Boise State vs. Colorado State Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Mountain West Matchup

Boise State vs. Colorado State Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Mountain West Matchup article feature image

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: The Colorado State Rams.

  • The Colorado State Rams take on the Boise State Broncos in Saturday night Mountain West action.
  • This is one of the better games from a conference that has entertained fans and bettors all season.
  • Check out Anthony Dabbundo's best bet for this game below.

Boise State vs. Colorado State Odds

Saturday, March 5
8:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Boise State Odds
-110o / -110u
Colorado State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Boise State has clinched the outright Mountain West title after Wyoming's loss to San Diego State and the Broncos' home victory over Nevada on Tuesday night.

Colorado State sits two games behind Boise State with just one game remaining, so instead of this game being for the league title, there's not a whole lot on the line for either squad headed into the regular-season finale.

With that being said, it's the final home game of the season for Colorado State and a chance to knock off the conference champions and secure the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

A loss could see it fall all the way down to the fourth seed based on certain tiebreakers, which would make for a much more difficult opening-round matchup in the MWC Tournament.

Colorado State won the first meeting in Boise in overtime, a back-and-forth affair that the Rams led early before needing a late comeback to force overtime and win in the extra period.

Based on the ShotQuality report in that game, the Rams were deserved road overtime winners and overcame a red-hot Boise State shooting day.

I think they'll be the more focused team in this game with Boise in a potential letdown after a regular-season conference title.

Boise State Broncos

Boise State has been quite fortunate to have the record it does — mostly because of the Broncos' elite record in close games.

There's no reason to expect Boise to be elite in close finishes. It doesn't shoot free throws well at all, for example. But it's 10-3 in close games, per BartTorvik and has overperformed its ShotQuality expected record by four games in conference play alone.

Go back through some of the Broncos' wins, and you'll see they needed a last-second turnover and then 3 at the buzzer to force overtime against Fresno State, a game they eventually won. A controversial late foul call in the final second helped them get past San Diego State, and two late 3s in the final seconds pushed them past Utah State.

Both of Boise's losses in the league were also close games with Wyoming and Colorado State, but it's important to also acknowledge that it's now 21-2 in its last 23 games since a poor start to the season.

The offense can be ugly at times, but it makes just enough 3s and grabs just enough rebounds to actually be a solid unit at both ends of the floor.

No team rebounds better in the MWC than the Broncos, and that's an area where they should have an advantage against the undersized Rams in this matchup. Yet, when looking at the first meeting, the rebound total came in at just 33-32 in favor of Boise State.

The game would not have been close if Boise hadn't made 13-of-24 from beyond the arc, and while guarding the perimeter can be a weakness of the Rams, you wouldn't expect a team that shoots 35% from 3 to repeat that kind of performance from the outside.

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Colorado State Rams

You can't discuss Boise State's close game luck without also discussing the Rams' close game luck this season. CSU is 7-1 in close games this year, the only loss coming in overtime against Wyoming earlier this year.

It makes more sense that Colorado State would be an above-average team in close games given how little it turns the ball over and how well it shoots free throws. It's also an experienced group of players, but 7-1 is still beyond the realm of normal close game success.

The Rams have overperformed their expected record in the league by two games, so not quite as extreme as the Broncos — but they're still a touch overrated. The vulnerable favorites in the MWC and overall league parity should make for a fascinating conference tournament next week in Las Vegas.

But as for this matchup, I think Boise presents some matchup advantages for the Rams.

First, Colorado State can go five out at any time and make it very uncomfortable for Boise State big man Mladen Armus to guard the perimeter. Second, Boise plays quite slow, and the Rams defense is considerably better in the half-court than in transition.

The Rams are first offensively in the half-court in the conference, per ShotQuality, while they're also third defensively.

They're just ninth out of 11 MWC teams at protecting the rim in the league, but Boise is going to do most of its scoring from the perimeter with its guards.

Boise State vs. Colorado State Betting Pick

Boise State just won its first-ever solo Mountain West title and the first title since 2015 at home on Tuesday night. It's more likely to be focused on gearing up for the conference tournament than this difficult road trip to elevation in Fort Collins.

While Boise State may want revenge from its road loss, the spot here certainly favors Colorado State in its home finale to cap off what has been an excellent season. It will also likely be the final home game for many of its veterans.

From a matchup perspective, Colorado State's biggest vulnerability of defensive transition is unlikely to get exploited here, with Boise preferring to play in the half-court at both ends of the floor.

The Rams have lost only once all year in Moby Arena, and it was after Bryce Hamilton dropped 45 points for UNLV.

If this game is close late, both teams have been incredible in close games, but it's Boise State that ranks 350th from the line, compared to a Rams offense that is the 11th-best from the charity stripe.

These two teams are quite similar in terms of overall team strength, but the home court and spot both favor the Rams to win and cover.

I wouldn't lay more than three points in what should be a competitive game.

Pick: Colorado State -3 or better

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