As a CSU fan, I looked at this game when I first saw the schedule and figured it would be a close game, which the Rams would end up winning. This was when I thought UNM was going to be a two or three win team.
Now that it is clear that the Lobos are at least decent. This game begins to get scary. Colorado State is easily one of the most undisciplined teams in the nation, and it shows with the turnovers and penalties. Turnovers and penalties have not been a part of CSU football in recent years, but this year, they are the key to a couple of losses.
Colorado State is usually decent against the triple option, but the triple option they usually go against has a slow QB (Air Force and New Mexico in previous years). This year, they go against a much quicker QB than normal in Lamar Jordan. If they end up seeing a lot more of Apodaca, then they will have to worry about a passing threat, which usually doesn't exist too much in this game.
Additionally, Pressley is going to put a ton of pressure on the CSU defense. What was a decent match up for the Rams, now has become quite tricky.
On offense, the Rams are starting to click much better than in the beginning of the season. I see UNMs defense as comparable to that of UNLV. Colorado State shredded UNLV last week, and I think they should be able to move the ball at will, but Nick Stevens has to be careful with the ball. Turning the ball over today will lead to a CSU loss.
New Mexico can win out and go to the Mountain West championship game. What they have been doing is truly remarkable. Winning back to back games as a double digit dog is insanely rare. I think the Lobos take the momentum from the last couple of weeks and steal one from the Rams in a shootout.
Lobos Moneyline +105
Lobos Moneyline and over 57.5 parlay
and very large on CSU/UNM over 57.5 - I see this game getting into the upper 70s. I'll go ahead and call this my play of the year.
Purdue +260 - Nebraska waits until they go on the road in conference to switch QBs. I think Purdue can control this game with the run. I am one who believes Tommy Armstrong was not the problem at Nebraska, but I will gladly fade this Fyfe guy.
Colorado State +140 - If CSU can limit the turnovers, which seems to be a big if, they can win this game. SDSU could easily win this game if they go through the air, but they will want to run and run, and I think that comes back to bite them today.
Georgia +130 - This is like the OU/Texas rivalry. The team that is supposed to win never does. Throw out the records and throw out what you think should happen. It is my understanding that Georgia's new QB cant throw the ball too well, so it will be interesting to see them move the ball.
NC State - +350 - I know Clemson is going to play a stinker of a game somewhere along the line. I'll take this sandwich spot as the game they lay an egg.
Miami +380 - Call it the cancer remission theory, or new coach theory, but I like the Canes in this spot. They still have the superior athletes to this Duke team. Tons of emotion spent by the Dukies last weekend, and the Canes could not have looked worse.
Last weekend was solid with a three team underdog moneyline parlay hit in the NFL, and then hitting Kenseth in the race that afternoon. Thought I would take some of the winnings and unload on Kenseth to win the title. When it comes to the races left, these 1.5 milers are going to favor the 20 team. No reason to think Kenseth doesn't win either Kansas or Charlotte to get to the next round. Being strong at Talladega doesn't hurt either.
No reason to think Kenseth can't win Texas, and by then, it should really be down to the 20, 22, 48 and 11. I can't see him losing to any of those drivers at Homestead.
One huge wrinkle could be if the 4 wins this weekend. I am really thinking of adding the 4 for $100 and taking my chances. I think there are so many teams thinking that they can't let the 4 win this weekend that we see some serious strategy on the final run of the race. Everybody knows keeping the 4 out of victory lane this weekend guarantees a much easier path to the cup. I think the 20 team benefits the most from the 4 being knocked out.
Kenseth to win the Cup $250.00 to win $1,250.00
The Super Bowl has arrived for 'ol GreedyB. This is by far my favorite game to cap because I get to see a lot of these two teams both in games and practices. Being able to get a behind the scenes look at both teams usually plays out well when it comes to covering the spread.
In my opinion, this is going to be a one-sided affair, and it will go in favor of the Rams.
On the surface, this pick seems like a slam dunk, and I think it will be, but it'll take awhile for the Rams to take it to the Buffs.
For starters, I am going to rule out Rashard Higgins. High ankle sprains take too long to heal, and CSU will either play him, and he won't be effective, or they will do the wise thing, and sit him until conference play begins.
Next, Colorado State is going to rotate QBs. I usually hate this, and for this reason, I think CSU struggles early. However, I really think that Coleman Key will be the one that finishes the job for the Rams. He is a big kid with a huge arm. He is lacking in accuracy for the time being, but he is by far the most confident of the two QBs. Stevens is talented, but he misses way too many wide open passes.
Finally, there may still be a bit of a hangover for the Rams after last weekends ending with Minnesota. CSU lead the game for 40:40 and was pretty much in charge the whole game. Unfortunately they completely pissed down their leg when the stakes were highest. That was a physical game, and it took a toll, so again I am of the belief that CSU will be a bit lethargic at the start.
Once the fog wears off, the Rams will take control in the trenches. With the inability of the QBs, the Rams are going to have a huge dose of Dawkins, Jarrells and Oden. I was stunned at how nasty CSU's O-line was against Minnesota. There were times when they flat out pushed the Gophers around. The physicality on both sides of the ball will be in Colorado State's favor.
On defense, Colorado State should win the battle up front. A season ending injury to CU's starting left tackle will mean another new face on the line, and CSU should be able to exploit this weakness. One of the big problems for CU is Sefo's inability to throw deep. He averaged ten years a pass last weekend against a secondary that looked lost at times. He wasn't missing his passes by just a little bit, he was missing badly. One of the best ways to beat the Rams is to run, run and throw over the top. When you can't throw over the top with accuracy, CSU just brings the house to stop the run, puts you in third and long, and lets you throw underneath. Right now, CU's offense plays right into CSU's hands.
The only advantage CU has is a ton of speed at WR, and they won't be able to utilize it due to their QB being inaccurate.
CSU has the advantage on the offensive and defensive lines, in the secondary, at LB, and definitely in special teams. If CU has to punt often, expect a few more of those 30 yarders that are becoming the norm.
The play: Colorado State moneyline +140.
For those of you live bettors, this game could be quite lucrative. If CU can get a score early, the live moneyline on the Rams should be worthwhile. CSU will wear CU out in the trenches.
Xfinity - Denny 5/1, Joey 4/1.
Cup - Denny 7.5/1 and Brad 9/1 - Same rules package as Kentucky, but more importantly, a track that just chews up tires. I think I have two of the best at saving their stuff. Thinking the 20 may be another solid pick. Wanted to get these two in prior to qualifying.