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Colorado State at Wyoming

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Colorado State at Wyoming

Venue/Location: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyoming
Time/TV: Friday, Nov. 22 (ESPN2, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Line: Wyoming -7, Total 50.5

After being able to get there last week with the San Diego State Aztecs knocking off Fresno State and remaining atop the West division in the Mountain West, this week we get a game from the East division of that conference with Colorado State in Wyoming.

This game doesn't mean anything for either side in terms of conference titles, but for Colorado State, finishing the year out with two wins would get them to six wins on the year and bowl eligible. Wyoming's already there, and after two consecutive road losses against the likes of Utah State and Boise State to eliminate Wyoming from conference contention, hard to imagine the Cowboys will look anything like their best in this spot.

So will Colorado State be a live underdog here, or will the better team go out and prevail at home under the lights?

Getting bowl eligible can be a nice motivational edge to teams this time of year, but just because the number may be close to six wins, it doesn't mean that the reality matches it. Yes, Colorado State can get to six wins if they win this game and their finale, but that finale is at home against a ranked Boise State team. Chances are the Rams are going to be sizable underdogs there and likely won't win the game.

So while hope still remains in that locker room, if things go south early for Colorado State in this one, we might see them fold up shop rather early. It's the potential for that to happen that's keeping me off taking the points with Colorado State in this game, although I do expect them to be playing well from the outset while hope still remains strong. But they are still a 4-6 SU team for a reason, and getting off to a bad start is a very real possibility at all.

All of that adds up to my belief that the total is the much better option here. And while Wyoming is definitely noted for their 'under' ability this year (3-7 ATS), and Colorado State's been a winning 'under' team (4-6 O/U), this total does seem a little low.

Let me lay it out like this, in terms of potential outcomes on the side goes, there are really four options to look at: Either Colorado State wins SU by a big margin (we will call it more then 7 points), Colorado State wins SU by a small margin (7 or less points), or Wyoming wins in SU by a small margin (7 or less) or by a big margin (7+ points). Of those four options, you can argue that any Colorado State outright win would likely suggest the 'over' hitting – Colorado State has scored at least 35 points in all four of their wins this year – and even Wyoming by a large margin has a great chance of sailing 'over' this total as well. A Wyoming blowout win would also likely come from either a horrible start filled with turnovers for Colorado State, and/or them falling behind too early and just giving up after that. Either way, points will be put up in those cases.

How I see it, three of the four potential ways this game turns out lends itself to the 'over', and it's not like a Wyoming SU win by less then 7 points would automatically mean 'under' either. That case means it's a Colorado State ATS win, which means the Rams played well enough for a long enough time in the contest, and Colorado State doesn't play “well enough for long enough” in a 24-21 type game. In fact, in all but one of Colorado State's games this year, the winning team has ultimately scored at least 34 points.

Wyoming's offense may not be known as one that can put up points in a hurry, or plenty of points in general (they score just 26.9 points per game on the year), but even if you expect them to win the game outright, nine of 10 times in Colorado State games this year that winner has scored at least 34 points. Going to be awfully hard for Wyoming to win with 34 points and this game not go 'over' the total.

So, with most Colorado State outright victories likely cashing 'over' tickets, and Wyoming outright wins of any fashion likely seeing them score 30+, this game seems to be one where the 'over' is the only way to go. Remember, Colorado State has still got to believe they can get to a bowl game at kickoff here, and the longer they hang around and/or are putting up points on this Wyoming defense, the more confident they'll grow for this game at least. That should lead to more points being scored in turn, as like I said, Colorado State isn't a program that gets involved in too many games where it's a race to 20 points.

And should Colorado State's bowl eligibility dream die early on here, while that means Wyoming's already built a big lead and gets to go up against a defense that's already relatively bad, and now wants to be anywhere but there. The Rams offensive guys will still look to get their numbers in garbage time, and again, points will be had.

Finally, with the reality being that both programs have cashed lots of 'under' tickets lately – Colorado State has a 1-5 O/U record last six games and Wyoming is 0-4 O/U last four – this low total is warranted statistically. But situationally, this game makes a lot of sense to be a high-scoring one.

Colorado State's got to go into this game believing they can win and could become disinterested if the start is bad, while Wyoming's already a disinterested team entering the game, with no conference goals to play for, and already being at six wins has them likely in some bowl game played before December 20th.

Last year these two teams put up 55 points for an 'over' ticket to cash, and that came after it was 0-0 after the 1st quarter, and 3-0 at the half. Don't think the end result changes here, although I would expect Colorado State to go out and try to establish a nice lead early on and then maybe hold on from there. Last year's 2nd half explosion shows you how good this Colorado State defense is at giving up points in a hurry, and I would not be surprised to see both teams in the 30's when all is said and done on Friday.

Best Bet: Over

YTD Record: 6-7 ATS

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