When and where: November 10, 2018, Folsum Field Stadium, Boulder, CO, 3:30 PM ET
The Colorado Buffaloes hope to win their first game since early October when they play host to the visiting Washington State Cougars on Saturday. Since losing to USC, the Cougars have won five consecutive games and moved into the No. 8 spot of the college football rankings. They are coming off a surprisingly close win over California. Meanwhile, Colorado gave up 42 points on the road in a loss to Arizona.
Minshew helps the Cougars survive California
Washington State senior quarterback Gardner Minshew had to be special at the end of the fourth quarter against California on Saturday night. On a night when nothing seemed to be going the Cougars’ way offensively, Minshew led a touchdown drive with 32 seconds left in the game, delivering a 10-yard strike into the end zone in the awaiting hands of receiver Easop Winston.
— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) November 4, 2018
The victory kept Washington State’s playoff hopes alive by ensuring they’d remain in the top-10 with only one loss on their record. So they’ll still need a little help most likely to get in, but another loss would have put them out of the conversation entirely.
Minshew finished the game with 35 completions for 334 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. Winston was his leading receiver with seven receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Minshew’s hasn’t thrown less than 300 passing yards in a game all season, and he is coming off a win over Standford in a game where he threw for 438 yards and three touchdowns. His big arm is the primary reason for Washington State’s improved season.
Colorado struggles to close out games
A little over a week ago, Colorado blew a 28-point lead to Oregon State at home. They gave up 31 points in the second half of a game they seemed to be firmly in control over. Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton lit up the defense for 310 passing yards and three touchdowns in what was one of the ugliest meltdowns you’ll ever see in college football.
Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, the heartache didn’t stop after that fateful game.
They also competed against Arizona in what seemed like a winnable game early, and then things snowballed in the second quarter with the Wildcats scoring 26 points and setting themselves up nicely to take control over the game. The Buffaloes defense allowed Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate to throw a season-high 350 yards and five touchdowns.
While the offensive play hasn’t always been consistent for Colorado, it has been decent for the most part with Steven Montez behind center. He threw for 343 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the loss to Arizona.
The Buffaloes are still one game out from bowl eligibility, and they’ll need a solid effort from their defense over the course of an entire football game to get another win.
- Buffaloes are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 40 points in the previous game
- Buffaloes are 3-8-1 ATS against teams with a winning record
- Buffaloes are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in the month of November
- Buffaloes are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games against teams with a winning record on the road
- Cougars are 5-1 ATS against teams with a winning record
- Cougars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 100 rushing yards in the previous game
- Cougars are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games
- Cougars are 29-11 ATS in their last 40 games after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in the previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Colorado’s defense has been getting exposed by far less talented quarterbacks than Minshew in recent weeks. Oregon State and Arizona both finished with 300-plus passing yards against Colorado, setting the stage for another prolific passing night for Minshew.
The Buffaloes have shown a tendency to get off to a fast start, but they’ve also consistently shown a lack of discipline in holding onto the lead. If the Cougars somehow find themselves down early, Minshew has the kind of arm and talent to dig them out of a hole. The Buffaloes are giving up an average of 387.2 yards per game.
This is a bad match-up since Washington State isn’t a team that leans heavily on the running game. If there is one decent area on Colorado’s defense, it would be the defensive front, which is averaging the second-most sacks in the Pac-12 Conference (25). Minshew might get roughed around a bit in the pocket in this game, but he’ll make the necessary throws to torch a secondary still in the burn unit from last Saturday’s game.
Prediction: Washington State Cougars (-4.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 7-3 in the Buffaloes last 10 games and 5-2 in their last seven games played at home. Despite the defensive struggles for both teams, these aren’t teams that typically give up a lot of points. Colorado is allowing an average of 25.9 points per game, while Washington State is giving up 23.8 points. Throw in the fact that this is a conference game, and the under looks like the most attractive bet here.
Prediction: Under (61)