Thursday’s NCAAF Colorado State at Fresno State betting matchup has a lot of questions surrounding it. The Rams are -2.5 favorites, despite going on the road in what will be their season opener. Fresno State has a game under their belts, but it wasn’t a pretty one in a 34-19 home loss to Hawaii last week as -2.5 favorites.
Do the Bulldogs have value considering they have already worked off their (long) offseason rust a week ago? Both teams feature new coaches for the 2020 season, and it’s very interesting that oddsmakers have the Rams a -2.5 favorite in their season debut. 61% of the betting public still likes CSU, enough to push this line from a PK open.
Colorado State Ready to Fire Up the Running Game?
Nobody considers Hawaii to be a smash mouth football team, but the Rainbow Warriors churned out 323 yards on 53 attempts vs. the Fresno State defense last week. The Rams should follow the same strategy in NCAAF Colorado State at Fresno State betting.
The Rams were more of a passing team a year ago, as their 306 yards/game was the 14th most in the country. New coach Steve Addazio comes over from Boston College though, and the Golden Eagles were 7th in the nation in 2019 tallying 253.2 rush yards/game.
With the talent that is familiar with a high-potent passing attack, but a new system focused on the run, we could see another balanced attack vs. the Fresno State defense on Thursday night (10:00 PM, CBSN). Hawaii tossed for 229 to go with their 350+ rush yards. Addazio has the bruiser to wear down this Bulldogs line in 235-pound Marcus McElroy.
Fresno State Needs Defensive Improvement
Despite their struggles last week, there are things to be optimistic about for Fresno State in week one. For one, the Bulldogs already have a game in under their new head coach Kalen DeBoer, while Colorado State has to start running a completely different offensive system.
Fresno State is also up against a Colorado State team that faced a lot of offseason adversity. Addazio has been accused of racial insensitivity and verbal abuse in his first couple months on campus, and the program faced criticism of their handling of COVID protections.
The Rams could be facing the same kinks that Fresno State had to work out last week. QB Jake Haener threw 3 INTs in his first game under a new regime. The Bulldogs did churn out 120 yards on the ground last week, but are up against CSU’s #7 ranked rush defense from a season ago. Haener will have to be better, but ultimately the onus is on the Fresno State defense, who allowed over 550 yards of offense to Hawaii.
NCAAF Colorado State at Fresno State Betting Free Pick
Thursday’s meeting has all the makings of a one score contest. The fact that CSU is favored on the road in their season debut is kind of a telling indictment on Fresno State. The Bulldogs defense was atrocious last week, but never underestimate the importance of having that opening game out of the way for Fresno State.
Fresno State 31 – Colorado State 27
Free Pick: Fresno State +2.5