The situation could not be better for Colorado State, who is off as much-needed bye and has won two of its last three games to keep its bowl hopes alive.
The Rams continue to improve under head coach Mike Bobo, and the “buy” sign for me was when they followed a heartbreaking 28-23 road loss to Boise State with a resounding 42-23 win over UNLV (both games on the road).
Colorado State is mediocre from the line of scrimmage, rating average on both sides of the ball. However, the Rams are 3-1 SU and ATS at home this season where they are averaging 29.5 points and 460 points per game at 6.2 yards per play.
Being average is actually good enough to defeat a terrible Fresno State squad that recently lost its head coach and is simply playing out the season’s final few games under an interim coach.
The Bulldogs are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS on the road this season where they are allowing 41.0 points and 460 total yards per game at 6.4 yards per play and 11.2 yards per point.
Overall, Fresno State is 0.7 yards per play worse than average offensively (4.8 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.5 yards per play) and 0.1 yards per play worse than average defensively (5.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play).
Colorado State should easily move the chains on the ground against a bad Fresno State front seven that is 0.4 yards per rush play worse than average (Colorado State is 0.3 yards per rush attempt better than average).
Meanwhile, Fresno State’s rapidly-declining offense has managed just 14.7 points and 295 total yards at 4.4 yards per play in its last three games (all losses).
My only hesitation in making Colorado State a Best Bet is that the Bulldogs have covered the spread in four straight games, which is evidence that they may not have completely given up on the otherwise-disastrous 2016 campaign.
Colorado State is 15-6 ATS following a bye that was preceded by a SU and ATS win and has been known to improve as the season progresses, posting a 9-2 SU and 7-4 ATS mark in the final five games of the regular season over the last two years.
I’m also not concerned about the Rams’ upset over UNLV two weeks ago (Colorado State was a 1.5-point underdog) as they are 9-1 SU and ATS as favorites off an upset win.
With Colorado State standing at 13-6 ATS as a home favorite and the Bulldogs posting a 1-9 ATS as road underdogs, take the Rams as Oskeim Sports’ Free College Football Pick for Saturday, November 5!