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Betting the Buffaloes: Favorites Against Arizona?

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The Buffaloes welcome the Wildcats to Boulder Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Arizona Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, you read the title of this article correctly. It’s not a typo. Per the VegasInsider.com consensus Colorado is favored by six points this Saturday against Pac-12 South rival Arizona. CBSSports.com’s Tom Fornelli is dubbing it the “Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week.” Both the 1-4 Buffaloes and the 0-5 Wildcats have the rather dubious honor of being ranked in Fornelli’s ‘Bottom 25’ this week. Colorado is 15-8 all-time against Arizona, but only 3-7 since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. One of those three wins came in December, as the Buffs defeated the Wildcats 24-13 behind 301 rushing yards from Jarek Broussard. The Wildcats have lost 17 consecutive games dating back to 2019. Their last win was 35-30 victory over the Buffaloes that same year, in Boulder, Colo. where they’ve won four straight games. One streak will end on Saturday.

ODDS, OVER/UNDER, & MONEYLINE (per VegasInsider.com consensus):

Spread: Colorado -6

Over/Under: 46 ½

1st Half Spread: Colorado -3 ½

1st Half Over/Under: 23 ½

Moneyline: Arizona +210, Colorado -250

PREDICTION:

Earlier in the week, the Buffaloes were as high as seven and a half point favorites in this contest. Now that that line has settled around six, it’s time to get down to business. Arizona’s biggest weapon is wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III who has 40 receptions through five games, the last 15 of which came from passes by Jordan McCloud. Monday, Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch confirmed that McCloud is out for the season after suffering knee and ankle injuries in the team’s 34-16 loss to UCLA. With McCloud out, redshirt-freshman Gunner Cruz will get the nod against the Buffaloes. Cruz, a Washington State transfer, won the starting job out of fall camp but was replaced by Will Plummer after losses to BYU and San Diego State.

Regardless of who is at quarterback, the Wildcats struggle in the turnover department. Their -7 turnover margin ranks 128th out of 130 teams in the FBS. They also rank 122nd in rush defense, allowing 219.4 yards per game on the ground. If the Buffaloes can capitalize on turnovers and keep pounding the rock, they should pull this one out at home.

Yours truly won 150 “beans” when USC covered two weeks ago in Boulder, and pushed on the over/under. That brings my total to 1,200 beans on the season. I’m tempted to take the Buffaloes to cover the six points here, however the safer play is the money line. Give me 200 on Colorado to win outright and another 200 on the under, after all, Arizona ranks 123rd (16.8 PPG) and Colorado 129th (13.8 PPG) in the nation in scoring offense.

Game time is set for 1:30 P.M. MT on Pac-12 Network.