College Football Pick
If you bet Colorado to win the Pac-12 South before the season, you could be headed for a nice payout. However, this Game is no certainty and it may be time to hedge your bet. The Utes have three Conference losses, but are hungry to recover from last week’s loss. The Buffaloes are a -10 point home favorites.
A year after finishing with one Conference win, Colorado is suddenly set to finish with one Conference loss if all goes well and make the Pac-12 title Game. Going further, the Buffs could even make a play for a playoff bid if they can knock off Washington (or Wazzu) in the title Game. It can’t be forgotten that their only two losses were at Michigan and a revived USC, neither completed with starting quarterback Sefo Liufau.
It’s been a different case for Utah and while they challenged Washington a few weeks ago, they still failed to take down a bad Oregon team last week. The Utes have had a few slip ups this year and that’s why this line is at double digits. OUtside of that USC win, they don’t really have a quality win in Conference play due to the weakness of the Pac-12 this season. In addition, the Utes have had issues on the road already losing to Cal.
It’s hard to consider any result for Colorado from last year, but they actually stayed tight in this Game in 2015, losing just 20-14 on the road with backup quarterbacks.
This offense is much different when Liufau plays as the stat still stands that the Buffs haven’t lost as long as he plays the entire way. His ability was seen last week against Washington State. Down for a good portion of the contest, Liufau had one of his best Games of the season, throwing for 345 yards while running for 108 more and three touchdowns. That combined with running back Phillip Lindsay has caused a lot of defenses problems.
Sure, they had some Games in which they scored just 10 points (Stanford) and 20 (UCLA), but with everyone healthy, the Buffaloes are rolling.
Just as impressive is Colorado’s defense that just held the Cougars to 24 points. In fact, they haven’t given up more than 24 points in the last seven Games.
This wouldn’t be a huge problem, but the Utes are coming off a Game in which they didn’t look all that good, losing 30-28 to Oregon. Now on the road, they’ll need to figure out a way to consistently Scorepoints against a good defense.
Running back Joe Williams has been great, rushing for at least 149 yards in the last five Games. However, even with those numbers, Utah lost its last two home Games. They’ll need to get more out of QB Troy Williams, but the Buffs have one of the better secondaries in the Pac-12.
With the Pac-12 championship looming, it’s hard to see this Colorado team completely falling apart in their home finale.
The Utes are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road Games vs. a team with a winning home record and 14-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Buffaloes are even better, though, covering in their last seven against a team with a winning record and 14-3 ATS in their last 17 overall. In this meeting, the underdog has covered the last five times, which means Colorado has covered the last five times.
Our Pick – Colorado -10