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New Mexico Lobos at Colorado State Rams Moneyline NCAA Week 12

Who: New Mexico Lobos (7-3, 5-1 MWC) at Colorado State Rams (5-5, 3-3 MWC)
Where: Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
When: Saturday, November 19th at 10:15 PM EST
Money Line: CSU -190, NMU +165 at Bovada Sportsbook
Over / Under: 61.5 at Bovada Sportsbook

How fortunes can change for a head football coach. Not so long ago, Bob Davie was an out-casted former skipper of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. “Any coach can stop an opponent when he knows what’s coming,” went the joke, “unless it’s Bob Davies.”

Davies may have the last laugh. Arriving in Albuquerque in 2012 after a stint broadcasting for ESPN, the old coach installed an unorthodox hybrid shotgun/triple-option offense and settled down for a long rebuilding project. 3 losing seasons went by without incident.

But in 2015-16 the breakthrough came. The Lobos finished 7-5 and accepted a berth in the New Mexico Bowl. 2016-17 has brought an even greater resurgence in the desert as the Lobos stand at 5-1 in the Mountain West and could conceivably challenge for a division title.

Colorado State, meanwhile, is fighting to achieve bowl eligibility. A mystifying 49-46 loss to Air Force last Saturday involved the Rams’ special teams unit rushing the field to hurry an ill-fated kick-snap as time ran out, but QB Nick Stevens could have simply killed the clock instead.

CSU is an unlikely favorite in the money line with a -190 at Bovada Sportsbook.

Respect Is The Last Option

The Lobos are flying high these days, with a 5-game winning streak, a dynamic offense led by shifty senior QB Austin Apodaca and swift RB Tyrone Owens (7.1 ypc), and a chance to win 10 games for the first time in what feels like forever (actually, since 1982-83).

But the only thing they aren’t getting is respect, evidenced by the squad’s status as 5-point underdogs going into Saturday’s game with a mediocre conference rival.

Maybe it has something to do with the playbook, labeled “triple option” by lazy pundits but a dizzying challenge for any defense. Despite losing to Boise State earlier this season, New Mexico has an opportunity to win the Mountain division and play for the Mountain West crown.

NMU was a heavy underdog against Air Force in an October 15th clash and won by 5 points.

Holding Down The Fort

Things are rather glum in Fort Collins after a blundered finish cost CSU a chance to take Air Force to overtime in Week 12. Now the Rams must regroup and attempt to become bowl-eligible by winning 1 of 2 challenging games, home against New Mexico and a visit to San Diego State.

Junior WR Michael Gallup is playing like a wunderkind lately, catching 13 passes for 213 yards and a TD in the losing cause against AFA. Junior QB Nick Stevens felt the injury bug early on, but has thrown for 8 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, and has only been sacked 3 times.

Would there be value in a prop bet placed on CSU making a bowl game? Perhaps, but remember not every 6-6 team from a Group of Five conference is invited. The Rams will likely need to win both remaining contests to receive a decent bowl bid, if any.

Why I’m Taking The New Mexico Lobos Moneyline at +165

With each team reasonably healthy, and a sunny Saturday in the forecast, it is difficult to understand why New Mexico is not the favorite to win Saturday night.

CSU has been decent against point spreads over the past 2 seasons, and run a more conventional media-beloved offense than the Lobos do. Those factors could be the culprit, alongside home-field advantage.

Still, the Red Menace have more to play for than the Rams, with a conference title in the offing if Boise State trips up against Air Force on 11/25. Davie has recruited a spirited roster of chip-on-the-shoulder kids, and there will not be any “trap game” let-down against Colorado State.

Take the Lobos at +165 for a low-risk winning night-capper at Bovada.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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