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Oregon State


Colorado State

College Football Pick


The college football season kicks off with an MWC/Pac-12 battle between Colorado State and Oregon State. While this game is in Colorado, the game time is 2:30 p.m. ET, which makes this a bit early for teams on the west side of the country. The Rams opened as slight -3.5 point favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

In Colorado State’s only game against a Pac-12 school last year (Colorado), it was demolished 44-7. That game smacked the Rams firmly in the mouth and they woke up after that to eventually make it to the Potato Bowl. As for the Beavers, they hosted Boise State and lost handily 38-24. CSU lost 28-23 at Boise, while OSU lost 47-6 at Colorado. Both teams played Minnesota and those scores were also similar with the Beavers losing 30-23 and the Rams losing 31-24.

The difference between these teams in 2017 is that Colorado State returns its starting quarterback in senior Nick Stevens (1,936 yards, 19 TDs). After a rough start to the year, Stevens returned as starter halfway through and led to some high-scoring games for the Rams, including 63 points at San Diego State. Also returning to the offense are top running backs Dalyn Dawkins (919 yards) and Izzy Matthews (734 yards), as well as top receivers Michael Gallup (1,272 yards, 14 TDs) and Olabisi Johnson (613 yards). The one question the Rams have is on the offensive line where only two starters are back.

Oregon State improved defensively last year, but still has plenty of work to do in Gary Andersen’s third season as head coach. They allowed 218 rushing yards per game and if that’s an issue again, Colorado State will probably run all over them. If not, Stevens could still carve through a secondary that lost a couple of its most important pieces.

The Beavers will allow points which means they’ll have to find ways to score. Junior college transfer Jake Luton won the starting quarterback job, so there are plenty of questions circling the passing game that had just 13 TDs and 11 INTs last season. There are pieces around Luton, but their offensive line also needs work with the only two returning starters being sophomores. Ryan Nall (951 yards, 13 TDs) is expected to see a heavy dosage out of the backfield, while Luton will try and get the ball to Jordan Villamin and Seth Collins, both of whom are more capable than the numbers they produced last year.

Colorado State is coming off a bowl loss in which it allowed 61 points so there’s no telling how this group will look even with seven starters back. Oregon State had some impressive games last year, but didn’t win any on the road. For the Rams, this is the opening of their new on-campus stadium, so the hype will be heavy. Because of that, Colorado State is probably the easier team to back, throwing in the stadium to go with a senior quarterback under center.

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Our model, using last years data, predicts a game with plenty of points and a final score of 34-34. If the game plays out out as our model sees it, we'd prefer to be taking points with underdog Oregon State who will be looking to start things off  in a winning way after a 4 win season in 2016. Oregon State +4

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