The college football bowl season is upon us. With 39 games spread out over the next two and a half weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline. Find all our picks here. All lines are as of the date of publication.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Colorado State (7-5) vs. Marshall (7-5)
Spread: Colorado State -5.5
Spread: The Rams offense has been fairly prolific this season, averaging 33.8 points and over 500 yards per game. They’re led by the tandem of QB Nick Stevens (63.6% 3,484 yards 27 TD 10 INT) and RB Dalyn Dawkins (216 carries 1,349 yards 8 TD). There’s a good balance to the offense as the Rams average 290 yards through the air on nearly 34 attempts per game and 211 yards on the ground on 40 carries. As good as the offense has been, the defense hasn’t exactly held up its end of the bargain. The Rams have given up 27.5 points and 427.8 yards per game this season and, of their seven wins, only one came against a team that is bowl eligible (Utah State).
On the Marshall side, the Thundering Herd haven’t been nearly as prolific offensively (26.3 PPG), but the defense has been stingy (19.2 PPG). On offense, the triggerman is junior QB Chase Litton (60.6% 2,853 yards 23 TD 12 INT) and he’ll have the benefit of getting top receiver Tyre Brady (56 receptions 777 yards 7 TD) back after he missed the previous two games for undisclosed reasons. The running game, led by the combination of Keion Davis and Tyler King, hasn’t been particularly dominant this year (132.3 YPG 3.8 YPC), but they should be able to find success against a Rams defense that has allowed over 184 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry on the season.
From an ATS trend perspective, Marshall has covered the spread in eight of it’s 12 games this season, while Colorado State has covered just four times. All four of those covers came in their first six games. The Rams have been favored by 5.5 or more seven times this season and have covered just twice (Hawaii, Utah State). The Herd have the better track record ATS this season, so we’ll roll with them and their defense. Marshall +5.5
Total: The Rams offense is explosive enough to make this total possible, but the Thundering Herd’s defense has been very good this season and only one of their games this year hit a total higher than the 58 that has been set for this game. In a contest like this, where the Herd allow just 125 yards on the ground per game, the under seems like the more likely proposition. Under 58