College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Colorado State vs. Wyoming (Monday, January 31)
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Stevens.
- Colorado State and Wyoming clash in what should be a high-scoring Mountain West game on Monday.
- The Rams are fresh off their second conference loss of the season but can move right into second with a win over the Cowboys.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Colorado State vs. Wyoming Odds
|Colorado State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After a thrilling Friday night in Mountain West that saw Wyoming outlast Air Force, Boise State stun Fresno State in a late comeback and Colorado State lose at home by double digits, the league returns with another excellent matchup on Monday night as Colorado State visits Wyoming.
Wyoming and Colorado State have fallen off the pace set by Boise State at the top of the Mountain West in the last week after the Cowboys lost by three at Boise State and the Rams were stunned at home by UNLV on Friday night. The Cowboys sit second at 5-1 thanks to excellent jump shooting in league play, while the Rams dropped to 6-2 but have benefitted from a soft league schedule thus far.
Both teams have their issues defensively, but Monday night’s game is without a doubt a matchup of the league’s two best offenses and two of the best mid-major offenses in the entire country.
Both love to shoot 3s and make them at a pretty high rate, while Wyoming runs its offense through star big man Graham Ike and the Rams run theirs through point guard Isaiah Stevens and do-it-all forward David Roddy. There is sure to be drama when these two teams meet in Laramie on Monday, so let’s dive into the matchup.
Some cracks have begun to appear for Colorado State as conference play has begun, even though the 6-2 record remains impressive. The 3-point shooting regression has come — the Rams weren’t going to shoot 43% from deep all year — but the interior defensive issues have been exposed more this year than they were at any point last year.
The transition defense is also bottom 50 in the country per ShotQuality and that’s a major red flag against teams who can push tempo or turn them over. That was a problem against San Diego State in that 30-point defeat, but I don’t see that as an issue in this matchup with the Cowboys.
Neither offense is good at offensive rebounding in this game, and neither defense allows a ton of second-chance opportunities because both prefer to play in the halfcourt offense. Colorado State defends both the mid-range and the 3-point line at an above-average clip per SQ, but it struggles with post-ups and finishing at the rim.
The Rams badly lack size, and that means a matchup with Ike a bit of an issue. They are just 250th in near proximity field goal rate allowed, per Haslametrics. But if you can get past that matchup with Ike on the interior, the Rams have decided advantages on the perimeter.
Wyoming’s defense is sitting at 126th in adjusted KenPom efficiency, but there are reasons to be skeptical of those numbers and some regression indicators that offer concerns for the Cowboys defense.
First, Wyoming does very little to take an opposing offense out of rhythm or prevent great looks. The Cowboys are bottom 50 in block rate, turnovers forced and steals. That means CSU should be able to run its motion four or even five out offense with comfort and not worry about Wyoming applying ball pressure to take them out of their sets.
The Cowboys are also in the bottom 50 at defending ball screens, which is something Colorado State does with tremendous frequency and efficiency. Despite having Ike in the middle, they don’t dominate the paint defensively either. Teams have good success attacking the rim against them, and Stevens is sure to find success off the dribble creating in this game.
That brings us to Wyoming’s 3-point defense. The Cowboys rank 69th in guarding 3s this season per ShotQuality, but no one has made anything from deep against them at all. Teams are shooting 29% from 3 against Wyoming this year, and that’s unsustainable.
Colorado State vs. Wyoming Betting Pick
As impressive as Wyoming’s halfcourt offense is, there’s major regression coming in the halfcourt defense for the Cowboys, especially from beyond the 3-point line. An elite jump-shooting team like Colorado State is poised to exploit an overrated perimeter defense.
The spot is great for Colorado State after an embarrassing home loss to UNLV by double digits three days ago. Wyoming doesn’t have a guard who can dominate and take over a game off the dribble like Bryce Hamilton, as much as I like Hunter Maldonado as a player for Wyoming.
The Rams have major flaws defensively in transition, but Wyoming is not a team that will turn them over or exploit that. If this becomes a halfcourt game, which I suspect it will, Colorado State is the considerably better team in terms of shooting talent and athleticism.
I wouldn’t lay any points here on the road in a pretty difficult gym to play in, but if the moneyline is -120 or cheaper, I’d play the Rams to bounce back from the defeat to UNLV and grab second in the conference with a win.
Pick: Colorado State -110 | Play to -120
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