- Colorado State is a 14.5-point underdog against Boise State on Thursday night (8:00 p.m. EST, FS1)
- Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin hasn’t announced which of his quarterbacks will start against a stout Rams’ defensive front
- Read below for full odds, complete analysis and a pick on the game
Right off the top, choosing the right side of Thursday night’s matchup between Colorado State and Boise State is a sneaky difficult call.
Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin has made it a policy not to get too detailed when discussing his players’ injuries or availability, and that is particularly problematic this week. Boise State could potentially have one of three quarterbacks start the game against the Rams and there is still no clear indication who is the most likely candidate is – or even who is healthy enough to play.
Bettors looking to play this game will have to rely on what they know of the overall productivity of Boise State’s offense before choosing to lay the 14-points-or-more listed on most sportsbooks. The point total seems a bit high in this one at 62.5, but Boise State has hit the over in all three games it has played this season.
Colorado State vs. Boise State Week 11 Odds
|Colorado State||+14.5 (-114)||+440||O 62.5 (-105)|
|Boise State||-14.5||-650||U 62.5 (-115)|
Odds taken from FanDuel on Nov. 11
Calling All QB’s
Boise State’s presumptive starter, sophomore Hank Bachmeier, is suspected to have missed the last two games due to COVID protocols. In his stead, Jack Sears played very well in a win against Air Force before being knocked out early in last week’s loss to BYU with a suspected concussion.
True freshman Cade Fennegan played most of the game against the Cougars, and had the sort of game expected from a player in his first action against a top-ten team. Harsin said this week that he is ‘hopeful’ all of his quarterbacks will be available this week, but guaranteed nothing.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Colorado State pulled the plug on quarterback Todd Centeio before the end of its season-opener against Fresno State, and since then, the Rams offense has been led by Patrick O’Brien. The redshirt senior has completed 69-percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions in just over a game’s worth of work.
O’Brien should feed plenty of passes to tight end Trey McBride, who leads the team in receiving yards with 220, and is matched up against a Broncos defense that hasn’t defended the position particularly well this season.
Battle in the Trenches
If Colorado State is going to keep this one close, it is going to need a big lift from its defensive front seven. In a limited sample size, the Rams have been pretty consistent in stopping the run on early downs and creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks on passing downs.
Although the Rams offensive line has done well in pass protection, it hasn’t been as effective getting a push in the ground game. Boise’s porous defensive line could be the remedy for that this week, as it ranks among the worst in college football at stopping the run.
The Broncos have also struggled to consistently generate pressure with their pass rush, and Colorado State has nearly twice as many sacks on defense than Boise in one fewer game.
Truthfully, the most responsible thing to do with this game might be to stay off of this one altogether. If Bachmeier or Sears gets the start for Boise State, the Broncos should have enough ammo to pull away from the Rams, but if Fennegan gets the nod again, a scenario where Colorado State keeps things surprisingly close is conceivable.
After an embarrassing loss last week to BYU, Boise should be motivated to get things turned around at home. Even though it’s early in the season, Boise could be shaping up to be one of those teams that rolls against the teams it should beat and struggles for margin against more evenly-matched opponents. The question is whether or not Colorado State can raise its game with O’Brien at quarterback and if he can sustain the early success that he’s had.
The Pick: First half under 31.5 points (-120)
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