College Football Odds — Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Utes
While there are some other Pac 12 teams jockeying for position in action on Saturday night, two of them who had more success last season can at least salvage a bowl bid with a victory. Because of that, the Utah Utes and the Colorado Buffaloes should exhibit some spirited action as they get together on Saturday night at 10 PM ET in Salt Lake City. BetAnySports customers can watch the game on Fox Sports 1, and they can place wagers while the action is in progress using the state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
Colorado had an outstanding season in 2016, scoring victories over Utah, Stanford and Washington State, among others, and reaching the conference title game, where they were brought back down to earth with a 41-10 loss to Washington. They then went on to the Alamo Bowl, losing 38-8 to Oklahoma State. So there was still some work to be done for Mike MacIntyre, who started to turn things around after a successful tenure at San Jose State. But he had to rebuild the defense, which lost eight starters, and that has turned out to be more of a chore than he thought. Colorado is now yielding 5.2 yards per carry, and that is something Utah is going to want to exploit. Colorado is 5-6 straight-up and 3-8 against the football pointspread, and they are on a cold streak versus the number at the moment, dropping five of their last six ATS.
Utah won its first four games of the season, including victories over Brigham Young and Arizona, and they got as high as #20 in the Associated Press poll. But then things started to turn the other way, and they have only one victory in their last seven games. They have also been snake-bitten to a certain extent; they lost to Stanford and USC by a combined four points, and last week they had an excellent opportunity to take their game against Washington into overtime, but head coach Kyle Wittingham called a timeout, literally while the clock was running out on the Huskies, but it gave Jake Browning enough time to complete a couple of passes and get his team into field-goal range. They kicked the winner and sent Utah home a 33-30 loser, with a lot of people afterward calling for Wittingham’s neck. Of course, that’s a knee-jerk reaction against someone who has a 10-1 bowl record. But it gives you an idea how frustrated fans in the Salt Lake City area really are. The Utes, like Colorado, are 5-6 straight-up, but they haven’t pretty good from the pointspread standpoint, going 8-3 ATS.
The winner of this game gets that sixth victory and the bowl eligibility that comes with it.
In the college football odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Utah is favored at home:
Utah Utes -9.5
Colorado Buffaloes +9.5
Over 57 points -110
Under 57 points -110
There are some fundamental things that could favor Utah in this one. We have already brought up Colorado’s difficulty in stopping opposing running games, and Utah not only gets a workmanlike effort out of Zach Moss, who averages 4.9 yards a carry, but QB Tyler Huntley has been a contributor to that ground attack as well (623 yards). There are some things that have stopped Utah, which has an Efficiency Rating on offense that is 31st in the nation. They have given the ball away 24 times, for example, and they are very poor when it comes to converting on third down (34.5%).
Field position has to work in their favor, and BetAnySports patrons might know that they have two of the best special teams performers in the nation in placekicker Matt Gay, who is 25-29 on field goals, including five out of six from beyond 50 yards, and punter Mitch Washnowsky, who won the Ray Guy Award last season.
Colorado, which ranks 109th nationwide in total defense, does benefit from experience at the wide receiver position, with a trio of capable people (Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields, Devin Ross). And sophomore quarterback Stephen Montez, who had the unenviable task of replacing Seth Liufau, a blood-and-guts leader, has really gotten hot lately, completing 70 out of 116 passes for 1068 yards over the last three games. Still, the ace in the hole for the Buffs is going to be senior tailback Phillip Lindsay, who has rushed for 1402 yards and 13 touchdowns. Also very significant is the fact that Lindsay has not fumbled, and that is characteristic of a Colorado squad that has given the ball away only 13 times all season, and just five times in the last seven games. They have the ability to fight and scratch and keep this game close, so we are taking the points.
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