Offensive Balance & Momentum Makes Colorado St. -3.5 The Pick in Arizona Bowl vs. Nevada

Jake Walker

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 11:33 PM GMT

Nevada will face Colorado State in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium. Colorado State is a 3.5-point favorite on Pinnacle's college football odds and the total is set at 56.

 

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College Football Pick: Colorado State -3.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Nevada Wolf Pack
This will be Nevada's 10th bowl appearance in the last 11 seasons, but their campaign was a roller coaster ride, as they opened the season 1-2 and closed it with two straight losses to finish 6-6. 

Nevada ranks 28th in the nation with 205.6 rushing yards per game out of the pistol attack and they join Southern Miss as one of two FBS teams with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers: James Butler (1,156 rushing yards) and Don Jackson (1,026 rushing yards). 

The Wolf Pack still struggled offensively though, ranking 87th in the nation with just 26.1 points per game and 83rd with 377.7 total yards. Quarterback Tyler Stewart completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,064 yards, 15 touchdowns, and seven interceptions as the team's passing game averaged 172.0 yards per game.

Defensively they give up 27.2 points per game with 205.0 yards through the air and 188.8 yards on the ground.

Must Read: Tuesday's Top Four ATS College Football Picks Worth Grabbing

Colorado State Rams
The Rams went 7-5 this season to finish third in the Mountain West Mountain Division standings. This will be their third straight bowl appearance and they have won 11 of their 13 meetings with the Wolf Pack, including a 31-24 win in Reno last year.

Offensively, Colorado State averages 30.2 points per game with 221.2 passing yards per game and 195.8 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Nick Stevens has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,368 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

Running back Dalyn Dawkins has a team-best 805 rushing yards annd Rashard Higgins finished with 932 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The Rams allow 27.2 points per game with 208.1 rushing and 186.2 passing yards. 

 

Betting Trends
Nevada is 2-4 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points over the last 3 seasons and 5-2 ATS against conference opponents. Colorado State is 4-2 ATS as a favorite and 6-3 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points over the last 3 seasons.

 

Final Analysis
Nevada and Colorado State are from the Mountain West, which makes this a rare matchup because two teams from the same conference usually don't play each other in a bowl game. 

Nevada has struggled to score consistently and their passing game isn't strong, so they need to establish the run early to have a chance to win.

Colorado State is playing great football, winning four straight games to end the season, and their offense is much more balanced than Nevada's. 

The Rams are favored by 3.5 points on the college football odds board and I will back them to cover ATS with one of my college football picks because of their momentum and superior attack.