The #19 Colorado Buffaloes (5-0) head to California this weekend to take on the USC Trojans (3-2) in an important Pac-12 battle. Kickoff is set for 10:30 PM EST at LA Memorial Coliseum and the game will be available on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, USC opened as a 7-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has changed only slightly after early betting, as the Trojans are currently listed at -7.5. The total for the game is sitting at 57 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: USC vs Colorado
Colorado remained unbeaten on the season after an impressive 28-21 comeback victory against the Arizona State Sun Devils last weekend. The Buffaloes trailed at halftime before scoring 14 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter to take the lead. WR Laviska Shenault Jr. had another fantastic game to lead the way for Colorado offensively, hauling in 13 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He also found the end zone twice on the ground despite rushing for just 13 yards. Shenault Jr. is receiving a ton of media attention after his scorching hot start to the year, as he is currently averaging over 140 receiving yards per game on 10+ receptions. QB Steven Montez had a fantastic game against Arizona State as well, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Montez has completed a very impressive 75.2% of his passes for 11 touchdowns in just five games. As a whole, the Buffaloes are currently averaging 37.8 points per game on 490.6 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, Colorado has looked well above average – opponents are currently averaging 18.4 points per game on 355.0 total yards. The Buffaloes have struggled a bit defending against the run, as they are currently giving up an average of 154.0 rushing yards per game (59th).
USC won their second straight game to finally get back above .500 on the season their last time out, improving to 3-2 overall after a 24-20 victory over the Arizona Wildcats on September 29th. The Trojans had last week off, so they should be fully prepared for this pivotal Pac-12 showdown. USC was up 24-0 on Arizona before allowing 20 unanswered points as the Wildcats made a game of it late. RB Aca’Cedrick Ware lead the way for USC offensively, racking up 173 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. QB JT Daniels looked solid but unspectacular, throwing for 197 yards. Daniels has averaged over 250 passing yards per game but has struggled with turnovers, as he has already thrown three interceptions (compared to just 4 touchdowns). Overall, the Trojans are averaging 24.6 points per game on 390.8 total yards.
The Trojans have looked a little below average defensively, as opponents are currently averaging 26.2 points per game (67th) on 381.2 total yards. USC is only allowing an average of 218.0 yards per game through the air (52nd) while being a bit more susceptible to the rush – giving up 163.2 yards per game on the ground (71st).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Colorado +7.5
I’m actually very surprised at this line, as I feel that an undefeated Colorado team has a very good chance of winning this game outright to improve to 6-0 on the season. I know that the Trojans traditionally play quite tough at home, but they barely beat Arizona their last time out and have been hovering around .500 all season long. The Buffaloes have been much better on both sides of the ball, especially on offense where they are averaging almost two touchdowns more per game than USC.
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Colorado is 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games in October while also going 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games and 0-4 ATS over their last four games against teams with a winning record.
The Buffaloes have looked steady on both sides of the ball. Giving them a full touchdown in this particular spot seems like a terrible idea to me, especially when considering how easily they could win this game outright. Colorado has held opponents to an average of just 18.4 points per game, which is over a touchdown less than the Trojans are currently giving up to opponents on average. I’m sure that USC will keep this game close in front of a home crowd on Saturday, but I’m fully expecting the final result to come right down to the wire. Even if Colorado does finally lose their first game of the season, I really like them to at least cover in an important conference matchup. I’ll happily take the free points and side with the undefeated road underdog.