Utah has lost three of its last four games, which is not surprising in light of the fact that the Utes have been outgained in their last nine contests. Utah’s record has been a mirage for weeks, and I expect the Utes’ struggles to continue in Boulder Saturday afternoon against a vastly improved Colorado squad that has covered eight consecutive Last Home Games.
Let’s also note that Colorado is 3-0 ATS in this series, 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games as a Pac-12 Conference underdog, 4-1 ATS in its last five home games versus teams with a winning record and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games after allowing forty or more points, whereas the Utes are 2-6 ATS as Pac-12 Conference road favorites of fifteen or less points and 1-4 ATS in their last five games as road favorites.
Utah’s mediocrity is best epitomized from the line of scrimmage where the Utes are 0.5 yards per play worse than average offensively (5.1 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.6 yards per play). Even more concerning is the fact that Utah is averaging just 286 total yards per game at 4.3 yards per play on the road this season. Unfortunately, Colorado’s defense is 0.6 yards per play worse than average (6.6 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 6.0 yards per play) so the Buffaloes won’t be able to exploit Utah’s a pathetic attack.
The biggest concern for Utah fans has been the Utes’ faltering defense that has allowed 36.7 points and 441 total yards at 6.2 yards per play and 12.0 yards per point over the last three games. The Utes are also yielding 28.6 points per game and 428 total yards at 5.7 yards per play versus conference opponents this season. Overall, Utah is 0.7 yards per play better than average defensively (5.2 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.9 yards per play), but those numbers do not accurately reflect the current state of the Utes’ porous defense.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s offense is averaging a healthy 28.0 points per game and 440 total yards this season, including 475 total yards per game at home and 28.6 points per game at 451 total yards versus Pac-12 Conference opponents. What I like most about the Buffaloes’ attack is their ground game that is averaging 177 rushing yards per game at 4.8 yards per carry at home this season. And, as many of you know, I really like to invest on home underdogs that possess a solid running game, which is precisely what we have with Colorado.
With Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre standing at 8-3 ATS at Folsom Field, including 3-1 ATS as a home underdog this season, take the Buffaloes to cover their ninth consecutive Final Home Game and invest with confidence.
Pac-12 Conference Sports Pick: Colorado (+9.5) (-110)