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Colorado at West Virginia Betting Line and Analysis

10/1/09

Every so often games come along that you can really sink your teeth into. As a handicapper, you're looking at an individual game and asking yourself, if these two teams play under these conditions 100 times, will one side or the other win that bet more than 53 times out of 100? But every so often, due to several factors, games come along where your confidence level rises even more. Such was the case last season when West Virginia traveled to Colorado to take on the Buffs.

We had watched the Buffs gradually improve under coach Dan Hawkins from a 2-10 record in his first year to a 6 win season in 2007. West Virginia took a hit losing Rich Rodriguez so they figured to be down a notch and we simply felt the Buffs were a team on the rise and ready to make a statement nationally, in a big Thursday Night TV game against #21 West Virginia. Colorado was a 3 point home underdog in that one and we just felt it was the perfect spot for them. We were right. Colorado won a close game in overtime. We didn't  need the +3.

But we were wrong about Colorado being on the rise. They went on to lose 3 straight after that game and finished the year with a very disappointing 5-7 mark. Coached aren't paid for mediocre results. Prior to the start of this 2009 season, Hawkins was touting a 10 win season for the Buffs. Unfortunately for that to happen, Colorado now has to run the table from here on out. Not likely with Texas on deck October 10th. Also safe to say coach Dan Hawkins now sits squarely on the "hot seat".

Now Colorado finds themselves a whopping 17 point underdog at West Virginia Thursday Night. Yes, 17 points at most sportsbooks. The Buffs returned 9 players on offense and 4 on defense from a year ago while West Virginia returned 5 on offense and 7 on defense. So the offense for Colorado is largely intact, and there's a nucleolus of players on both teams on both sides of the ball that were here a year ago. That played each other a year ago in a game that was close from start to finish. Yet Colorado goes from being a 3 point home dog to a 17 point road dog. Wow.

Sure, Colorado dropped it's first two games, 23-17 to Colorado State and 54-38 to Toledo before rebounding with a 24-0 shutout of Wyoming last week, but West Virginia hasn't exactly lit the world on fire. They beat Liberty at home by 13, 33-20 and they beat East Carolina at home 35-20 before losing last week at Auburn 41-30. Surely Colorado is at least as good at Liberty, no?

Well aware that Colorado having trouble running the ball. But WVA figures to play this one fairly safe after turning the ball over 10 times the past two weeks. A more conservative game plan, the desperation of the Buffalos and Hawkins and the fact that these two played an overtime game just one year ago suggest to us that this one ends up a little closer than the "experts" think. West Virginia may get some revenge, but it won't be by enough. Colorado +17

 

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