Welp, this is it folks. We’ve finally reached the finish line of the 2023 college football season. Coach Prime and the Buffaloes have to travel to Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon to face off against a perpetually scary Utah Utes squad led by coach Kyle Whittingham. Vegas is once again sleeping on the Buffs, although that’s fairly unsurprising after the monstrosity of a game that occurred in Pullman last weekend. If the Buffs can at least hang in their final of 2023, some of these lines are very interesting. I’ll walk you through which bets I like the most for Buffs vs. Utes.
Tip 1: If Shedeur doesn’t play, just don’t bet on the game and save your money.
Nobody knows Shedeur Sanders’ official status going into this Utah game, but it seems like there’s a significant chance that he may not suit up for the Buffs. Shedeur suffered two separate injuries last week against Wazzu and is also battling an illness, which Deion revealed during his presser this week. The Buffs don’t have anything to play for at this point other than pride so I wouldn’t be super shocked if Prime and Colorado’s coaching staff decides to just sit Shedeur to close the season out. If Shedeur doesn’t end up playing against Utah, just don’t bet on the game. We saw what a Shedeur-less Colorado team looks like last week and they’re borderline unwatchable. Just save your money to bet on Colorado basketball games if QB1 doesn’t end up taking the field on Saturday. Shedeur is the kind of guy who doesn’t take kindly to having to sit on the bench and watch his team, so I bet he will play as long as he feels okay.
Tip 2: Bet CU to cover the spread.
Despite what the Buffs’ less than ideal 4-7 record and current 5 game losing streak may suggest, Colorado had done a pretty damn good job covering the spread in 2023. The Buffs have a 6-4-1 record against the spread going into this week. As of Friday, the spread for Saturday’s game is set at Utah -21. I personally really like the Buffs covering that this weekend. A 21 point differential just seems way too high for this Utah team to put up on the Buffs. The Utes are probably the most hurt team in the entire country and are coming off a pretty embarrassing loss against Arizona last weekend. Colorado fared much better against the Wildcats than Utah did, so I’m inclined to believe that we may have a good game on our hands in Salt Lake City this weekend. I don’t think the Buffs are getting blown out by 21+ points this weekend as long as Shedeur plays, so this is one of the best bets of the game.
Tip 3: Bet on Xavier Weaver anytime TD.
This week is the Buffs’ final ride with their star wide receiver Xavier Weaver. Weaver will no longer be eligible to play in college in 2024 and will likely get his name called on NFL Draft night next year. I’m willing to bet that we’ll see Big Play Zay go out with a bang, scoring a touchdown against Utah on Saturday. Weaver has a knack for finding separation in even the tightest of coverages, which is a massive asset to have with how much the Buffs throw the ball. Weaver has found the endzone four times so far this season and he is one of Colorado’s most likely candidates to score this week. I predict that Xavier is going to give the Buffs faithful a little going away present, being six points in Salt Lake City.
Tip 4: Bet the Buffs to score over 1.5 touchdowns.
DraftKings doesn’t have faith the Buffs are going to put points on the board on Saturday, as they have the line for Colorado scoring over 1.5 TDs at +105. As long as Shedeur plays, the Buffs should be able to score at least 2 touchdowns. The last time the Buffs didn’t score at least 2 touchdowns was 4 weeks ago against UCLA. Utah has a top 20 defense in the country, but the group has proven to be a little bit streaky. Arizona put up 42 points on the Utes last week, which leads me to believe that a Shedeur-led Buffs offense could do something at least a little similar. This is one of the best props for this game, so take advantage while you can.
Tip 5: Bet that there will be 7 total touchdowns.
DraftKings has one of the more interesting proposition bets available this week, with 7 total touchdowns at a line of +450. It doesn’t matter who scores those touchdowns, just as long as there’s exactly 7 of them. I like this bet because it has a lot of versatility. If this game turns into an absolute shootout, which it very well might if Shedeur plays, that total of 7 TDs seems very doable. If Shedeur doesn’t play, The Buffs are gonna get squashed and Utah is going to hang a ton of points on their head. Last week’s game had 8 total TD’s scored despite the Buffs playing like absolute garbage, so this bet has a lot of legs. This is a risky bet, but it’s also one that I feel strangely good about. I’m going to go with my gut and recommend this bet to anyone who is feeling a little frisky on Saturday.
BONUS: Last Pac-12 Week
This is officially the last full week of Pac-12 action. Although it’s extremely sad to many, including myself, we have a stacked slate of games this week. The final Apple Cup and Civil War games will take place on Saturday. Here are my picks for those games:
Oregon over Oregon State
I think this game is going to be ridiculously close, but I’d bet that the Ducks will come out on top. This Oregon team isn’t like the flashy but flawed Mario Cristobal team’s of old. Dan Lanning has turned the Ducks into a tough football team which is going to give Oregon State a run for their money in physicality. The Beavs also really like to play physical football and run the ball, but they greatly struggle when they get outmuscled. The Ducks easily have the capability to give OSU trouble with their physicality, which should lead to a nightmare matchup for the Beavers. I hope the Beavers win because of how corny Lanning has been when trying to hate on the Buffs, but I think Oregon will pull this one off. The Platypus Trophy will probably find a new, permanent home in Eugene.
Washington State over Washington
I think this week is finally the week that Washington loses their first game. Ever since that win over Oregon, the Huskies just haven’t looked that great if I’m being honest. Every single game since Week 7 has been a nailbiter that UDub hasn’t been able to pull away from, even against lowly opponents like Stanford and Arizona State. This week is PERSONAL for Washington State. If we as Colorado fans have learned anything this season, it’s that anything is possible when the opponent makes it personal. The Cougs and Huskies have been duking it out in the courtroom for control over the Pac-12 board for the remainder of the season. Now, it’s finally time to take that battle to the gridiron. Wazzu used last week’s game against CU as a tune-up game and they look SCARY. It’s finally time for the Huskies to lose a game, making the Pac-12 Championship game a battle between OU and UW for who’s gonna make the College Football Playoffs. Cam Ward and company are coming to play on Saturday, so Washington better be ready.