Colorado State Rams (0-0) vs Colorado Buffaloes (0-0)
College Football: Friday, August 30th, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET (Sports Authority Field at Mile High)
Moneyline: Colorado State Rams (+435), Colorado Buffaloes (-500)
Spread: Colorado State Rams (+13.5, -105), Colorado Buffaloes (-13.5, -105)
The Colorado State Rams take on the Colorado Buffaloes in the 92nd edition of the Rocky Mountain Showdown for the right to claim the Centennial Cup. The Buffaloes began last season strong with a 43-15 win over Colorado State that helped them on their way to a 5-0 start. After star receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was injured in game 6 against USC, the Buffaloes floundered and finished 0-7 to miss a bowl game for the second year in a row. The Buffs replaced Mike MacIntyre at head coach with Mel Tucker. Tucker has NFL and college experience as a defensive coordinator and associate head coach. He most recently worked for Kirby Smart as Georgia’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2016-2018. He will face off against another former Georgia coordinator in Colorado State’s Mike Bobo. Bobo and the Rams missed a bowl game for the first time in his four years as head coach in 2018 after a disappointing 3-9 campaign. Keep reading and subscribe to Cover The Spread 365 now to find out why Tucker and the Buffs beat and cover against the Rams tonight.
Colorado State Covers/Wins if…
The young defense rises to the challenge.
The Rams were extremely young on defense in 2018. They were also terrible. They allowed 36.7 adjusted points per game 110th in total defense (out of 130 FBS teams) and 118th in turnovers forced. The Rams were decimated by injuries as LB Max McDonald, DT Richard King and LB Patrick Moody all missed at least 8 games last year. Colorado State was forced to play mostly underclassmen in 2018, and as a result they return 6/7 top tacklers on the D Line, 3/5 top LBs and 7/10 of their top DBs. They will need to make the Colorado offense beat them on the ground as the Buffs return almost no production on the ground. The goal for the Rams is to make someone other than Laviska Shenault beat them to keep this game close.
Colorado Wins/Covers if…
Quarterback Steven Montez and Laviska Shenault Jr. find their form from the first 5 games of 2018 when both were healthy.
Despite limited production from running backs on the roster, both Montez and Shenault can take the burden off the backs by rushing themselves either from RPOs (Montez) or handing the ball off on end arounds (Shenault). They can also make up for an inexperienced offensive line and backs by getting the ball out to the outside quickly and opening up space underneath for backs to operate. The Buffaloes return an experienced offensive line and add Arlington Hambright, a grad transfer from Oklahoma State to the mix. The Texas two step on the outside between KD Nixon and Shenault leads one of the best receiving corps in the PAC 12.
Colorado has such a talent advantage over the clearly rebuilding Rams that they should win, but Montez and Shenault will determine whether the Buffs cover or not.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Colorado State Rams
Colorado State are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Colorado State’s last 11 games.
Colorado State are 0-5 SU in their last 5 games.
Colorado State are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games against Colorado.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Colorado’s last 5 games against Colorado State.
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Colorado’s last 7 games against an opponent in the Mountain West conference.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Colorado’s last 6 games played in August.
Colorado are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games played in week 1.
Expect Shenault to shine at Mile High and the Buffaloes to cover against the rebuilding Rams. The Buffaloes should be better under coach Tucker defensively, and they return more than enough on offense to improve on their 45-13 victory over Colorado State from last year where Shenault erupted for 211 receiving yards. He and Nixon will do their best Ralphie V impersonation and run loose on the poor Rams defense.