College Football Betting: Streaking Colorado State The Pick In Idaho Potato Bowl Vs. Vandals

colorado state football

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:17 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 3:17 PM UTC

I guess it's a reward to spend the holiday season in Boise, Idaho? Well, the Dec. 22 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is a reward for Idaho and Colorado State as they square off on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium. CSU is one of the biggest bowl favorites on the board.

Vandals Winding Down FBS Time

Idaho (8-4) finished tied for third in the Sun Belt Conference. This bowl game will be a big deal for the school for a few reasons. First, this was arguably the worst program in the FBS from 2011-2014 when the Vandals won a total of five games while jumping around from the WAC to Independent to the Sun Belt. Idaho hadn't made a bowl since 2009.

Second, this is the second-to-last year that Idaho will even play in the FBS as the school has made the unprecedented decision to drop down to the FCS and the Big Sky Conference following the 2017-18 season -- that conference already is home to Idaho's other athletic teams. The Vandals were kicked out of the Sun Belt Conference earlier this year effective after the 2017 season, and there was nowhere really to go and being and Independent again wasn't financially feasible.

Coach Paul Petrino, the brother of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, has done an amazing job. Idaho had just one win in each of his first two seasons, jumped to 4-8 last year and then those eight wins this year. Petrino left his job as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas after the 2012 season for this gig. Petrino was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 2016.

The Vandals closed the season winning four straight and six of seven. Just for a point of reference, they did face two Power 5 schools this year, losing 59-14 at Washington and 56-6 at Washington State.

Idaho averages 28.3 points per game as QB Matt Linehan (2,803 yards, 15 TDs) had one of the better seasons in school history. The junior was second-team All-Sun Belt. The Vandals allow 29.8 points per game. That unit is led by junior tackle Aikeem Coleman, who has 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks. The Vandals are 8-4 ATS on college football odds.


Rams Rolling On Offense

Colorado State (7-5) is from the Mountain West and in a fourth straight bowl game. It's the second year for Coach Mike Bobo, who also was hired from his role as an offensive coordinator at an SEC school: Georgia. The Rams finished 7-6 last year and lost in the Arizona Bowl 28-23 to Nevada.

The Rams will be familiar with this blue turf having played at conference foe Boise State on Oct. 15 and losing 28-23 to fall to 3-4. But CSU won four of its final five games. Easily the most impressive of those victories was 63-31 at San Diego State to close the regular season. The Aztecs had won 10 straight home games and the next week would take the Mountain West Championship Game.

In that five-game run to close the season, CSU averaged 47.4 points and 520.6 yards of offense behind QB Nick Stevens. Colorado State has not trailed once in its past four wins and punted just nine times total in the month of November. Overall, the Rams average 34.1 points and allow 27.8. Stevens' favorite target is first-team All-Mountain West receiver Michael Gallup, who has caught 70 passes for 1,164 yards and 11 TDs. Over the past four games, Gallup is averaging 148.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.

CSU is an excellent 10-2 ATS on college football picks this year. Colorado State leads the all-time series with Idaho 4-3. The teams last met in 2010 when the Rams won 36-34 at home.

NCAAF Free Pick: Colorado State -13.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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