San Jose State Spartans vs. Colorado State Rams Picks and Game Preview -- 10/09/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 3:30 p.m., October 9, 2021
Venue: Canvas Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
Where to watch: FS1

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Colorado State -3
BetMGM: Colorado State -2.5
Caesars: Colorado State -2.5

Season record
San Jose State: 3-2 (1-0 Mountain West)
Colorado State: 1-3

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San Jose State - Colorado State preview and analysis


Recent form
San Jose State: won 37-31 vs. New Mexico State on Oct. 2
Colorado State: lost 24-14 at No. 3 Iowa on Sept. 25

It has not been the start to the season the San Jose State Spartans were hoping for.

The defending Mountain West Conference champions have alternated wins and losses through five games and are an underwhelming 3-2 entering their second conference game on Saturday. The Spartans will play their fourth road game in five weeks Saturday against the Colorado State Rams.

The home team is 0-4 against the spread since the two became Mountain West partners. Colorado State has won the last three meetings outright, including the last meeting in 2018 when the Rams led 28-0 at halftime. San Jose State scored 30 unanswered points in he third quarter, but Colorado State rallied with two scores in the fourth quarter to pull out the win and the cover.

Much has changed since that time. The Spartans have gone from a cellar-dwellar in the Mountain West to the top club led by quarterback Nick Starkel, but it's been a major dropoff for Starkel completing just over 50 percent of his passes this season. He's two interceptions away from tying his mark from last season already.

Starkel was out last week, but Nick Nash filled in with 193 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans' six-point win against the New Mexico State Aggies. In case you were wondering, the spread was 25.5. Not a fun time, if you ask me.

Starkel is questionable, but no matter who's at quarterback, the Colorado State defense is going to present a tough challenge. The Rams took the Iowa Hawkeyes to the brink and led them by seven at halftime, only to lose by 10 points against a top-five team. Not bad.

Quarterback Todd Centeio didn't have a great day throwing the ball (155 yards, 1 TD), but the defense did its part on Iowa signal caller Spencer Petras (224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). Top running back David Bailey went down with an injury and is questionable at time of publishing. A'Jon Vivens had 45 yards on 17 carries.

Prediction


If Starkel can't go, San Jose State is going to have a tough time moving the ball on this CSU defense. The Rams defense has allowed 304 yards per game and just 18 points through the start of this season. The offense may only need to put up 21 to win, and given San Jose State's questionable defensive tactics, that's not out of reach. Colorado State by 7

Betting trends


San Jose State is 18-12 against the spread after scoring 24 points in the first half the previous game.

Colorado State is 59-33 in games after covering the spread in two of the last three.

Statistical leaders


San Jose State:
Passing: Nick Starkel -- 992 yards, 6 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Tyler Nevens -- 358 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Derrick Deese Jr. -- 282 yards, 2 TD

Colorado State:
Passing: Todd Centeio -- 807 yards,  4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: David Bailey -- 260 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Trey McBride -- 398 yards, 1 TD

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