This Friday the Colorado Buffaloes will host the USC Trojans in matchup of two Pac-12 South rivals. Kickoff is set for 9:00 EST at Folsom Field and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at USC -12, but early money on the Trojans has this up a full point to -13.
Click on the link for a full look at the Week 9 college football odds and for more links to our game previews. The total for this matchup is 61.
USC vs Colorado Betting Line & Game Preview
USC Trojans (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS)
USC enters this game off an impressive 41-14 win at home over Arizona. The Trojans started the game on a 34-0 run, as Arizona didn’t score a point until it was well decided in the 4th quarter. They easily covered as a 10.5-point favorite and are now 3-1 ATS in their last 4. That game stayed UNDER the total of 69 and the UNDER has now cashed in each of the last 5 USC games.
Sitting at 4-3 it might not appear USC is all that great, but their 3 losses are all on the road against quality teams in BYU, Washington and Notre Dame. They are 3-1 in Pac-12 play, which at the moment has them T-1st in the Pac-12 South with Utah, who they have the tiebreaker on with a head-to-head win.
The big concern with USC going into this game has to be the craziness that comes with these weekday games and the big lookahead game with Oregon on deck.
Colorado Buffaloes (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
The Buffaloes have followed up an impressive 3-1 start, which included wins over Nebraska and Arizona State, with three straight defeats. It started with a 35-30 loss at home to Arizona, where they had the lead 5 different times and couldn’t hold on. Then they got annihilated 45-3 at Oregon and this past Saturday were destroyed 41-10 at Washington State.
With a quarterback as talented as Steven Montez throwing to a NFL-caliber wide out like Laviska Shenault Jr., it’s hard to believe the offense wasn’t able to do more the last two games. However, the real concern with Colorado has to be the play of the defense.
Buffaloes are giving up 34.9 ppg, only 14 other FBS teams are allowing more. They are also giving up 482.4 yards/game, only 6 with a mark worse than that. You would think with a defense this bad the OVER would be money, but it’s just 3-3-1 on the season.
Colorado will be trying to do something they have never done. Beat USC. The Trojans have won 13 straight over the Buffaloes. Last year a 5-0 Colorado team ranked No. 19 in the country went into USC and lost 31-20 as a 7-point dog. While the Trojans keep winning, each of the last 4 in the series were decided by 14 or fewer, which is worth noting given the spread we are dealing with.
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: OVER 61
Colorado feels like the smart play as a double-digit dog, but I just can’t get there with the Buffaloes at the moment. I also don’t love laying this many points on the road in a weekday game. The good news is I do see some value with the OVER at 61.
Click here for more free NCAAF picks from our experts on staff.
You can pencil in USC for a minimum of 30-points in this one and it wouldn’t surprise me if they eclipsed the 40-point mark. Colorado has given up at least 30 in every game. The only team giving up more passing yards/game than the 316 ypg the Buffaloes are allowing is New Mexico. Trojans Kedon Slovis had 377 against Stanford earlier this season and should go off here.
Also, I’m aware USC could be down their top 3 running backs. Starter Vavae Malepeai is out for the season, Stephen Carr and Markese Stepp are both questionable. Sometimes injuries can uncover a star and the Trojans are hoping that is the case for freshman Kenan Christon, who needed just 8 carries to rack up 103 yards and 2 scores. He’s got incredible speed and is a legit threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball.
Key here is I believe the Colorado offense will snap out of it’s recent funk and do their part to get us over the mark. Playing at home will definitely help and USC is dealing with all kinds of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. They were without their top 3 corners and defensive end Christian Rector last week. They added safety Talanoe Hufanga and star defensive linemen Drake Jackson to the list. Give me the OVER 61!