Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:00 PM EST.
FRESNO ST +105 over Colorado St
Bulldog Stadium – Fresno, CA
Streaming subscribers: On CBS Sports Network in the Sports Group
10:00 PM EST. There is a big overreaction to Fresno State losing 34-19 at home last week when it hosted the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors despite closing as a -2½-point favorite. In the aforementioned spot, “The Valley” saw itself open as high as a six-point choice but was very quickly bet down by the efficient market. Though we never advocate playing a team at a bad number, the market that opted in on the Alohas were nonetheless rewarded despite the value already being extracted and the potential disadvantages that accompany it. The market’s response this week, mirror’s last week’s “Fade Fresno” attack but we are not sold that Colorado State is the best weapon of choice.
Hawaii has a lot of market appeal. The Rainbow Warriors won 10 games in 2019 and they even managed to edge out the incumbent power of the West Division, San Diego State, to represent at the annual conference championship. The Alohas would then lose to Boise State but the market will forgive that because that is what is known as a “good loss”. Losing to the Broncos as a mid-major team is considered an honor. The Warriors would close out their 2019 campaign with a win in the Hawaii Bowl against BYU, who have emerged this year as a college power. The loss to Hawaii was Fresno’s only game this year. There was much anticipation by the players and coaches on Fresno to finally kick their season off so it’s unfair to judge them on one result. Furthermore, the Bulldogs lost the turnover battle 4-1 otherwise the score would have been much, much different. Fresno was stuck just one score going to the fourth quarter. The point is the loss to Hawaii last week is not a bad one. The market is viewing it as such.
Colorado State is a team that finished 4-8 in 2019, which leads us to query whether this team should be spotting points to anyone, let alone on the road. However, CSU has been profitable in this series as of late. The Rams have won the last three meetings, they are 6-1 straight-up overall in the last seven contests and they have gone 5-2 against the spread in these previous seven matches. Bettors are always looking for some type of edge. Something that will tip the scales in the favor to one side or the other. When you consider that the Rams have yet to play a game this season, these completely useless trends will influence the market. If you bet the Rams based on those meaningless trends, you may win but it won’t be because what happened 3, 4, 5, 6 or seven years ago or 15 years ago for that matter. It’s absurd. Finally, the market is placing a lot of faith in Colorado State’s hiring of new coach Steve Addazio, who indeed brings some credentials. Addazio has tallied 57 wins over his nine-year coaching career which included stints at Temple (2011-12) and Boston College (2013-19) where he became the first coach in BC history to lead the program to six bowls in the first seven seasons as a head coach, and the first bowl winning head coach at Temple in over 30 years in his first season as head coach.
We’ll apply some criteria that is much more tangible. Colorado State’s scheduled game last week against New Mexico was cancelled. Like Fresno last week, this will be CSU’s first game of the year and it’s also their first game under a new regime. This season has seen plenty of team’s struggle in their opener, as the lack of a normal offseason and typical practices has shown up in games. Combine Fresnso’s 15-point loss last week to Hawaii with CSU’s success in this series and now add in CSU’s hiring of Steve Addazio and the result is that the Rams are overpriced on the road.
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FRESNO ST +2½ +102 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.04)