry that momentum on the road in a tough matchup. The Cowboys will be the ones entering as road favorites this week and they know how that can feel as a home team. Colorado State won’t let anything come easy.

The big difference in game two for the Cowboys was their defense. The offense was phenomenal in both games, putting up 68 combined points. The defense just woke up in game two and didn’t force the offense to one-up the opposing team every drive. MLB Chad Muma is the heart of this defense and he leads the team with 21 tackles thus far. Azizi Hearn is one of the best CB’s in the conference and he will be tasked with slowing down some elite weapons on CSU.

Offensively, Wyoming leans on the running game and junior Xazavian Halladay leads the way. He’s rushed it 54 times for 250 yards and two touchdowns while adding nine catches for another 76 yards. The offense revolves around Halladay and the experienced offensive line that creates his holes. He’s complemented by senior Trey Smith, who’s a bowling ball of a back that’s a hassle for anyone to tackle. He’s found the endzone twice in just 22 carries, as has QB Levi Williams. The Wolfpack are going to run the ball 30+ times every game and they’ll give you a variety of looks to deal with.

When Williams does throw the ball, it typically won’t be down the field. He’s completed just 51% of his passes and the ones he has completed have averaged just 6.9 yards. He’s averaging nearly as many yards per rush at 4.1. Williams must step up in the passing game against Colorado State as they will stack the box and force Wyoming to beat them another way. I still think Wyoming will have success on the ground, but it will come down to Williams making a play at some point and he will have to perform. Isaiah Neyor leads the team with just three catches for 102 yards.

When The Colorado State Rams Have The Ball

The Rams opener against New Mexico was canceled, so they’ve played just one game two weeks into the conference schedule. It wasn’t a very pretty game, either, losing 38-17 to the Fresno State Bulldogs in a game that was never close. It was QB Todd Centeio that drew the start as Fresno had struggled prior against the run. He wasn’t bad, throwing for 141 yards on top of 80 rushing yards. The expected starter Patrick O’Brien stepped in late and completed seven of his ten passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. I would expect O’Brien to draw the start, but that’s truly a guess.

Another big reason for O’Brien not starting was his lack of time in camp, though it sure seemed like he was fine once he got in there. O’Brien was solid a season ago, throwing for 2,800 yards and 13 touchdowns. The 6’5 senior has a strong arm and does a good job of getting the weapons the ball in space. He did make a lot of mindless throws in ’19 and he ended up with seven ints. If he can avoid those mistakes, he has a ton upside behind this offensive line.

Speaking of weapons, Dante Wright will be back for this game. He missed the contest against Fresno State and he’s an irreplaceable asset at receiver. Wright can not only go deep effectively, but he’s also one of the fastest guys in the conference and can take it to the house on a 10-yard slant or a three-yard mesh. Look for O’Brien to get Wright the ball a ton and I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks away with 10 touches. Trey McBride caught eight balls in week one for 130 yards and a score. With superstar Warren Jackson opting out, McBride will be needed as a WR2 to keep attention away from Wright. Things sure look promising after just one game.

The Rams want to pass the ball when they can, and I do not understand why they came into week one with a plan to run the ball. Centeio was effective, but the Rams couldn’t keep up with a Fresno team that was elite at running it. You aren’t going to beat that team with a patchwork backfield. It’ll be HB Marcus McElroy Jr. leading the backfield and he was effective in the opener with 35 yards and a touchdown. This offense should be passing it a ton with O’Brien under center.

Spread Prediction

The Rams were terrible in their first game, but the game plan didn’t make any sense. If O’Brien draws the start here, the game will be extremely competitive. Dante Wright is back this week and I’m willing to say that he is the best player on either team. The Cowboys are a solid overall team, but I don’t trust them to throw the ball when they have to. It’s why they lost to Nevada in week one and I think it’s why they lose this game. I trust the CSU Rams to drive it down the field a lot more than I do Wyoming, which isn’t a great thing to say about a favorite.

The Cowboys route to covering is picking up an early lead and running the ball into the ground. If that doesn’t happen, the game script sets up a lot better for CSU and their weapons on the outside. Both teams have solid offensive lines and I don’t see a massive advantage on either side in the trenches. Give me the Rams money line here as I see them walking away with the W as a home dog.

The Pick: Colorado State ML +150

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

I expect Colorado State to crowd the line and force Wyoming to throw the ball. The Cowboys will still have success on the ground with their various looks, but I do expect them to struggle more and more as the game moves along. On the CSU side, they aren’t a lethal offense that’s going to put up a ton of points. Even though they will throw a ton with O’Brien under center, it’s not the same offense with Jackson out of the mix. Neither of these teams will punch it in with ease once they do reach the Red Zone, so don’t expect a crazy shootout here. Ill take the under, barely. The Rams are the bet to make in this game.

The Pick: Under 52.5

Final Score Prediction: Colorado State 27, Wyoming 24

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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