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Washington State

vs.

Colorado

College Football Pick

11/19/16

Both Washington State and Colorado have surprised plenty this year, currently at the top of their respective Pac-12 divisions. But things could easily look different only a couple weeks from now and that starts with this game. The Buffaloes were early -4.5 point home favorites.

Colorado still only has one conference loss and that came against the team one game below them, USC. The Buffs have won four straight, but close the season against two ranked teams, which will answer plenty of questions about just how good this team is. They've won big against weaker competition, but have sneaked by teams like Stanford, UCLA and Oregon.

The same can be said for Washington State as they had a stretch of close road wins against some of the worst teams in the conference, Arizona State and Oregon State. But back at home in their last two, their offense exploded for 125 points. Will those road issues come up again for the Cougars, or will they come out to play like when they won 42-16 in Stanford? In addition, they'll have a quick turnaround against in-state rival Washington next Friday.

The situation was much different a year ago as Colorado only had one conference win and Wazzu lost its starting quarterback Luke Fake in the middle of the game. The Cougars won 27-3, but there's little to take away from that game for this one.

The difference for the Buffs this season has arguably been an improved defense and an improved Sefo Liufau at quarterback. They had Michigan on the ropes before he got hurt and the stat still remains that Colorado hasn't lost in any game that Liufau has made it the whole way. Sure, his numbers aren't outstanding with 10 TDs and 3 INTs on the season, but his 67.2% completion percentage has been key.

Of course, Liufau has had help in the running game with Phillip Lindsay, who's run for 13 touchdowns in all. Lindsay is averaging 135 yards per game in the last four.

Defensively, the Buffs have one of the better groups in the conference, keeping opponents down to just 17.9 points per game. That should come in handy against one of the best passing offenses in the nation, although stopping Washington State is no easy feat.

The only thing against the Cougars is that they aren't scoring as much on the road. Whether that's because of competition remains to be seen, but scraping past the Beavers by four points wasn't the best result.

Either way, Luke Falk is having another incredible season, completing close to 73.9% of his passes for 33 TDs and 6 INTs. However, it can't be ignored that the two toughest defenses he'll face all season will be in the next two games. If he comes through against Colorado and UW, Falk could easily enter Heisman conversations.

While the Cougs have a great passing offense, their underrated running game can't be overlooked considering they have three running backs that have a combined 21 touchdowns with all of them averaging more than 5.5 yards per carry.

This will undoubtedly be a fun game to watch with both teams having great trends against the spread.

The Cougars are 9-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 following an ATS win. The Buffaloes are 6-0 vs. a team with a winning record and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 overall. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these schools with the road team having that same mark.

Our Pick - Washington State +4.5

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