(Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports)
#24 Colorado @ Colorado State
8:00 p.m. ET CBSSN
(Odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Opening Spread: Colorado State +4
Current Spread: Colorado State +6
Projected Spread: Colorado State +8.5
Friday night’s college hoops slate is not the most enticing, but one matchup does provide value from a betting standpoint. Tad Boyle’s #24 ranked Colorado Buffaloes make the 65-mile trip up North to Fort Collins for the Rocky Mountain Showdown against in-state rival Colorado State.
While the Buffs are currently sitting inside the AP top 25, they have lost two straight after starting 7-0 and will most likely fall out of the top 25 come Monday. Their last two contests, losses to Kansas (away) and Northern Iowa (home), are teams who figure to be comfortably in the field of 64 come selection Sunday. Friday’s matchup with in-state rival Colorado State presents an opportunity for the Buffs to pick up a resume-boosting road win.
Colorado State’s frontcourt of Nico Carvacho and Adam Thistlewood will have one of their toughest’s tests of the season against the Buffaloes frontcourt of Evan Battey, Tyler Bey, Lucas Siewert, and Dallas Walton. Carvacho has done much of the heavy lifting offensively for the Rams, as he is the most used player on their roster (29% of possessions when on the court).
When the Rams traveled to Durham to face Duke on November 8th, Carvacho scored 11 points and added 9 rebounds against Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. Colorado big man Evan Battey presents a similar matchup from a physicality standpoint, as there is not many big men who play with the aggressiveness Battey employs. Tyler Bey is another tough matchup for Rams forward Adam Thistlewood, as Bey can guard Thistlewood out to the perimeter and has a slight advantage when it comes to pure athleticism.
While both frontcourts can neutralize each other, this game will be won by the guards. McKinley Wright should feast against Ram’s point guard Hyron Edwards on both ends of the floor. The Buffaloes have an advantage in both offensive and defensive efficiency according to KenPom (76th offense, 28th defense). Conversely, the Rams rank 118th in offensive efficiency and 189th on the defensive end.
The Rams have the momentum coming into tonight’s contest following their come from behind win over South Dakota State on Tuesday night, but rivalry games hit different. While the Buffs may seem to be reeling, this presents a perfect spot where the market is slightly undervaluing them.
I projected the Buffs as an 8.5 point favorite and played them as soon as it opened at -4. While value has been lost from the opening number, we have seen some buyback on Colorado State from +7 to +6. I still see value in the current number and would play the Buffs up to -8.5 (which they will not get to before tip).
The Pick: Colorado -6 (up to -8.5)