Colorado State vs. San Diego State Odds & Picks for Saturday: How to Bet this College Basketball Duel

Colorado State vs. San Diego State Odds & Picks for Saturday: How to Bet this College Basketball Duel article feature image
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AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: David Roddy.

  • Colorado State is one of three undefeated teams in college basketball.
  • The Rams will take on the San Diego State Aztecs on the road but continue to be undervalued in the market.
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this clash and offers up his top selection.

Colorado State vs. San Diego State Odds

Saturday, Jan. 8
4 p.m. ET
CBS
Colorado State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-120
135
-105o / -115u
+115
San Diego State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
+100
135
-105o / -115u
-135
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The preseason favorites in the Mountain West weren’t originally supposed to play this Saturday. Both schools actually looked for a non-conference replacement game after COVID-19 canceled Colorado State’s game at Boise State and San Diego State’s home game with Nevada.

The Rams are one of three unbeaten teams in all of college basketball, along with USC and Baylor. They’ve beaten Creighton, Mississippi State and Saint Mary’s and are now the betting favorites to win the Mountain West.

San Diego State has struggled offensively, but it doesn’t have a bad loss on its resume (three top-30 losses) and has a chance to win its fifth consecutive game.

The Rams and Aztecs are a classic match of contrasting styles, as the Rams’ elite offense and jump shooting battles with the offensively-challenged but defensively-elite Aztecs.

San Diego State will have Trey Pulliam back in the lineup for this game after he returned to practice, but the market’s lack of respect for Colorado State has continued here on Saturday.


Colorado State Rams

Colorado State survived a bit of a scare off of its COVID-19 pause against Air Force on Tuesday night in Fort Collins. It’s true that Air Force was down multiple starters in the game, but the Rams also hadn’t played a game in more than three full weeks.

They won by eight in the end, but the game was within one in the final 10 minutes.

Nearly the whole team came down with COVID, and it’s no surprise that the Rams had rust, shot poorly and looked a bit off defensively. That is especially true considering how well the Falcons shot from deep (10-of-21).

Colorado State has one of the best offenses in the entire country, ranking second in effective field goal percentage, second in 3-point percentage and 17th in offensive efficiency.

The Rams are versatile and can shoot from every position on the court at an above-average or elite rate. That makes it very difficult for anyone to guard them, even a team as elite defensively as SDSU.

The Rams have a ton of returning production, and it’s made them a very efficient offense that’s taken an expected step forward in shooting ability.

There could be some shooting regression coming for them at some point, but the Rams have already come down from the absurd 45% unsustainable clip they shot early in the season.

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San Diego State Aztecs

San Diego State earned an impressive road win at UNLV over the last weekend, but the Aztecs are far from impressing on the offensive side of the ball.

The losses of Terrell Gomez, Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell have taken away the Aztecs’ three top scorers, and the expected replacement Matt Bradley has failed to find consistent and efficient offense for them.

The offense ranks 231st in offensive adjusted ShotQuality, down from 63rd last season. The KenPom offensive rank still has the Aztecs at 137th, but SDSU is outside the top 200 in Bart Torvik and ShotQuality.

This matchup in particular isn’t an encouraging one for the offense because the one thing SDSU does well is get to the foul line, and the Rams’ defense is excellent at defending without fouling.

CSU’s interior defense can be exploited, but San Diego State has no consistent interior scorer outside of slashing forward Keshad Johnson.

He’s played a lot more minutes in the last three games for the Aztecs and helped a bit offensively, but it’s a major question as to whether he can sustain this performance given his middling history within the program and struggles to shoot the ball at all.


Colorado State vs. San Diego State Betting Pick

The Rams split their two games in Viejas Arena last season, and this SDSU team still has serious issues scoring the ball consistently. The Rams’ COVID-19 pause appears priced into the market, and I’m not sure I agree with it lingering beyond the one game.

Colorado State has the ability to shoot from everywhere on the court, and if the Rams shoot to their ability this season, it’s hard to see how the Aztecs make up for that given their offense relies so much on low-quality mid-range shots from bad shooters, and lots of isolation.

The lack of individual talent to score is glaring, and they won’t really have much of a rebound edge against a Rams defense that rebounds bigger than their size.

SDSU can try to slow this game down, but the Rams’ half-court execution is still among the best in the country on offense. Maybe Colorado State has a bad shooting game, but it is the better team.

In what looks like a toss-up game on paper, I’ll take anything more than two points, even on the road.

Pick: Colorado State +2 or better

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