College Football Picks: Colorado vs. Colorado State

Joe Freda

Friday, August 30, 2013 5:24 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 5:24 PM GMT

Sunday’s college football betting has the Colorado Buffaloes clashing with the Colorado State Rams in their annual “Rocky Mountain Showdown” at Denver’s Sports Authority Field.

Sports odds makers like The Greek expect a close contest, with Colorado State presently listed as a three-point favorite. 

Rams finish strong 

Colorado State struggled through last season’s first half of its schedule, but reeled off a trio of wins in its final five games en route to cash with a 3-1-1 spread record. Jim McElwain is back for his second year at the coaching helm, while running back Donnell Alexander returns after dashing for 587 yards (5 YPR) as a freshman. 

The Rams were held to 15.7 PPG in their first seven contests last year, while giving up 31.1 PPG over the same stretch. Colorado State is 3-9 ATS in its first four matchups away from home over the last three seasons.

Buffaloes lit up all year

Colorado looks to improve after notching just one win during all of last season, finishing with a 3-8 spread record. The Buffaloes surrendered a whopping 46 PPG, including 50.2 PPG away from their home confines of Boulder. 

Mike MacIntyre takes over Colorado’s coaching reigns, following three seasons with the San Jose State Spartans. The Miami native guided San Jose State to 11 victories last year, while the Spartans cashed at a 10-2 ATS clip.

Rams end skid with upset

Colorado State notched a 22-17 victory in last September’s battle with Colorado, cashing as a six-point underdog and ending a streak of two losses. Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson hit 14-of-21 passes, while throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns.

Colorado was held to 58 rushing yards, while logging a 5-for-16 mark in third-down conversions. Both sides combined for 15 penalties, while the contest’s 39 points dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 47 ½.

Back the UNDER in Denver

Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET),with CBS Sports Network providing the national television coverage. The weather forecast in Denver calls for an 80-degree day, with calm winds and a 10 percent chance of thunderstorms.

I am adding the UNDER in this matchup to the week’s college football picks, looking for another low octane affair between these rivals. The last four meetings in this clash have all stayed south of the 45-point mark, while the UNDER has cashed at 6-1 over the last seven years.

Colorado’s Connor Wood has been named his side’s starting quarterback, following four interceptions  over six game appearances last year. The junior will be looking to impress his new coach, but will also be trying to avoid miscues.

[gameodds]6/238951/?r-1=19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Colorado State ranked ninth among the Mountain West Conference’s 10 schools in third-down conversions last year, moving the chains at just 34.2 percent. The Rams have seen their recent seasons start with scoring droughts, leading to the UNDER collecting at 13-6 in the team’s last 19 contests played in September.

Free Pick: UNDER 49 at William Hill 

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