Colorado State vs. Colorado College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions
Pictured: Isaiah Stevens #4 of the Colorado State Rams. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
- Colorado State and Colorado go head-to-head in rivalry action on Thursday night.
- These teams appear to be even on paper, but our betting expert has found an edge on one side.
- Anthony Dabbundo details that and previews the game below.
Colorado State vs. Colorado Odds
Colorado State and Colorado will renew their in-state rivalry on Thursday night as the Rams visit Boulder to take on Tad Boyle and the Buffaloes. It's a rebuilding year for the Rams after the program reached the AP Top 25 and earned a six seed in the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Niko Medved's squad was up and down in nonconference play and is fresh off a home loss to Northern Colorado.
Colorado also struggled in nonconference play with losses to Grambling State and UMass. Those struggles carried into conference play last week with losses to both Arizona State and Washington.
This could be spun as a potential bounce back spot for both programs after bad performances in the last week. But in a matchup between two teams I view as fairly even, I'm looking to play the underdog catching multiple possessions. Given the Buffaloes mediocre ball pressure and perimeter defense, they should struggle to contain Medved's motion offense.
The Rams may have lost star David Roddy to the NBA and point guard Isaiah Stevens to injury, but that hasn't stopped them from being extremely efficient at protecting the ball and shooting from the perimeter.
Medved, during his time in Fort Collins, has established an offensive identity that centers around excellent ball movement and generating open looks off of ball screens for open jump shooters. The Rams don't rely heavily on an interior scorer and like to space the floor with four to five jump shooters at all times. They are very difficult to guard if the opponent doesn't have the wing length or backcourt ball pressure to take them out of what they want to do.
Teams with the length and ball pressure of San Diego State have given the Rams fits, but Colorado doesn't really have that defensive acumen. And with Stevens working back in from his injury, the Rams' offensive efficiency has jumped considerably in the past two games.
The opponents weren't particularly good, but the Rams did score at least 87 points in each of their past three games. The past two featured Stevens for the first time this season as he recovers from his injury. He's extremely quick off the dribble and forces the defense to collapse on him, creating space for shooters.
The Rams ball movement and passing ability won't really be challenged by the Buffaloes defense on Wednesday night.
Colorado's offense doesn't have much shot making from the perimeter and relies on getting second and third chances. The Buffaloes have a size advantage on the interior, but the Rams are very committed to the defensive glass and should be able to limit Colorado's second chance looks.
The Buffaloes love to go inside and rank seventh in near proximity attempt rate, per Haslametrics. They should be able to find success there given how little rim protection the Rams have.
Coming into the season, Tristan da Silva was supposed to be the player who carried the Buffaloes offense through rough spells. He's been a decent player, but hasn't been particularly efficient. His offensive rating, per KenPom, sits at 100.9 and his player rating, per Bart Torvik, is the third highest on his own team.
Boyle has gone really deep into the bench to try to find consistent scoring, but the Buffaloes just don't have very many shot makers.
Colorado State vs. Colorado Betting Pick
The return of Stevens should massively help the Rams offense. Colorado State was one of the best shooting and ball protection offenses last year and is looking similar this year. Colorado has the length to get its points from the inside, but won't get enough offensive rebounds or second chances to pull away from the Rams on Wednesday night.
The Buffaloes also don't apply enough ball pressure or guard the perimeter well enough to take Medved's offense out of its motion and ball screen rhythm. If the Rams space the floor and force the Colorado bigs to guard the perimeter, I think that's an advantage for the Rams.
Given that these two teams are evenly matched, I'll take Colorado State at +4 or better.
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