Colorado Expected To Lose To Turmoiled Trojans

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Two games into the 2021 football season, sports bettors who took the over on the University of Colorado’s season-win total (4.5) had to be feeling pretty good about their chances. The Buffaloes throttled Northern Colorado in their season opener before losing 10-7 in a hard-fought contest against a ranked opponent in Texas A&M.

That was then.

Over the past two games, the Buffs have gotten shellacked by a combined score of 65-13, including a 30-0 drubbing at Folsom Field at the hands of the middling Minnesota Gophers. That marked the first time Colorado had been shut out in five years, and the offense gained a mere 63 yards — not in a single quarter, but over the course of the entire game.

“The offense has been absolutely horrible,” observed WynnBET Senior Trader Motoi Pearson.

This explains why Colorado is a consensus 7.5-point underdog at home this Saturday against USC, which has beaten the Buffaloes all 14 times the teams have locked horns. Virtually every sportsbook had the over/under at 51 as of Thursday, save for FanDuel and MaximBet, both of which put it at 51.5. And there was a little variance on the moneyline: Picking Colorado to win outright ranged from +230 to +265, while picking the Trojans was -291 at PointsBet, -300 at WynnBET, -290 at DraftKings, -280 at the SuperBook, -312 at MaximBet, and -350 at FanDuel.

USC ‘more disappointing’ than Buffs

While Colorado is about where Pearson expected at this point, the 2-2 Trojans, who had their season thrown into disarray after the long overdue firing of head coach Clay Helton, have “been more disappointing” after getting decisively beaten at home by a pair of conference rivals, said Pearson.

“There’s not really much of a direction after the Clay Helton firing,” he added. “They lost to Stanford as a 17-point favorite and last week against Oregon State. A loss to Colorado here is going to speak volumes. USC is such a highly held name. There’s gonna be some things to pick up if they lose this one to Colorado.”

As for Colorado, Pearson doesn’t think fans should get too worked up over this season’s struggles.

“Colorado, they kind of overachieved a little last year, in my opinion, so I saw a regression coming,” he said. “From a recruiting standpoint and Mel Tucker leaving [for Michigan State after just one year as head coach in Boulder], Colorado got stuck in terms of being a major player in the Pac-12.

“They’ve had some pretty good years. They were in the Pac-12 championship a few years ago. From a home field advantage standpoint, football could be big there. But trying to be a big name in the Pac-12 and nationally, that’s going to be an uphill battle.”

Mike Seely has written about horse racing for The Daily Racing Form and America’s Best Racing, and has contributed pieces on a multitude of topics to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He can be reached at mseely@bettercollective.com.

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