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Colorado Buffaloes win total released at 7.5

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Can the Buffs beat the projections in 2017?

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NCAA Football: Colorado at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Online sportsbook SportsInsights has released their win totals for the 2017 college football season and has set the number for the Colorado Buffaloes at 7.5 (over -105, under -125). The book is set up to place more value on an over bet, which means that the book thinks 7 wins or under is more likely (or that that side will get more of the early sharp money). It also means that you will get more money back if and when your over bet is correct.

Colorado is tied for fifth in the Pac-12, behind 2016-17 Pac-12 champions Washington, Rose Bowl champions USC, undying Stanford, and Oregon, who was 4-8 last year, had to fire most of their coaching staff, spent the winter watching TV and poaching coaches and recruits from the rest of the Pac-12, and also didn’t have any players picked in the NFL Draft. Colorado is tied with Washington State, who like Colorado, has escaped from Pac-12 cellar to compete for conference titles.

Here’s the rest of the Pac-12 in descending order of wins:

Washington: 9.5 (over -150, under -150)

USC: 9.5 (over -130, under +105)

Stanford: 8.5 (over +100, under -130)

Oregon: 8 (over -110, under -120)

Washington State: 7.5 (over -125, under -105)

Colorado*: 7.5 (over -105, under -125)

Utah: 6.5 (over -120, under -110)

UCLA: 6 (over -135, under +105)

Arizona: 5.5 (over -115, under -115)

Oregon State: N/A

Cal: N/A

Arizona State: N/A

*2016 Pac-12 South Division Champions

To gauge Colorado’s chances at reaching the over, let’s look at their upcoming schedule:

The Buffaloes have the easiest three-game start imaginable and should coast to a 3-0 start. That said, there is a slight chance the Buffs struggle in at least one of those games and have to work for that win — if I were a betting man, I would guess that would happen in the Texas State game, that logo is vicious. (But seriously, sportsbook 5Dimes has Colorado -8 over Colorado State.)

After non-conference, Colorado starts Pac-12 play with a home game against the Washington Huskies, which could be a nationally televised game against a top-5 or top-10 team. Unfortunately, though, that game will likely be a loss. The next game at UCLA should also be a great game, but one Colorado is relatively unlikely to win, assuming the Bruins have health they didn’t have last season.

Now at 3-2, the Buffs will play Arizona at home and Oregon State in Corvallis. Both should be (convincing) wins. At Washington State is a very difficult game, and though the Buffs’ secondary is good enough to get the victory there, that game is likely a loss. Cal is going to be terrible next year, so a home game against them should be a win.

After that, the Buffs will play Arizona State in Tempe, and while things tend to get weird in the desert, the Sun Devils shouldn’t be particularly good this season, so CU should pull off that win and get their 7th win of the season. The next game is brutal as the Buffs will have to play USC, who should be in the College Playoff hunt. A Senior Day victory against a top-10 team would be unforgettable, but that’s probably a loss.

If everything goes accordingly, the Buffs will be 7-4 with a road game against Utah yet to play. I’m not sure how good Utah will be — they lose lots of talent, but the Utes are something of an under-the-radar NFL factory — so it’s difficult to say if the Buffs can win that one and hurdle the over/under.

(If you want to play it safe, you should probably take the under. If you think they can knock off Washington State on the road or pull off a home upset, take the over.)