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Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes are hitting the road for a Pac-12 matchup with the No. 10 Oregon Ducks in college football’s marquee event this Saturday.
Will Prime’s Buffs taste defeat for the first time this season without the services of the injured Travis Hunter, or will his flashy cast of athletes secure their second upset as three-touchdown underdogs? Here are our thoughts.
|No. 19 Colorado||+21 (-110)||+675||Over 71.5 (-110)|
|No. 10 Oregon||-21 (-110)||-1050||Under 71.5 (-110)|
Colorado’s 3-0 start and the surrounding events have been the headliners of the 2023 college football season. The Buffs’ win total was set at just 3.5 games in Sanders’ first year at his new program, and the hype was seen as “overblown.”
The season is still young, but Colorado has already beaten the national runner-ups, TCU, and two rivals in Nebraska and Colorado State. QB Shedeur Sanders (Coach Prime’s son) has emerged as a top Heisman candidate (+1800 at DraftKings, the sixth-shortest odds), and other players have emerged as stars for the up-and-coming Colorado team.
On the other side, Oregon has also gotten off to a 3-0 start but has done so in more dominant fashion. They’ve won their games by an average of 42.3 points, although that figure is boosted significantly by an 81-7 Week 1 win over Portland State. Their only game against a Power Five opponent was a 38-30 win against a 1-2 Texas Tech program.
Speaking of the Heisman race, Oregon QB Bo Nix is ninth in odds at +2500. He’s completed 77.6% of his passes for 893 yards, eight touchdowns, and no interceptions thus far.
It may seem like a square bet, but the public has been all over Colorado this season, and they’ve been rewarded more times than not. Granted, the Buffs missed a cover and almost lost to an unranked Colorado State team last week, but they showed incredible maturity and resilience to stay in the game and then win in overtime.
Colorado’s offense was stagnant early against Co. State but roared to life in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter thanks to Shedeur Sanders. He’s averaging over 400 yards passing per game with 10 touchdowns to one interception and will be far and away the best player the Ducks’ defense has seen this season.
Where Oregon has an undeniable advantage is in the trenches. Not that they’re the best interior team in the world, but Colorado has proven to be fairly weak on the line on both sides of the football. They just gave up four sacks and are allowing opponents to run for 195.3 yards per game.
Oregon will have a chance to get the cover if it succeeds in hating Sanders up in a way that no opponent has done for 60-plus minutes. They’ll also be wise to pound the rock and wear down a shoddy Buffs D-line.
It’s hard to see Colorado doing its part to get this game to the over without Hunter, their top playmaker. CU has also been mostly unable to run the ball all year, which again harkens back to their woes on the offensive line.
Oregon did score 81 against Portland State and 55 against Hawaii, but they were kept to 38 and a total of 68 against Texas Tech. We expect a similar sort of score here and will lean towards the under.
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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