Rams and Cougars Renew Rivalry in Provo: Colorado St at BYU

Colorado St Rams at BYU Cougars, Marriott Center, Provo, UT
Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: The Mountain
Opening Line: BYU -14
Current Line: BYU -13 1/2
Opening Total: 148
Current Total: 147 1/2
Money Line: BYU -1300 / CSU +850

Jimmer Fredette is probable for BYU as they take on Colorado St in MWC action Wednesday. The Cougars are still 14 point favorites at home.

BYU might overlook this Colorado St team as they travel to San Diego St in a huge game Saturday. That would be a  mistake as Colorado St is a very talented team that is listed as the first team out of the NCAA tournament according to ESPN. These two teams played in Fort Collins January 22 with BYU coming out on top 94-85. In that game, BYU guard Jimmer Fredette a candidate for national player of the year, exploded for 42 points. Fredette bruised his calf on Saturday against TCU. He missed practice Monday but is listed as probable against Colorado St. BYU is 25-2 overall and 11-1 in the Mountain West. They are ranked #7 in both polls. BYU’s two losses are at UCLA and at New Mexico. They have wins over Utah St, South Florida, St. Mary’s (CA), Creighton, Arizona, Weber St, UTEP, UNLV twice, Air Force twice, Utah twice, TCU twice, San Diego St, and Wyoming, The Cougars have won 5 in a row including a 79-56 victory at TCU Saturday.  Colorado St is 18-8 overall and 8-4 in the MWC. They have wins over Drake, Fresno St, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Wyoming twice, TCU twice, UNLV, Air Force, Utah, and New Mexico. The Rams lost at home to UNLV Saturday night 68-61 to snap a 3 game winning streak for CSU. The Rams have some bad losses on the resume for a team that is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. CSU has losses to Sam Houston St, Colorado, Kansas, Hampton, New Mexico,  and San Diego St in addition to the BYU and UNLV losses.

BYU leads the overall series against Colorado St 88-45, including 55-10 in Provo. Colorado St has not won in Provo since 1998. BYU has won and covered the last 5 games in the series and 3 of those 5 have gone over the total.

Colorado St has no significant injuries right now.  The Rams are led by forward Andy Ogide. He is averaging 16.3 points, and 7.4 rebounds a game. He leads the team in both categories and also shoots 40% from 3 point range.  Forward Travis Franklin is averaging 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 steals a game to lead the team. Ram guard Wes Eikmeier averages 9.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists a game. Dorian Green leads the team in assists with 2.9 a game, and scores 7.5 points a game.  The Rams are outscoring opponents 73-67 on the season. CSU shoots 48.2% from the field and 35.3% from 3-point range. Ram opponents shoot 42.8% from the field. Colorado St makes 67.8% of their free throws. The Rams average 33.9 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +1.4. They average 13.5 assists and 13.7 turnovers a game. CSU forces 14.1 turnovers a game on defense. The rams average 7.2 steals and 2.5 blocks a game.

Bettors should of course keep an eye on the Fredette situation, but I expect him to play. I don’t know how effective he will be, but he should play. BYU has been playing with out reserve forward Chris Collinsworth since conference play began. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Collinsworth averaged only 16 minutes a game and scored 5.9 points a game, but he was one of the Cougar’s top rebounders with 5.6 a game. His little brother Kyle also plays for the Cougars. Fredette is averaging 27.2 points a game to lead the nation in scoring, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists to lead the team, and 1.4 steals a game. He is shooting 41.7% from 3 point range and 89.7% from the free throw line. Guard Jackson Emery  averages 12.7 points a game, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and leads the team in steals with 2.8 a game. Forward Brandon Davies averages 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Noah Hartsock averages 8.8 points, and leads the team in rebounds with 6.1 a game and blocks with 1.6 a game. BYU is outscoring opponents 83-68 on the season. The Cougars average 45.8% shooting from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range. Cougar opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field. BYU shoots 75% from the free throw line. BYU averages 39.5 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +3.9. The Cougars average 15.1 assists and 11 turnovers a game. They force 14.9 turnovers a game on defense. BYU averages 8.1 steals and 4.1 blocks a game.

Obviously if Fredette can’t go this point spread is way to big. Even if Fredette does play it might be two big. Colorado St is a very talented and dangerous team. The Rams need an impressive win to bolster their resume. A win at the #7 team in the country would certainly qualify.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in 2011. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until the end of the season in April.

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