Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:40 PM EST.
10:00 PM EST. Controversy is once again swirling around Fort Collins, as Rams head coach Larry Eustachy is once again at the center of an internal investigation into his conduct towards players and other staff members. This is the second time since 2013 that Eustachy's behavior has been brought under the microscope at CSU. Also, don't forget that Eustachy took a near $1-million buyout from Iowa State in 2003 after being suspended under similar circumstances. With all of this negativity surrounding the program, it might be easy to write off the Rams the rest of the way, but on Saturday in their first game without Eustachy, the team dropped their sixth straight but played well and covered as a double-digit dog at home to first-place Nevada.
Air Force is quite literally one of the worst shooting teams in the nation ranking 344th in field goal percentage at just 39%. Asking a team as bad as the Falcons to spot points against anyone is a dangerous proposition. There is a reason oddsmakers have only made them the betting favorite just once in 2018, and while they covered a point on the road, that victory came at San Jose State, which is the worst team in the Mountain West. For reference, nearly three weeks later, the Spartans are still winless in conference play.
Word out of Fort Collins is that not much has changed, as Eustachy's right-hand man, Steve Barnes has taken over. CSU's players are getting the same message they were a week ago. Junior guard Prentiss Nixon said, "They coach basically the same". Do not fall victim to the talking heads and use the Colorado State coaching situation as a factor in your handicapping. It's flawed logic, and the negativity surrounding the program only deflates its value. Players love it when it's them against the world, and the Rams have responded in their two games since the news of this latest investigation broke. Also working against the Rams is a recent 76-71 loss to Air Force at home in Colorado, but that result only lowers the Rams' stock further. For a mid-major, CSU has played a tough non-conference schedule, which ranks 105th in the nation while Air Force struggled at the cupcake buffet going 6-6 against the 287th most difficult schedule. While just one game separates these two teams in the Mountain West standings, the gap in talent is far greater, and it's not in the Falcons favor. Rams outright is the wager.
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#563 Colorado State +132 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.64)