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Betting the Buffs: Slight Favorites Against the Golden Gophers

Colorado looks to stay perfect all-time against Minnesota.

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Darian Hagen, Vance Joseph and true freshman Kordell Stewart all saw action at quarterback the last time Minnesota played in Boulder. The three signal callers helped the Buffaloes amass 612 yards of offense in a 58-0 win over the Golden Gophers on September 21, 1991. Colorado is 3-0 all-time against Minnesota, outscoring them 117-26 in those contests. Believe it or not, Minnesota opened as three-point favorites but since then the line shifted in Colorado’s favor, as the Buffaloes are now favored by 2 ½ points according to the VegasInsider.com consensus.

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

Spread: Colorado -2½

Over/Under: 48½

1st Half Spread: Colorado – ½

1st Half Over/Under: 24

Over/Under: 48½

Moneyline: Minnesota +125; Colorado -145

PREDICTION:

If you had told me three weeks ago that Golden Gophers star running back Mo Ibrahim would be out for this contest, I would’ve immediately jumped on the Buffaloes to cover. But to quote ESPN’s Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” Ibrahim’s replacement Treyson Potts picked up the slack last week rushing for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-26 win over Miami of Ohio. Of the Golden Gophers 63 offensive plays against the Redhawks, 46 were on the ground. Likewise, the Buffaloes ran the ball 13 more times than they threw it (25 pass attempts) in their 10-7 loss to the Aggies. That said, expect another week where both offenses employ a heavy ground attack. Colorado’s front seven however should be the difference in this contest. Led by tackling machine Nate Landman, Colorado held Texas A&M to just 97 rush yards on 29 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per rush. Potts may be a suitable replacement for Ibrahim, but not enough to sway my pick to the road team.

After correctly predicting that Colorado would cover against Texas A&M and the total would be under 50 points, I’m up 100 “beans” on the young season to bring my total to 1,100. This week, I’m avoiding any first half wagers, especially after witnessing Minnesota’s opening half against Ohio State in week one. Give me 100 beans on the Buffaloes to cover the 2½ point spread and another 50 on the total being under (yes, under despite both of Minnesota’s first two contests going over) 48½ points.

Game time is set for 11:00 a.m. MT on Pac-12 Network.