Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
The undefeated underdog seems to have value in its first true road game of the season Wednesday night, especially while not needing to travel for an in-state rivalry when those Colorado State Rams (8-0, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the Colorado Buffaloes (5-2, 5-0 home) at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, CO at 9:00 ET in a game available on the Pac-12 Network.
The point spread at Bet365 has Colorado State as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6 with odds of -110.
Unbeaten Overall vs. Unbeaten at Home
Something will have to give in this rivalry game with Colorado State yet to lose a game at all and with Colorado being 5-0 at its home in the Coors Center. This is the first true road game for Colorado State, but the Rams did leave Colorado to win three games in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage including beating UC Santa Barbara for the championship. The Rams have three wins over Pomeroy Top 100 teams among their eight conquests.
The Buffaloes are the team that comes out of the power conference here in the Pac-12 while taking on a Mountain West opponent, but Colorado has been the losing NCAA Basketball pick in both of its games this year vs. the Pomeroy Top 100, losing to 45th ranked Georgia and 57th ranked Wyoming, albeit both on the road. That loss at Georgia came when the Buffaloes last played on Sunday, when they shot 21-of-59, 35.6 percent from the field.
Kidd Makes Immediate Impact
Colorado State was a disappointing 16-16 last season after making the NCAA Tournament two years ago and beating Missouri before losing to the eventual national champions in Louisville, but they returned their two leading scorers in J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano, both of whom are also good rebounders, and they added a 6-foot-7 transfer from North Carolina Central in forward Stanton Kidd, who has made an immediate impact.
Kidd is averaging 14.4 points and 6.1 rebounds at his new home, forming a solid troika with Avila (14.9 points, 8.1 rebounds) and Bejarano (12.1, 6.8) that has propelled the Rams to 35th ranking nationally in offensive efficiency. Kidd is also shooting 47.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc, although that is on only 21 attempts as he has not forced his shots. He is still shooting 52.3 percent overall while Avila leads the club in shooting percentage at 53.6 percent.
Colorado State has also dominated opponents in second chance opportunities in recent years thanks to being among the nation’s leaders in offensive rebounding percentage, and while they are down to 56th in the country in that department through the early going, they are still at a very good 36.6 percent vs. a national average of 31.6 percent while Colorado is 142nd in offensive rebounding percentage at 32.4 percent, so the Rams should again get more second chances.
Buffaloes Have Not Beaten Much
Now, Colorado is always a tough place to play because of the altitude so the 5-0 start at home by the Buffaloes should not be surprising. However, those five wins have not come against much as according to the Pomeroy Ratings the highest rated team Colorado beat was 109th ranked San Francisco. And secondly, that added altitude advantage Colorado normally has at home gets discarded here obviously taking on another team from Colorado.
Granted the Colorado schedule actually grades out better than Colorado State in terms of overall SOS faced, but sometimes who you beat is more important than who you face and, as mentioned, Colorado State has at least beaten all three of the Pomeroy 100 teams that it has faced while Colorado lost to the very teams have brought up its SOS while beating only the cupcakes on its schedule so far.
This is a good acid test for both teams and Colorado State comes in ranked negligibly ahead of Colorado on Pomeroy overall as the Rams are ranked 67th and the Buffaloes 70th.
Seeking Double Revenge
The Rams now appear to be in a good position to get double-revenge after losing to the Buffaloes each of the last two seasons. That includes losing back home in Fort Collins 67-62 last year so Colorado State would love to get that revenge on the Buffaloes’ home floor here in Boulder.
Whether or not they do it is grounds for debate but we do expect Colorado State to at the very least take this game right down to the wire, making these points worth taking in Boulder on Wednesday.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Colorado State +6 (-110)