Air Force vs. Colorado State College Basketball Odds & Pick: Expect High-Scoring Rematch With Rams and Falcons (March 1)
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Stevens (4) of the Colorado State Rams
Air Force vs. Colorado State Odds
|Air Force Odds||+20|
|Colorado State Odds||-20|
|Time | TV||Monday, 10 p.m. ET | CBS Sports Network|
The Air Force Falcons travel to take on the Colorado State Rams in the second game of a back-to-back matchup between these two squads on Monday.
This is the final game of the year for the Falcons, while the Rams have some work to do to maintain their status for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In the first matchup on Saturday, Air Force trailed by just eight points with six minutes remaining, before being outscored, 17-2, en route to a 72-49 loss.
Colorado State sits at 15-4 on the year and 9-3 in conference, with three games remaining on its schedule. The Rams have won five of their last six and are gaining momentum heading into tournament time.
They finish the season with Air Force, New Mexico, and Nevada, which are all games that the Rams should win. That stretch begins with the rematch against Air Force, a team they have beaten six times in a row by an average margin of 21 points.
As long as Niko Medved’s squad doesn’t have any slip-ups in this final week, they should be dancing in March Madness.
When Colorado State Has the Ball
Colorado State leads the Mountain West in multiple offensive categories, such as effective field goal percentage (59.0%), 2-point field goal percentage (59.0%) and free-throw percentage (78.8%). It scores an average of 108.8 points per every 100 possessions, according to KenPom.
The Rams take the second-most 3-point attempts in Mountain West play, attempting a 3-point shot on 46.6% of their offensive possessions. They make an average of 9.1 of those attempts per game, which is good for most in the Mountain West.
Isaiah Stevens is the leader of the Rams offense, scoring 15.1 points while dishing 5.8 assists and snagging 4.8 rebounds per game. Stevens is connecting on 45.8% of his 3-point attempts on the season. David Roddy serves as the big man who complements Steven’s play, averaging 16.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
This is a team that will take a lot of 3-pointers and looks to get out in transition whenever it can. The Rams own the third-fastest tempo in the Mountain West, according to KenPom. They score an average of 75.1 points per game and should be able to name the score in this matchup if they come out prepared.
When Air Force Has the Ball
It’s been a rough season for Joe Scott’s Falcons, who have won just one of their last 12 games. They had lost 10 in a row before gaining a 62-55 victory last Wednesday over New Mexico, the worst team in the Mountain West.
Point guard A.J. Walker is the leader of this Falcons’ offense. He averages 15.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Through the last five games, Walker is averaging 19.2 points, which includes a 33-point effort against Fresno State. Walker is hitting 40.5% from behind the arc and has the ability to light up the stat sheet on any given night.
Air Force runs a Princeton-style offense. This offensive scheme wasn’t bad in the first matchup, as Air Force made 12-of-20 shot attempts on 2-point field goals but struggled shooting behind the arc, making just 5-of-21 shots.
Defensively, Air Force is just bad. There’s no other way to put it.
Teams shoot an astounding 61.1% on 2-point field goal attempts, which is good for 344th in the country, according to KenPom. In the rare event that they do get a stop, the Falcons allow offensive rebounds 36.6% of the time.
They allow 114.6 points per every 100 possessions in conference play, and teams can nearly score at will against this team. When Air Force has played one of the top-four teams in the Mountain West (which includes Colorado State), it has allowed an average of 82.0 points per game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
We should see Colorado State look to come out and take care of business early after allowing the Falcons to hang around late last game.
Air Force can’t stop anybody defensively, and with this being its final regular-season game of the season, it has nothing to lose.
A.J. Walker was just 1-for-7 on 3-point attempts in that first matchup, and I anticipate him bouncing back strongly in what could potentially be his final regular-season game as a Falcon.
Colorado State should be able to hit that average of 82 points that the top-tier teams in the Mountain West have scored against Air Force this season.
With a total of 134, that means we just need 51 points out of Air Force in order to hit the over in this game. That’s where I’m putting my money in this one.
Pick: Over 132.5 (up to 134).