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Colorado Football Predictions

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The 2012 season was one the Colorado Buffaloes would like to forget about. They had just one win all season, and that victory came by a single point against Washington State. Colorado narrowly missed a 0-12 season if not for a 21-point fourth quarter in that game. Their average margin of loss in their 11 remaining games was an astounding 30.8 points.

In the Buffaloes defense, they had a very difficult schedule in 2012. They faced a total of five teams that were ranked at one point in the season and their hardest games came on the road against USC and Oregon. The offense did little to impress last year, scoring just 17.8 points per game, while the defense was torched for an average of 46 points per game.

The Buffaloes did manage to keep their non-conference games against Colorado State and Sacramento State close, losing by less than a touchdown in each of those matchups. In their final home game of the season, they played tough against Utah, getting a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game at 35.  They also allowed a 100-yard kickoff return from Utah and lost with a 35-42 final score. They return 17 starters in 2013, and they have a new head coach that led San Jose State to an 11-2 season last year.

Last Season
Pac-12 (South)
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
6th
1-11
3-9
6-5
17.8
46.0
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
17
8
7
3.395
67th
14th
Head Coach Mike MacIntyre
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
17-21
23-14-1
9-8
9-8
7-13
13-6-1
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
1-0
1-0
0-3
0-3
6-14
12-8
2013 Schedule
2013 Colorado Buffaloes Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/1 Colorado St
+3.5
.42
9/7 C. Arkansas
-7
.74
9/14 Fresno State
+3
.44
9/28 @ Oregon St
+22
0
10/5 Oregon
+37
0
10/12 @ Arizona St
+27
0
10/26 Arizona
+20
0
11/2 @ UCLA
+22
0
11/9 @ Washington
+17
0
11/16 California
-3
.60
11/23 USC
+24.5
0
11/30 @ Utah
+4.5
.38
Estimated Wins: 2.58

If Colorado wants to improve on last season’s one-win mark, it is going to have to come during their non-conference games. They are small underdogs in the season opener against Colorado State and are projected to be a touchdown favorite against Central Arkansas in week two. They will be playing this year’s matchup against Fresno State at home during week three, but will still find themselves playing in the underdog position.

When conference play begins, things will once again get ugly for the Buffaloes. They are three-touchdown underdogs or more against their first five Pac-12 opponents. They are also projected to be a 17-point underdog on the road against Washington, which should lead to a 0-6 start in conference play.

The end of the season will be a little bit easier compared to the start of conference play for Colorado. They have a chance to win two of their last three games. They will face California at home in one of just two games this season where they are expected to be playing from the favorite position. Their second-to-last game will be against USC, and it will probably lead to yet another blowout loss with the Trojans listed as a 24.5-point favorite in the preseason odds. Utah will be their last game of the season again, but the change in venue will make that a tough win for the Buffaloes to pick up. The Utes have one of the strongest home field advantages in the Pac-12 and, even though they are projected to be a conference cellar dweller, they have a much better team than the Buffaloes.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
Pac-12 Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
3.5
100 to 1
N/A
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

I think Colorado has returned enough starters to double their win total from last season, but that is not saying much. Connor Wood is the projected starter at the quarterback position and his limited action in 2012 was ugly. Wood had a 1:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio and completed just 50 percent of his passes. He will have last year’s leading receiver back with Nelson Spruce. He will also have wide out Paul Richardson returning this season after missing all of 2012 with a torn knee ligament. With all five linemen making their return, Wood should have plenty of time to find Spruce or Richardson and improve on 2012′s abysmal passing numbers.

While the hiring of head coach Mike MacIntyre was a good move for Colorado, I do not have high expectations of an immediate turnaround for this program. When MacIntyre joined San Jose State, he started with a 1-15 record in his first 16 games. This Colorado team certainly has more talent than what he was working with prior to joining the Buffaloes, but they do not have enough talent to claw their way out of last place in the Pac-12. Colorado should get a conference win against Cal and a non-conference win over Central Arkansas, but it will still be another ugly season for the Buffaloes’ fans.

2013 Projections
Pac-12 (South)
Pac-12 Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
6th
1-8
2-10
UNDER 3.5
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