Who Is The King Of The Mountain West? Conference Preview And Futures Odds

Written By Ian St. Clair on 10/21/2020 - Last Updated on January 25, 2021

Colorado sports fans have experienced betting on all of the local teams save for college football.

That’s about to change on Saturday.

That’s when Air Force and the University of Wyoming kick off their 2020 seasons.

That is if 2020 doesn’t rear its ugly head again for the start of the Mountain West Conference football schedule.

Colorado State University had its season-opening game against the University of New Mexico cancelled on Tuesday due to COVID-19 concerns. The Mountain West said the game is declared a no contest.

At least for now, fans of the Falcons and the Cowboys (there are a lot of Pokes fans in Colorado) will get to experience college football betting when it comes to their teams.

Mountain West football odds

Mountain West odds BetMGMBetRiversDraftKings
Odds to win the Mountain WestBoise St. -189
Air Force +450
San Diego St. +500
Wyoming +1,400
Colorado St. +1,600
Fresno St. +2,200
Utah St. +5,000
Hawaii +5,000
Nevada +5,000
UNLV +10,000
San Jose St. +10,000
New Mexico +10,000
Boise St. -200
San Diego St. +400
Air Force +450
Wyoming +1,200
Colorado St. +1,400
Fresno St. +2,000
Hawaii +4,000
Nevada +5,000
Utah St. 5,000
New Mexico +10,000
San Jose St. +10,000
UNLV +10,000
Boise St. -200
San Diego St. +400
Air Force +450
Wyoming +1,200
Colorado St. +1,400
Fresno St. +2,000
Hawaii +4,000
Nevada +5,000
Utah St. +5,000
New Mexico +10,000
San Jose St. +10,000
UNLV +10,000

The Colorado sports betting apps are in agreement that Boise State University is the favorite.

That’s not a surprise since the Broncos were the 2019 conference champions after a 31-10 defeat of the University of Hawaii.

Of the local teams, Air Force has the best odds, followed by Wyoming and CSU.

The Falcons, Pokes and Rams join Boise State in the Mountain Division.

Now that we have the odds out of the way, what do the experts think of the local MW football teams?

Stephen Macken, risk and trading lead for college football at FanDuel Sportsbook, told PlayColorado:

“I think it’s great they are getting a schedule in but, unfortunately, they won’t get close to the College Football Playoff. It is very rare a MW team cracks the Top 20 in rankings even when they overperform. If San Diego State and Boise State play well this season, they might indirectly help BYU’s chances of a dream run if they remain undefeated.”

Let’s take the individual teams based on the odds to win.

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Air Force Falcons

The Falcons finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 11-2 and 7-1 in the MW.

In terms of 2020, Air Force has already routed Navy, 40-7.

And the Falcons did so in typical Falcons fashion — by running the football and with great defense. For Air Force to have success in 2020, that’s the recipe to follow.

Quarterback Haaziq Daniels threw the ball just nine times against the Midshipmen.

The Falcons are also well on their way to the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. That is awarded each season to the winner of games between the three service academy schools: Army, Navy and Air Force.

The Falcons last won the trophy in 2016. They’ve also won it more than any other academy (20).

Air Force opens the MW portion of its schedule at San Jose State University at 8:30 p.m. MST on Saturday.

As for the MW outlook, Macken said:

“Air Force has suffered because of COVID in a unique way. Once the MW season was suspended, a lot of their starting players were deployed on various missions, so their squad will struggle with depth over the year. Their season will focus on the Commander-In-Chief trophy when they travel to West Point on Nov. 7, that’s their 2020 season.”

Wyoming Cowboys

The Pokes finished 2019 at 8-5 overall, 4-4 in the MW.

At least for now, quarterback Sean Chambers is the starter. His last two seasons came to a conclusion with a season-ending injury.

As 7220sports said, Chambers knows this is a big season for him to prove a couple of things to his critics — that he can throw with better accuracy, and more importantly, stay healthy.

When Chambers has been healthy and on the field, he’s 9-2 as a starter.

Head coach Craig Bohl and the Cowboys are hopeful Chambers can put it together in 2020.

Wyoming opens the season at the University of Nevada at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Maken isn’t so sure.

As he said:

“I’m a big fan of the mantra, ‘If you have two QB’s, you have none.’ Wyoming is planning to play multiple quarterbacks this year and I have my doubts. They have a pretty favorable schedule and that last game of the year against Boise will decide their season. But I do expect their opt outs on the defensive side of the ball to hurt them.”

Colorado State Rams

The Rams finished 2019 4-8 overall, 3-5 in the MW.

That led to CSU replacing head coach Mike Bobo and hiring Steve Addazio.

As noted earlier, CSU’s opener against the Lobos has been cancelled.

The Rams are next slated to play at Fresno State University at 8 p.m. next Thursday.

The biggest challenge for Colorado State has been having enough players to even practice.

As Addazio told the Coloradoan earlier this week:

“We’re down 20s of players per practice. It’s kind of been that way for the last 10 days. Today’s Monday. I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know what Thursday brings. You just don’t know.”

As for the 2020 outlook, here’s what Macken said:

“2020 is going to be a transition year for Colorado State with a new coaching regime at the helm. Their offense was potent last year but losing two high-quality offensive lineman to the transfer portal will hurt their output. As of last week, they have been battling with COVID and are down almost 20 players. Couple that with travelling to Boise, Fresno, Air Force and San Diego State for four brutal road games, I expect them to be in the bottom half of the conference.”

As for sports betting in CO, the return of the local college football teams has the potential to reach new customers and grow the young market even more.

As Macken said:

“Certainly yes, it’s a shame the Rocky Mountain showdown is not happening this year but we should still see an uptick in the CO market with MW back in play.”

Photo by AP / David Zalubowski
Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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