College Football Bowl Picks: Washington State vs. Colorado State

Jeff Grant

Monday, December 9, 2013 1:41 PM GMT

The Colorado State Rams and Washington State Cougars haven’t been bowling in recent years, which should allow for a competitive affair in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. We run over the current betting odds for this matchup and share our college football picks for your consideration.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this matchup at University Stadium in Albuquerque on Saturday, Dec. 21, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Solid close to the regular season

Colorado State went 7-6 SU and 9-4 ATS during the regular season—closing things out with five wins in its last seven games.

The Rams were certainly better on the offensive end in their second year under head coach Jim McElwain, as they finished 29th nationally in both scoring and total offense, which was an improvement of 73 spots from the previous season.

Been a long time

Washington State hasn’t participated in the postseason since 2003, but it beat out the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon State Beavers for a spot in this affair, as bowl officials felt the program would travel better than the others.

The Cougars have compiled a 6-6 SU and 9-3 ATS record this season, with the OVER going 6-5-1.

Balanced 

College football handicappers will need to take a long look at the Rams, considering they were the only school with both a 3,000-yard passer and 1,500-yard rusher in games through Dec. 2.

Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson threw for a school-record 3,327 yards, while running back Kapri Bibbs is just 30 yards short of the single-season rushing mark.

Halliday 

The Cougars are known for putting the ball in the air under second-year head coach Mike Leach, which is clearly evident in quarterback Connor Halliday setting Pac-12 and school-records for pass attempts and completions in a single season.

Washington State will certainly keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to the opening kickoff, as it ranked 123rd in the country in averaging just 58.7 rushing yards per game.

Prediction 

I’ve established the Cougars as a 6.5-point neutral-site favorite in this affair, as the Rams’ six FBS wins came against opponents with a combined 17-55 record. 

Keep an eye on the SBR odds page, as I would back Washington State with my college football picks at a number lower than 6.5, while Colorado State gets the early nod at anything higher. 

Handicapper Line:  Washington State -6.5