The Colorado State Rams rallied to qualify for a bowl game this season with a 3-1 run to close out the season, including a 58-13 pasting of Air Force in their season finale as 17-point favorites at home.
They earned a spot in the first bowl game of the year, the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, where they opened as 3.5-point underdogs to the Washington State Cougars on the New Mexico Bowl odds menu.
The Rams (Mountain West, 7-6 SU, 9-4 ATS, 9-3-1 OU) are 3-1 against the spread in their last four contests and have been able to strike an even balance on offense with a passing game that is averaging 258.5 yards complementing a ground game that is churning out an average of 202.7 rushing yards, which is ranked 31st in the nation. The net result has been a unit that is putting up 35.3 points a game. The problem for the Rams this season has been an unreliable defensive effort that is allowing 28.6 points a game to their opponents.
Washington State (Pac-12, 6-6 SU, 9-3 ATS, 6-5-1 OU) lost to Auburn by just seven points in its season opener as a 14-point road underdog and then stunned USC 10-7 as a 16-point underdog on the road the following week. But the Cougars never really capitalized on this early success as the season wore on. The Cougars went just 3-5 SU in their last eight games while getting blown out by a margin of 26.8 points in those five conference losses. The one bright spot for bettors was a 5-2 record ATS in their final seven games.
The Cougars have lived and died with the pass all season long. Quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 4,187 yards and 28 touchdowns.
This was part of an overall offensive game plan that averaged 364.5 passing yards and 29.8 points a game while piling up a measly 58.7 yards a game on the ground. Defensively, they have been torched for an average of 31.3 points a game this season, but stepped up their play in the last three games by holding teams to a combined 81 points.
Past 5 New Mexico Bowls went OVER total
Washington State on a 10-2 ATS run dating back to last season
Colorado State is 9-3 ATS past 12 games
First WSU bowl game since 2003
Computer Prediction: 35-28 Rams
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