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August 26, 2017

There is one pick today.

Take Colorado State -4 spread against Oregon State for 3% of the bankroll.

The Colorado State Rams have steadily improved over the last couple of seasons and this year they are expected to be the team to beat in the MWC. The Rams were a high scoring, offensive powerhouse a season ago, averaging over 35 points per game, and they return a bulk of their offensive players at the skill positions this season. Even though he didn't play a full season, Rams QB Nick Stevens was impressive during the final games of the year, throwing for over 1900 yard and had an impressive 19:5 TD to INT ratio. Colorado State also returns their running backs who all made strong contributions on the ground. They were led by Dalyn Dawkins who tallied 919 rushing yards and they also feature Izzy Matthews who was able to notch 734 yards. With another year under their belts, we expect this offense to be just as good, if not better this season.

Their opponents, the Oregon State Beavers are coming off a disappointing 4-8 season a year ago, where they did not win a single road game. While we do expect to see some improvements this season, we don't believe it will come in the early part of the season as there have been a lot of pieces moving around on both the offensive and defensive side of the football. Running Back Ryan Nall is the star of this team and will be leaned on heavily in the early going. That is because the Beavers will be breaking in a new QB in Jake Luton. Luton was a three-star recruit who is also a JUCO transfer. He has very limited experience at the FBS level with his only action coming with the Idaho Vandals in 2015 where he threw for 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Luton is an unproven and if the Rams game plan is to shut down Nall, it will put an extreme amount of pressure on the inexperienced Luton to carry the offense and we just don't see that happening, especially on the road.

The Beavers defense also wasn't anything special a year ago and they lost some key pieces this season. Where they have been the most vulnerable was against the run and that could come back to hurt them in this contest. The Rams are simply too balanced on offense and we believe the Beavers are going to have a difficult time slowing their high-powered offense down for a full 4 quarters. Meanwhile, Colorado State's defense had a fair amount of success a season ago and they should be able to replicate and even exceed last season’s defensive success as they gain more experience. The Rams did lose their leading tackler from last season, Kevin Davis, however they do feature senior Deonte Clyburn who is ready to step in after missing last season due to injury.

The first game of the year is always an important one for a team, however we believe this game is much more important for Colorado State than their opponents. The Rams had a great season a year ago, however they faltered in their Bowl Game against the Nevada Wolfpack. The Rams will likely be looking to forget that performance and with such high expectations this season, need to come out in this contest and make a statement. Colorado State also built a new stadium for their football team, so this will be the first game played in their new stadium. That is an important event and you can believe that they do not want to lose their first game in a new stadium, especially to a team that failed to win a single road game just a season ago.

This is the chance for the Rams to make a statement. A season ago, they opened up the year against another Pac-12 team in the Colorado Buffalos and were thoroughly handled in an embarrassing effort. That was the game that kickstarted the Rams and forced them to play better. This matchup is their opportunity to atone for that performance and show that they have the ability to not only hang with, but also defeat a team from one of the Power Conferences. There are a lot of question marks with this being the first game of the season, however, the Rams appear to be the better overall team and have the advantage of playing in their new stadium in front of their home fans. We expect the Rams to win this matchup fairly easily, however, even if it does turn out to be a closely contested game, the Rams will find a way to score late and come away with the win and cover.

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