Colorado State Rams (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. New Mexico Lobos (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Friday October 20th, 2017. 10:15PM (EST)
Where: Dreamstyle Stadium Albuquerque, N.M
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CSU -7.5/UNM +7.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
Week 8 of the College Football season returns with a Friday night showdown in the Mountain West Conference between the Colorado State Rams and the New Mexico Lobos inside Dreamstyle Stadium on ESPN. The Lobos are coming off a disappointing loss last week against Fresno State as they were shut out for the first time since 2012 in a 38-0 loss. Meanwhile the Rams won their 3rd straight surviving a 44-42 shootout with Nevada. The win kept Colorado State unbeaten in conference play as they look to keep pace with Boise State in the division. This week the Rams put their 3 game winning streak on the line as they travel into Albuquerque as 7.5 point favorites over the Lobos.
Last weeks win over Nevada was impressive especially considering the Rams trailed late in the contest. However, Nevada shed light on Colorado States defensive woes by racking up 508 yards of passing. If the numbers sound bad, viewing the game was even worse. The Rams gave up big plays on defense and could not get off the field. The good news for Colorado States defense is that Nevada posed as one of the best passing offenses in the Mountain West and they survived the test. Perhaps the even better news is this weekends opponent in New Mexico ranks 113th in the FBS averaging just 168 yards per game through the air. Therefore, the Rams defensive concerns should be aided by a New Mexico offense that has been experimenting with a carousel of quarterbacks that have yet to prove any type of consistency.
The Lobos have experimented with 3 different quarterbacks this season between Lamar Jordan, Tevaka Tuiioti, and Coltin Gerhart. Collectively, the Lobos quarterbacks have completed just 54% with 6 scores and 5 picks on the season. There have not been many bright spots from any of the quarterbacks to say the least or from any of the offense for that matter. However, do not write off the Lobos chances this Friday. This New Mexico team under Bob Davie is just 1 year removed from a 9-4 season and they have been competitive in nearly every game aside from last weeks shutout to Fresno State. As underdogs, New Mexico is a perfect 3-0 ATS this year and won 2 of those games outright including their upset against Tulsa.
Despite the offensive concerns, this Lobos defense is very solid and physical which they will need to be this week against a rather explosive Colorado State team. Last week the Rams had everything clicking on offense when they found their selves in a situation where they needed points. Running back Dalyn Dawkins carried the ball 17 times and exploded for 191 yards with a touchdown. Meanwhile WR Michael Gallup had a career day with 13 catches for 263 yards with 3 touchdowns. The 263 reception yards was just 2 yards shy of a school record for the Rams.
Therefore, this Lobos defense is going to be tested. Dawkins is having an excellent season on the ground averaging 6.5 yards per touch. Meanwhile quarterback Nick Stevens is one of the better passers in the entire conference. Gallup received most of the credit last week but Stevens should not be overlooked. Stevens has put up solid numbers all season with 2,255 yards with 18 scores and 6 interceptions. The main concern I have for New Mexicos defense is can they be disruptive along the defensive front? Stevens is going to hit passes down the field and I am not sure if anyone can guard Gallup who is just 52 yards shy of reaching the 1,000 yard plateau already this year. Therefore, if New Mexico fails to get pressure up front, it will be a long day for the Lobos.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have been a fan of this Colorado State team for a while and I picked them to cover against Alabama several weeks ago which turned out to be correct. I think this is a matchup that they will win convincingly this week. The defensive concerns are going to eventually cost this team but it will not be this week. Take Colorado State -7.5. Move the line on this game up to 20 points by inserting it into a 20 point football teaser at the web’s best sportsbook: 5dimes!