When you think of summer, you don’t often think about college football.
Yet while it may not be front of mind, these days and months outside the spotlight can play a vital role in the success of a program.
So while legal sports betting in Colorado has its focus on baseball, the NBA Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the U.S. Open, and table tennis, teams across the country are putting in the dirty work to prepare for the fall.
Whether it matters for the college football teams in and around Colorado, time will tell.
When it comes to college football betting in Colorado, the lone team the sportsbooks like at this point is the University of Wyoming. Quick point of fact: There is no consistency on the markets offered at the various Colorado sports betting apps. They have markets on some of the conferences, but not all of them. So if you’ll have to shop around at the various books to see if they have either the Mountain West Conference or Pac-12 for the local teams.
To limit the confusion, this story will just focus on the Mountain West. The University of Colorado and Pac-12 betting preview will come next week.
Since they have the best odds of the “local” teams, let’s start with the Cowboys.
After a disappointing 2-4 2020 season, Wyoming has the fourth-best odds at +700 to win the Mountain West Conference this season. Boise State is the consensus favorite.
If the Pokes can find some balance and consistency on offense, that’s a great start and should help them get back on track. Even better news for Wyoming is that both Sean Chambers and Levi Williams played well in the spring game.
Double bonus for UW right now.
So at the very least head coach Craig Bohl and the Cowboys have some confidence as they plug away at the 7,200-foot elevation in Laramie.
When it comes to UW, the defense is always a safe bet to show up.
If the offense can carry over what it did in the spring to the fall, the Pokes have a shot to play for the Mountain West championship and win the Mountain Division.
In terms of the over/under wins, DraftKings online sportsbook Colorado app has Wyoming at 8 — O8 (-113) U8 (-113). That’s a lofty number for a team that went 2-4.
The 2020 campaign for the Falcons was neither good nor bad. When you finish 3-3, it’s probably a combination of both.
What you can always expect with Air Force is an option, run-heavy offense. From the days of Fisher DeBerry to current head coach Troy Calhoun, don’t expect much passing with the Falcons. That’s kind of ironic when you think about it.
At least for this season, Air Force is in the middle of the pack to win the Mountain West. At DraftKings, the Falcons are at +2,800. The sportsbook also has the over/under wins at 6.5 — O6.5 (-113) U6.5 (-113).
As for how Air Force will do this season, the coverage is severely lacking. That’s not helpful for those who want to wager on the Falcons. That’s in part because the academy closed spring practices, and the Falcons completed spring football in early March.
What is known is Calhoun liked what he saw from his team over the course of the 15 practices.
He also said depth is going to be imperative for his team this season.
“I think it was as productive of a spring as we’ve ever had,” he said to the Air Force website. “What we did is you’re allowed to stretch spring ball over 34 days, and still only have 15 practices. Yet the additional meeting days I thought were invaluable. I love the spirit of this group. Just the work ethic and how much these guys love football. It’ll be a fun crew in terms of the journey that’s ahead.”
Heading into Steve Addazio’s second season as head coach, there isn’t much expectation on the Rams in 2021.
Based on 2020, there isn’t much to go off. CSU only played four games but finished 1-3.
The sportsbooks think that struggle will continue. Only three teams have worse odds to win the Mountain West. The Rams are currently at +4,000 at DraftKings.
As for the over/under wins, Colorado State is 4.5 — O4.5 (-121) U4.5 (-106).
The Rams completed their spring ball in early April, and Addazio couldn’t have been more pleased with the jump the program has made from a year ago to now.
“How do I say this the right way? It’s not even comparable,” he said to the CSU website. “It’s so far from where it was, I wouldn’t know how to verbalize that. That’s striking, right? I look back to last spring, whether you want to talk about our team’s culture or our team’s toughness or our team’s ability to focus on the details of the game … It’s like just two different programs. That’s how dramatically different it is.”
Whether or not that correlates to success on the field, time will tell.
And while the eyes of the sports world aren’t on college football, programs across the country are putting in the grunt work and planting the seeds that will lead to fruitful harvest come the fall.